Easy access…Antidepressants

I’m feeling a little vulnerable as I write this blog, but I just felt I had to share this experience.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

To some, my life would appear to be a dream; I’ve created a product that people genuinely seem to like & want to be a part of, I’m fit, I have a beautiful family, I was a model (not anymore), I have a support network that includes some of the most well known fitness, health and inspirational figures, and Im living my life my way.

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It’s all to easy to look at someones life from the outside, from their social media ‘highlight’ reel and make judgement, or create an opinion about that person. Staying true to myself and the purpose of my blog…this highlight reel is often not all it’s cracked up to be, even mine.

‘If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days.’ Kris Carr

Sure all of the above are true, but what about viewing my life from the inside out? My heart still hurts for a love that wasnt reciprocated (insecurity), I am creating a business on my own (instability), I surround myself with people who are inspirational figures (pressure), my family isn’t as close as I would want them to be, and I very rarely let anyone ; friends or lovers close to my heart as I’m petrified of being hurt (loneliness), which in turn makes me a #1datewonder.

Now these are 2 very outlooks on my life, 1 is positive, 1 is not so. Yet they are both very much my reality.

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I have written and spoken about my depression.

What you may not know, is I was meant to be and still am supposed to be tested for Border Line Personality disorder (basically this means it’s either white or black, good or bad, there is no balance).

As my business continues to become a reality (who would have thought my empire would be built on #balls), so to does the financial stress, the responsibilities and the very real fear of failure. As I began to experience the well-known traits of depression and self sabotage (for me this over eating thing is out of control at the moment) became apparent, I knew I had to speak to someone.

Sometimes that’s all we need… someone to really listen to us.

Anxious, excited and knowing I was doing the right thing, off I went to my Dr for a full blood test and Psychologist referral (I don’t have one in Sydney).

‘What you believe is very powerful. If you have toxic emotions of fear, guilt and depression, it is because you have wrong thinking, and you have wrong thinking because of wrong believing.’ Joseph Prince

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What surprised me as I was tearfully telling my story (if you need to cry, just cry), was the recommendation for antidepressants, not once but at least 4 times the conversation was redirected to ‘pills’ for my hormonal imbalance. He advised that I am depressed (which I am quite sure that I’m not, simply looking for some advice, someone to speak to, to express myself to).

I STRONGLY DO NOT ADVOCATE ANTI DEPRESSANTS.

Was he even listening to me??? I was in disbelief, after all that I was telling him; my clean eating lifestyle, my health coaching, seminars…he still tried to (I felt) ‘push’ medication onto me.

Now, I understand they do work for some people and considering there seems to be a natural imbalance in my brain they should work for me. However, my last incidence with these drugs at 100mg had me sitting on the edge of my balcony at 4am in the morning thinking my life was not worth living. Do I want to take them again, or try find the right one…Ummm…..NO?

I felt I had to write this as it really was a revealing experience, I mean Ive experienced this before, when I happily and eagerly took the antidepressants and the valium which I then created a dependence on. What about any person without so much knowledge, what hope do they have when their medical ‘professional’ advises these drugs???

The world we live in.

Exercise and food are the most under utilised drug. This is true.

‘Good humour is a tonic for mind nad body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment,’ Grenville Kleiser

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All I was simply requesting was a referral to see a psychologist (i truly promote them as a personal trainer for your mind), someone I could talk to that isn’t in my world, about my pressures, frustrations and feelings without judgement. Yet I nearly walked out of there drugged up.

If anything I only feel more inspired to create change, to educate about the way we live (yes, I got my referral). Im not using this post to ask for sympathy or pity, simply as an expression of my thoughts.

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”Saint Francis de Sales

The truth is, the world aint all sunshine and rainbows…but its how you choose to act when you don’t feel so good that will define you.

Love & light, Charlie x.

*Note…It is ok to not be ‘amazing’ all the time, in fact it’s perfectly normal. And I can tell you this…everything will be ok, it always will be ok.

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Depression & its Ebony tinted glasses.

Yesterday I had one of those days, I had felt it coming for a little while, my old enemy depression knocking at my door, waiting for its opportunity to come in and make himself at home (oddly I refer to it as him).

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And he did. It only took a few little things to escalate to a big thing. I started the over-thinking, over-awful sing, the ‘oh my Goodness it’s over’ thinking. The negative downward spiral that fast sends us out of control. Now I’m not perfect and I have never claimed to be. I am just like you, trying to make each day better, to live healthier and happier, hence why I have decided that becoming a Health coach is my calling, inspiring people is my passion, because I need the love & inspiration to surround me. I have studied and learnt about the body, the hormones and the way food affects us, especially in a depressed state (think how often you do something that is self harming when feeling down? the alcohol, the binge, the acting out towards a loved one, only to feel worse, these are all created from sense of fear and are acts of self sabotage). So I have created healthy happy rituals that are my ladder out of that black hole known as depression, or my light when the darkness takes over (the world is see through ebony tinted glades that once were rose but now everything that was once beautiful seems to have a black (ebony) tint, also know as the fog).

 

‘This is what I am. I have periods of enormous self-destructive depression, where I go completely off my trolley and lose all sight of reality and reason.’ Siobhan Fahey

 

 

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Life is not always going to be sunshine & roses (thank you for that fact rocky), but it truly is about how you deal with whatever it is that is thrown to you. Yesterday I jut let myself wallow for a moment (it lasted approx half an hr) I went to bed in the middle of the day I ate chocolate (organic though) and I cried. All The while my mind was in a battle, the positive vs the old negative beliefs were at war (you created this problem, you should have known better, the universe will look after you, it’s your own fault, I trust you, you can find a way, you don’t deserve happiness, it was good for a moment, you have to do the work, you can do it, just get up!). My heart and body just simply needed a time out.

 

‘I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat.’ Christopher Hitchens

 

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So whilst I have suffered depression for many years now, it’s nowhere near the crippling, stay in bed self sabotage, self loathing, last for days on end as it was before. Because now I know I deserve good in my life. I have cultivated self love and self-dependence that even when the darkest storm comes in, the little light inside my heart will not be blown out, it will always burn, and it will always have my key mantra…’everything will always be ok, I love you on’ repeat for times like this when I need it. For you may not understand but every single positive thought, every happy action, every healthy habit you think and do is like water on this seed, everyday fertilising the light/flower within my heart and soul, and It’s miraculous, like a seed it grows and becomes stronger.

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‘Enthusiasm is followed by disappointment and even depression, and then by renewed enthusiasm.’ Murray Gell-Mann

Now, this little light, my true essence of being is protected like my own secret garden, it’s fiercely guarded. No one or nothing will ever take or blow this out. This does not mean that I don’t feel depression, sadness, loneliness, confusion or the ‘this is too hard’ thoughts (especially trying to run your own business as a giver, when the cost of living is a taker). But I can appreciate the dark low feelings. I can go to bed for a minimum amount of time, allow myself to cry express my frustration, and the what will I do thoughts of exasperation, but rather than wallow I have now built up enough positive thoughts and affirmations these are on repeat in my mind. So like a friend that says those ebony tinted glasses don’t suit you at all, I take them off (because we do live in an image based world and I am a women who attempts to take pride in my appearance) and instead replace them with my rose tinted glasses. Because when there is a will there is always a way.

‘Exercise is the most powerful and underutilized antidepressant and its free.’

Create healthy habits that keep you afloat through the storm. Understand that it is ok to feel bad. It’s fine. Don’t focus on the thoughts, the problems. Instead feel them, acknowledge them then get to your positive actions, be a problem solver. Go for a run. Read an inspirational book. Everything will always be ok and there is always light within the darkness you just have to look within yourself and be ready to see it. Life is nt meant to be easy, but you choose your thoughts like the way you choose what your wear, will you put on the dark unflattering ebony tinted glasses or will you choose to be your best self and put on the flattering pretty rose-tinted glasses?

The choice, has and will always be yours.

Love & light, Charlie x.

Today Im wearing my favourite Rose (& gold) tinted glasses to see my world in sunshine, light & happiness.

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Sex, & why you should get more of it.

If you really needed a reason to get some more horizontal action…

‘Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.’ Marilyn Monroe

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I felt like writing something fun, yet the most interesting for us all. Sex, lust, love, it’s all good for you, and recent studies also show it makes you smarter! Sex is medicine.

“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert.

The reasons why you should get more/give more of it….

Sex makes us happy;

According to a study, people who have sex at least 2-3 x per month are 33% happier then those that dont. Strangely interesting, we are happier when we have more sex, but we are also happier when we think we are getting more sex then our friends (we are such a competitive species, in every aspect!?) In 2004, after analyzing survey data on 16,000 people, Dartmouth researchers studying the health benefits of sex found that increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week led to an increase in happiness equivalent to that generated by an additional $50,000 in income to the average American.

Sex makes us happy. Happy people are more productive.

Sex is exercise; sexercise/cardiovascular training (if your working hard enough 😉

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This one Im sure we all know…Sex is great to tone up nearly every muscle in the body. Researchers concluded, “Sexual activity may potentially be considered, at times, as a significant exercise.” Sex burns approximately 4-5 calories per minute (just don’t use any high calorie foods, whipped cream, body chocolate etc as foreplay 😉

30 minutes = 120-150 calories….if your putting in the effort.

A good way to workout I would say.

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‘Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.’ Woody Allen

Sex is a form of stress relief;

Human contact and closeness can ease feelings of anxiety and of loneliness. We each crave to be held and to be supported. sex is a way we feel connected. Sex releases hormones, in particular oxytocin which give us the urge to nurture, connect and bond. Oxytocin also promotes generosity. Time to give some sex & love.

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‘Sex is emotion in motion.’ Mae West

Anti-ageing (prevention is always better than cure)

Sex releases positive, feel good hormones throughout the body whilst also opening the blood network to deliver them, plus nutrients and oxygen to the cells. This includes the skin. When we have healthier cells at the basal layer, we will promote a healthier, radiant, youthful skin. In women, sex releases growth hormone.

Boosts your immune system;

Studies show that people who have more sex (avg of 1-2 x per week) have a higher level of immunoglobulin A (IgA), a protein that is responsible for fighting infection in the body.

Lowers risk of heart disease (although may cause heart-break);

‘Some things are better than sex, and some are worse, but there’s nothing exactly like it.’ W. C Fields

sex maintains your oestrogen and testosterone levels and keeps them in balance. All of the hormones that are released during sex promote healing and improved dilation of the capillaries (improved blood flow). In one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.

Reduces prostate cancer risks;

Researchers at Nottingham University concluded that men who kept up a regular sex life in their 50s were at lower risk of developing prostate cancer (interesting, high sexual activity, more than 20 x per month in your 20s and 30s could increase the risk. Players be warned).

Enhance sleep;

After an orgasm your body releases the hormone Prolactin. This hormone is responsible or the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.

Sex boosts Self Esteem;

‘Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.’ Sophia Loren

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The more you get, the more you want, the more attractive you feel. Interesting. One of the main reasons why we have sex is to boost our self esteem, good sex (wih love is even better) raises it, and we all need a self esteem boost every  now and then.

Sex can ease headaches (sorry but the ‘I have a headache’ excuse cant work anymore);

“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD. during an orgasm the body release a hormone called ‘oxytocin’, amongst many other benefits, it is a powerful painkiller.

Sex can make you smarter;

Dr. Jens Forster at University of Amsterdam and Jacobs University Bremen found that people who merely thought about sex had better critical thinking skills than those who didn’t. Researchers at the University of Maryland have performed research (currently on  mice) that shows the increase of cognitive behaviour, memory and brain function when they were mating. these improvements declined when they stopped. (Note, I am highly against the cruelty of testing on animals) Sex promotes neurogenesis (production of new neurons in the brain), effectively increasing their brain power.

So, with all these amazing health benefits, its time to get your horizontal cardio happening. Sex is healthy, healthy is happy.

Love & light, Charlie x.

Good addictions (are still addictions).

Exercise is good for you, but how much is too much?

 

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I became aware to the fact that I workout approx 4 hrs per day; 1-1.5 hrs of morning movement (walking uphill), weights and my new daily practice of yoga…

I would definitely consider this too much. Without realising I have been putting my body under immense pressure, stress and strain. Although not classified as a ‘disorder’ this is a behavioural addiction; obsessive & compulsive. The thing is, I actually love exercise, cardio, running, weights, yoga, anything and everything.

But how much is too much? When can you have to much of a good thing?

In fact, this amount of exercise had become an addiction for me, really just as detrimental to my body and mind as any other.

I couldnt NOT do this.

Addictions; why do we create them? As an escape, as a daily habit, as a release? I believe it’s all of these reasons, and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly these addictions do occur, how quick we become addicts.

‘We are taught to consume. And that’s what we do. But if we realized that there really is no reason to consume, that it’s just a mind set, that it’s just an addiction, then we wouldn’t be out there stepping on people’s hands climbing the corporate ladder of success.’ River Phoenix

Addictions are repetitive behaviour whether this behaviour is good or bad for us. Obviously some addictions are much worse than others, but regardless all are still bad behavioural patterns.

Warning signs you are creating an addiction or are an addict:

Do you absolutely HAVE to HAVE/DO it?

When you feel ill at ease when you don’t have the substance or behaviour.

When you cannot think of anything else.

When you cancel pre-organised plans with loved ones so you can spend more time at the gym or working out or doing/taking your addiction (I am definitely guilty of this).

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Break it:

Take a moment to find out why you have created the addiction…is it to replace something you have lost, a relationship, a career? Are you addicted to the emotions/thoughts that are created by the addiction? (Exercise release feel good hormones).

‘She goes from one addiction to another. All are ways for her to not feel her feelings.’ Ellen Burstyn

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Find alternatives. Whether it be quitting a substance or a physical addiction, realise why you practice it (ie smoking may be your calming agent), find something else that is a healthy habit to replace it with.

Look at your triggers…what causes you to ‘need’ this. For me, I am breaking my ‘not so good’ cycle, of over exercising then being ridiculously hungry and attacking anything I can possibly get my hands on, then, create a feeling of guilt, therefore do more exercise. Hmm, not such a good habit, actually a pretty bad cycle.

‘If you do what you always do, you get what you always get.’ Anon

Change your lifestyle. If you are trying to break a bad habit, choose to be with supportive people who will help you. That’s what friends are for, to help us fly when our own wings are broken or damaged. Dont be with people who are detrimental to your change. Make better choices. If you are a late night eater, remove ALL junk food from your house (I don’t have any treats because I know that I wont be able to resist).

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Create a plan and track it. People who take small steps daily and record their progress have a much better chance of beating their addictions and creating healthy habits. EVERY day matters.

My addiction; Exercise,  with potential to harm; without getting enough rest the body cannot repair, and 4 hrs exercise per day = a lot of calories used, meaning it can be hard to nourish your body correctly.

I’m happy to say, I’m taking 2 weeks off weight training, as my focus is now Yoga, especially as I desire to become a yoga teacher. I am keeping my daily yoga practice and 1 hr morning movement. Its been only 4 days and I already feel better.

Listen to your body, it will tell you everything you need to know. I was getting exhausted and making poor food choices in desperate need for energy and a sense of satiety as my body was being over worked.

It occurred to me whilst writing this that there are many people like me, addicts, to good or bad, and I wanted to share.

‘You do anything long enough to escape the habit of living until the escape becomes the habit.’ David Ryan

If you cannot find your trigger, or realise that you need help, never ever be afraid to ask, a loved one or better yet a professional. You can live a life you love, free from addictions and with healthy habits.

Love & light, Charlie x.

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Friday Fitspo…6 pack Abs.

As we step into Spring (or stumble in shock that it’s nearly summer & bikini time), I thought it would be good to share a little (No excuses, anywhere, anytime) Ab workout. Now, I am a Wellness coach, not a personal trainer, so I’ve called on tech knowledge of Shane Green, director at Green Fitness to share with you his top Ab exercises.

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

k1‘Make yourself stronger than your excuses’.

Time: 20 minutes

Fitness Levels: Beginner to advanced

 Equipment needed: Floor mat/soft ground (no excuses!!! Barefoot, pyjamas, on the grass or the floor…you can get those abs!)

 Workout Instruction:

*Complete 3 sets of 20 repetitions for each exercise.

*Group each of the exercises into pairs, example A1 and A2.

*Vary the repetitions according to fitness levels, however aim for 20 repetitions of each exercise x 3 sets.

*Don’t rush the exercises, emphasise isolating the abdominal muscles and control each movement focusing on your breathing.

*Don’t have any longer than 30 seconds rest between each set.

Print this so you dont get lost 🙂

REMEMBER:

*have fun and try to do it with a friend to push one another, all the best of luck Shane Director of Green Fitness.

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A1-3/4 sit up

  1. Lie down on the floor and secure your feet. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
  2. Place your hands behind or to the side of your head. You will begin with your back on the ground. This will be your starting position.
  3. Flex your hips and spine to raise your torso toward your knees.
  4. At the top of the contraction your torso should be perpendicular to the ground. Reverse the motion, going only ¾ of the way down.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

A2-Air Bike
1. .Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. For this exercise, you will need to put your hands beside your head. Be careful however to not strain with the neck as you perform it. Now lift your shoulders into the crunch position.

2. Bring knees up to where they are perpendicular to the floor, with your lower legs parallel to the floor. This will be your starting position.

3. Now simultaneously, slowly go through a cycle pedal motion kicking forward with the right leg and bringing in the knee of the left leg. Bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side, as you breathe out.

4. Go back to the initial position as you breathe in.

5. Crunch to the opposite side as you cycle your legs and bring closer your left elbow to your right knee and exhale.

6. Continue alternating in this manner until all of the recommended repetitions for each side have been completed.

Notes: While you cannot add resistance to this exercise you can concentrate on perfect execution and slow speed.

gf4DONT QUIT! “If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got.”

B1-Alternate Heel Touch

  1. Lie on the floor with the knees bent and the feet on the floor around 18-24 inches apart. Your arms should be extended by your side. This will be your starting position.
  2. Crunch over your torso forward and up about 3-4 inches to the right side and touch your right heel as you hold the contraction for a second. Exhale while performing this movement.
  3. Now go back slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
  4. Now crunch over your torso forward and up around 3-4 inches to the left side and touch your left heel as you hold the contraction for a second. Exhale while performing this movement and then go back to the starting position as you inhale. Now that both heels have been touched, that is considered 1 repetition.
  5. Continue alternating sides in this manner until all prescribed repetitions are done.

Variations: None

B2-Crunches

  1. Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. If you are resting your feet on a bench, place them three to four inches apart and point your toes inward so they touch.
  2. Now place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Tip:Don’t lock your fingers behind your head.
  3. While pushing the small of your back down in the floor to better isolate your abdominal muscles, begin to roll your shoulders off the floor.
  4. Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back as you contract your abdominals and exhale. Your shoulders should come up off the floor only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the floor. At the top of the movement, contract your abdominals hard and keep the contraction for a second. Tip: Focus on slow, controlled movement – don’t cheat yourself by using momentum.
  5. After the one second contraction, begin to come down slowly again to the starting position as you inhale.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: There are many variations for the crunch. You can perform the exercise with weights, or on top of an exercise ball or on a decline bench.

C1-Cross-Body Crunch

  1. Lie flat on your back and bend your knees about 60 degrees.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the floor and place your hands loosely behind your head. This will be your starting position.
  3. Now curl up and bring your right elbow and shoulder across your body while bring your left knee in toward your left shoulder at the same time. Reach with your elbow and try to touch your knee. Exhale as you perform this movement. Tip: Try to bring your shoulder up towards your knee rather than just your elbow and remember that the key is to contract the abs as you perform the movement; not just to move the elbow.
  4. Now go back down to the starting position as you inhale and repeat with the left elbow and the right knee.
  5. Continue alternating in this manner until all prescribed repetitions are done.

Variation: You can also do all of your repetitions for one side and then switch to the other side.

C2-Frog Sit -Ups

  1. Lie with your back flat on the floor (or exercise mat) and your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Now bend at the knees and place your outer thighs by the floor (or mat) as you make the soles of your feet touch each other.
  3. Now try pushing both soles and bringing them up as near you as possible while you keep the outer thighs on the floor (or at least almost touching it). Tip: In this position your legs should create a diamond shape.
  4. Now, cross your arms in front of you by touching the opposite shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  5. As you exhale flatten your lower back to the floor while curling the torso upwards. Tip: This will be like performing the first 1/4 movement of a sit up. Hold at the top position for a second.
  6. As you inhale, slowly lower back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

D1-Cocoon Crunch

  1. Begin by lying on your back on the ground. Your legs should be straight and your arms extended behind your head. This will be your starting position.
  2. To perform the movement, tuck the knees toward your chest, rotating your pelvis to lift your glutes from the floor. As you do so, flex the spine, bringing your arms back over your head to perform a simultaneous crunch motion.
  3. After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

 

D2-Jacknife Sit-Ups

  1. Lie flat on the floor (or exercise mat) on your back with your arms extended straight back behind your head and your legs extended also. This will be your starting position.
  2. As you exhale, bend at the waist while simultaneously raising your legs and arms to meet in a jackknife position. Tip: The legs should be extended and lifted at approximately a 35-45 degree angle from the floor and the arms should be extended and parallel to your legs. The upper torso should be off the floor.
  3. While inhaling, lower your arms and legs back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variation: If you are really advanced you could use a medicine ball for added resistance.

 

E1-Oblique Crunches on the floor

  1. Start out by lying on your right side with your legs lying on top of each other. Make sure your knees are bent a little bit.
  2. Place your left hand behind your head.
  3. Once you are in this set position, begin by moving your left elbow up as you would perform a normal crunch except this time the main emphasis is on your obliques.
  4. Crunch as high as you can, hold the contraction for a second and then slowly drop back down into the starting position.
  5. Remember to breathe in during the eccentric (lowering) part of the exercise and to breathe out during the concentric (elevation) part of the exercise.

Note: While you cannot add resistance to this exercise you can concentrate on perfect execution and slow speed.

E2-Prone Hold (Plank)

  1. Get into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms. Your arms are bent and directly below the shoulder.
  2.  Keep your body straight at all times, and hold this position as long as possible. To increase difficulty, an arm or leg can be raised.

 

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‘Its actually pretty simple, either you do it or you dont’.

So, when you commit to this workout 3 x per week and you begin to see the outline of that 6 pack abs, or even the flatness you have always dreamed of (with diet and exercise), be sure to say thanks to Shane Green from Green Fitness…

http://www.facebook.com/greenfitnesshealth

If you are lucky enough to live in the Eastern Suburbs, be sure to check out their Boot camp, believe me, I’ve tried it and been put through my paces (Im not a morning exercise type of girl) you will work hard for those results (no pain, no gain!).

‘The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen’.

Happy Friday!

What are your weekend plans? Have you set healthy intentions? Healthy goals ?How are you going to live your beautiful life? Invest your precious time?

My goals will be to get outside, get a Vitamin D injection from the sun that has been shining, and to spend some time…laughing. To relax and enjoy the benefits of the joy that is free laughter without the worries of tomorrow. (I also think I better try some of those Frog situps!)

 

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Do something…FUN

What are you doing today that’s showing yourself a little self-love? Today, I ran the color Run ‘the happiest 5km on the planet’ ( a 5km run with color bombs along the way).

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When was the last time you let go of all your worry’s and just enjoyed life? Its been a long time for me, there’s generally always some place, something to do or something my mind is distracted with.

‘If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done’. Ludwig Wittgenstein

When you spend time around small children you remember what its like to be free, abundant. I think of the times spent with my little sister, and the way her gorgeous giggle resonates through my heart and soul (sometimes over the smallest thing, which makes it even more special) To laugh abundantly, what a special ability. As adults, we don’t do nearly enough of, and should try to partake in more, after all, laughter is the best medicine.

To feel free. Free from the daily pressures of life, free from the worry of it all, just free to be.

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The color run was something fun. With the expectation of getting ‘all messed up’, hair, makeup, what I looked like or what anyone thought of me DIDN’T MATTER. What a huge relief that alone is!

Humour is infectious, laugh, giggle, get messy, and enjoy!

‘The most wasted of all days is one without laughter’. E. e. Cummings

 

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Learn to laugh at yourself. This is on my personal ‘development’ list, to develop the ability to laugh at myself, if I fall, if I make a mistake or when I’m just being terrible. It’s quite a refreshing feeling to be able to stop and laugh at a bad mood, poor comment or a mistake made, and you give other people the opportunity to laugh with you.

Feeling stressed? Find something Fun to do. Shoot some hoops, find a local activity, play a game (you are never to old to play twister). Laughter helps relieve stress (studies have proven it, so go get your giggle on!)

‘It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.’ Dr Wayne Dyer

 

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The event was a fun activity, great for a family day out, and it was so great to see many family’s with their small children getting amongst it all (the color, no doubt there will be some cleaning being done this afternoon). It was something different.

Look out for activities in your area, this is your life, create quality time for your family and loved ones. One of the secrets to happiness is great relationships. Invest in them wisely.

Get your giggle ON.

Love & light, Charlie x.

‘In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. for int he dew of the little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. ‘Khalil Gibran

 

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Challenge yourself…HIIT

Fitspo Friday…do something you haven’t done before… High Intensity Interval training (HIIT), or maybe you have just not as often as you should, like myself.

 

High intensity training is when you use every bit of energy you have for a short period of time (for example, 1 minute), followed by a rest period (1-2-3 minutes). Intense bursts of energy expenditure followed by a rest/low moderate exercise to recover.

It has been researched to be an effective way to increase fat burning ability. By reaching anaerobic zone (where you feel like you can’t breathe) you are pushing yourself to your limits (limiting yourself of Oxygen for a short period of time creating a chemical/hormonal response), repetitively doing so will increase your cardiovascular health, and your overall fitness capabilities. Studies also show that it may reduce subcutaneous fat, particularly of the abdominal area.

HIIT training may lower blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and the risk of developing Diabetes Type 2 (a worldwide issue).

“Sweat is fat crying.”

hi2‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’. Fred Devito

*Time efficient: HIIT is short, sharp and as, (if not more, studies show 50% increase of fat burning ability with HIIT) effective than continuos rate cardio.

*No excuses, no equipment needed. Just you and the earth (sprints, jumping lunges, burpees), get creative.

*Calorie use after HIIT is higher for 24 hr period then that after a slow steady run.

*Prevent muscle loss whilst promoting fat burning.

*Stimulate Human Growth Hormone (your body’s repair mechanism) by up to 450% for the following 24hrs.

WARNING: Exercise has been known to cause Health & happiness.

‘I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece, I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what the teach, who walk their talk.’ Tony Robbins

hi1HIIT example workout:

Walk at a steady pace 2 minutes.

SPRINT (with everything you’ve got) 1 Minute.

Walk at a steady pace 2 minutes.

SPRINT 1 minute

REPEAT as many times as you can (I generally do 10-20) once or twice per week.

As you adapt, cut your rest period to 1 minute. So 1 minute sprint, 1 minute rest.

*Please consult a Dr or physician if you have any medical conditions to se if HIIT is right/suitable for you.

“When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

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‘I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether its going to work or whether im going to fall flat on my face.’ Johnny Depp

I always worry about  falling off the treadmill and completely embarrassing myself when its set at 19.5 for HIIT. Hasnt happened yet (thankfully) Note to self, and all of you…BE CAREFUL. If you are new to HIIT, start with outdoor sprints, or ask a Personal Trainer to assist you through a session.

Happy Friday…be sure to plan some HIIT this weekend, try it, you never know you just might like it :). I’ve got mine booked in. ..SWEAT is FAT crying!

Love & light, Charlie x.

“The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.”

 

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Your Wellbeing (6 easy steps)

Happy Friday beautiful people!

After 2 long weeks of work, I am starting to feel exhausted and definitely ready for a little ‘me’ time tomorrow. At times life gets busy, we tend to forget about the little things that contribute to our wellbeing. So today, as I have been reminding myself all week, I thought I would share a little reminder with you…after all it is the little things that matter.

1. Smile more

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Have you ever had those days were life has just been ‘good’, brilliant even? And you find yourself walking around seemingly in a daze, radiating positive energy and maybe with a small smile on your lips or a twinkle in your eye…those days tend to get better and better. You attract what you give. So SMILE. Share yourself with the world, and as the saying goes, smile and the world will smile with you. I have recently tried this myself, smiling at every person over for the duration of a day. Most likely many thought I was some kind of crazy, but on the rare occasion the smile was returned, and my day got brighter. Try smiling to the people who my be assisting you with a frown, to the random stranger that smiles at you, even to ‘that’ person who is perhaps agitated with you (think road rage, customers etc).  Even on the phone to the customer service teams we all dread dealing with.

Smiling and being nice will get you everywhere.

2. Drink more water9

 

How much water are you drinking daily? I personally struggle drinking 2L per day and am constantly reminding myself…water…drink it. Water is essential for our bodies as we are anywhere from 55% – 78% water (interesting, the brain is 90% water, muscles 75% and blood 82%), It is imperative we stay hydrated as water carries oxygen to our cells. Perhaps you are a chronic migraine or headache sufferer? Many times, this will be due to dehydration rather then anything else. Water can assist in preventing fluid retention (that awful occurrence on my problematice areas). Keeping your fluids up will also help provide a feeling of satiety for longer, hence why some claim water can aid in fat loss. Water is also a natural cleanser and detoxifier for our bodies (and we all need a little help in removing toxins).

 

3. Get moving

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Every little bit counts and there is NEVER a good excuse not to move your body! There are so many wonderful reasons why exercise and movement is good for us. Lets start with weight loss. Exercise assists any weightloss program and will improve the quality of the muscle. More muscle, burns more fat (actually, muscle burns 3 x as much ATP/energy as fat). Exercise releases Endorphins; the happy drug. Endorphins make you feel good (so get moving NOW). Regular exercise decreases the risk of serious health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Exercise is essential for brain health, muscle strength and nutrient delivery.
It doesn’t matter what you do, just do somethingeveryday. Create a healthy habit. you might surprise yourself and ENJOY it.

YOU earn YOUR BODY.

 

4. Restrict processed foods

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Nutrition can be so confusing. So lets make it simple.

*Fresh IS best. (Organic is even better). NBB: Add in as many green vegetables as you like.

*Stop eating processed, refined foods. NBB: Be REAL not FAKE.

*Say no to the white powders; Sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners. These act like a drug in the body.

*Eat unlabelled food. If there is a label, if you cant pronounce an ingredient, Don’t eat it.

*Don’t drink your calories. NBB: Swap for Green tea.

*Quality vs quantity.

‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’. Hippocrates

 6. Be grateful (every day)

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Wake up each morning with an attitude of gratitude. be thankful for everything you have in your life, right now. Appreciate the present moment, stop reminiscing over yesterday, planning for what tomorrow will be, be thankful for the here and now, the very moment you are alive, breathing and living your life. You have so much to be thankful for.

‘Gratitude opens the door to…the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude’. Deepak Chopra.

7. Slow down. Just breathe

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Take a moment to stop. Breathe deeply and release. The power of the breath has been researched for years, and the benefits reported are many. But all you really need to do, is stop right now, breath in deeply, slowly, controlled, fill your lungs up with as much oxygen as possible and slowly release. Repeat x 10. Take a moment, do it now. The sense of calm that washes over me is like a sense of euphoria. When life gets busy, when I think I could be about to react. I breathe. Try it. Something so simple, but it works. Practising breathing techniques is also a great healthy habit to get into before sleep, to appreciate the stillness and sense of calm.

Hope you enjoyed these small healthy habits. Health is not hard. Just start doing something good, everyday and you are on your way to wellness.

Love & light, Charlie x.

The ‘no excuse, anytime, anywhere’ Workout.

If I mention exercise, how do you feel? Are you excited, energised or do you feel nervous, apprehensive?

Like most people I have a love/hate relationship with exercise…when I’m focused and in the zone, I’m good, really good. When I have no goal, unfocused, I’m just turning up to the gym…Im a bit blaze, not So good.

phgreotoMy general approach to any form of exercise, anything that gets you moving, is that there is never any excuse not to! Never!

It’s to cold, it’s raining, I’m tired, it’s to expensive… Just some of the excuses that I hear every day. I know I have definitely tried to use each of these as justifications for myself when I simply could not be bothered to get myself to the gym. Excuses are pure laziness.

I’m sorry to be a bit realistic, but I speak the truth. The moment you hear any of these thoughts in your own mind, challenge them. Think deeper. Are you committed to change? COMMITMENT, DEDICATION & PERSERVERANCE are the KEYS to SUCCESS.

Exercise…all the reasons WHY you SHOULD get yourself moving…

1. Exercise increases circulation and your HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, therefore is beneficial in prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

“Some exercise is better than none and more is better than less.” Dr William Krauss, The New England Journal of Medicine.

2. Exercise enhances your Mood; Endogenous (internal) opiates are secreted when we exercise.  Endorphins, (your feel good hormone) adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine create a feeling of wellbeing. As exercise increases the feel good hormones, it also decreases the stress hormone, Cortisol. *Studies show physically active people recover from mild depression more quickly.

3. Exercise increases Energy, Stamina and your sex life; physically and psychologically this has been proven as the fitter you are the more desirable you feel. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), being physically active can be “a natural Viagra boost”. “Men and women who exercise regularly are going to have increased levels of desire. They’re going to have enhanced confidence, enhanced ability to achieve orgasm and greater sexual satisfaction,” says Cedric Bryant, the council’s chief exercise physiologist.*

Increased energy production happens on the cellular level, beginning in the Mitochondria, the energy producing organs within your cells. Whilst some energy is derived from your diet, it is ultimately relevant to the number of Mitochondria you have (your ability to produce energy). Mitochondria activity is affected by daily activity.

4. Exercise improves sleep quality; ”Exercise is great for sleep. For the millions of people who want better sleep, exercise may help,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Exercise is a stressor. The brain compensates physical activity by more time in a deep (Stage 4/Delta) sleep.

5. Exercise assists weight loss (this one we all know); exercise will promote calorie consumption and build muscle. Muscle requires 3 x more metabolic activity (energy) compared to fat. Consult with a Health Coach, Gp or Personal Trainer to find out the best form of exercise for your individual requirements and goals.

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Now, after reading some of the reasons why and how exercise is beneficial for you…

The no excuse, anytime, anywhere full body workout.

This can be done in the privacy of your own home (then it doesn’t even matter what you wear), or, if you don’t mind looking a little silly but perhaps inspiring others, outside is great. (I do believe I have mentioned my neighbours probably think I am the ‘crazy’ girl doing sprint HIIT, walking lunges, fire escape stairs).

Just do it, get it done.

‘I really regret that workout’ said No one ever!

Chances are you will feel better after you have exercised then how you felt before. 481257_261706440631943_1007583714_n

Anytime, anywhere. No gym. No weights. (Even no shoes) required.

Walk 15 minutes.

*20 x Squats (as low as you can go)

*20 x press ups (I dare you to attempt some full press-ups/knees OFF the ground)

*20 x Lunges each side (stationary or walking)

*20 x Tricep dips

* 20 x Sit-ups

Repeat x 3-5 (you can also increase your sets to 30 or 50 of each depending on your level of fitness)

Walk 30 minutes.

The best bit: Endorphins are released, your feel good Hormone, your Circulation is flowing, oxygen and nutrients are being delivered around your body, your Lymphatic System is working; toxins are being removed, and your burning fat….

Tell me again, did you have a reason not to? Was there an excuse?

Make it FUN…

If you have stairs close to where you live (like Me I use my fire escape, again, Im probably deemed the crazy/obsessive/fanatical workout girl) throw in a couple of sets up and down and then, do 1 more (best booty or ‘bubble butt’ builder there is).

Add this in to your morning routine 3 x weekly, commit and create change.

How much do you want to change your body? How much work are You committed to doing?

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Create healthy habits and you will be on your way to living a life of wellness. Exercise is an essential aspect of Being well.

Find balance, exercise with friends, make it social and you wont even realise how much good work you’ve done, the time will pass so quickly.

Love & light, Charlie x.

NBB tip: Find a role model, someone who actively lives there life and practices what they preach.

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What is Health?

What does being healthy mean to you?

If I was to ask everyone one of you who joined this page yesterday (thank you!) what does health mean, Im sure the answers would be varied.

Most people believe that health is about weight and diet.

I believe that being healthy means that you have balance in all aspects of your life;
Healthy lifestyle; nutrition & exercise.
Healthy relationships; family, love & friendships.
Healthy career; mental stimulation.
Healthy Finances.

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The circle of life.
When one area is not in balance you will quickly find it will affect another area in your life. If you are unhappy in a romantic relationship, you may find that friendships will start to strain. If you are unhappy in your chosen career, you may find your romantic relationship becomes strained (we easily misdirected anger, resentment, and negativity).

It’s not always easy to take a step back and evaluate your life. But it’s something we should do, more often. I know for myself, it’s so easy to fall out of balance, get off track, or get mislead.
Take a moment today to sit and be quiet and simply write down everything you love about your life; what IS working for you?! Be thankful or everything hat is already good in your life, YOU created it!

Take a moment to reflect; what would you like to be better? (NEVER EVER say something is Bad, or you’ve done something in a bad way, this leads to a torrent of Guilt, sadness and regret). Instead, what is it that you would like to better in your life?

Do you have broken communication with a family member, lover, friend? Reach out. Communicate. Swallow your pride.
All to often situations escalate because people act with their egos and fear being wrong. Does it really matter who is right and who is wrong? (of course, sometimes it is better to let go if you have been harmed in a serious manner) At the end of the day we were brought into this world to love. Stop acting with your ego, try to communicate effectively, understand that every person is different, with different emotions and morals, and let go of the past.

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You never know what you have until its gone. Famous quote.

 

Do you wake up in the morning pressing snooze (as many times as possible), or does your alarm go off and you wake up ready for what the world will bring you today?

If you are in a situation, regardless of whether it be relating to relationships, weight, career, finance, that you are unhappy with… Only you have the power to change. You can choose how you live your life, in forgiveness, resolving issues, or consumed with regret, remorse, holding onto past negativities.phr ybu7gto

Are you living a life in balance?
I am a sensitive (read, emotional) soul, I tend to take everything personally, and some days I just feel ‘disconnected’. On these days I try to take a moment to myself, whether it be in a Yoga class, at the gym, running or just simply 5 minutes with a green tea, to look within myself and ask ‘ what can I do to feel better?’ Simple. Trust your instinct. You will know if there is an issue that needs to be resolved and if you take a small moment to ask yourself, you will surprised at what comes to you. the answer.

My advice, stop procrastinating (believe me, I’ve practised this art so much I’d consider myself a professional), resolve it. The longer you leave it, whatever it may be, the bigger it will become. If you read yesterday’s post about your mind as a garden, anything you plant will grow & develop, this unfortunately also works for problems and negativity.

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Note: if you feel out of balance, which happens, do something good for yourself. This becomes a healthy habit and you will soon build trust in yourself that when something doesn’t go quite right, or you fall off track, return to this place of well being. (If you noticed, my reflective time to reconnect is through Yoga (soul nourish), gym/running (body nourish), quiet time & green tea (mind nourish).

It’s all about awareness.
Ask yourself, what can I do to make you happy today? Louise Hay

Stop worrying about changing other people IT DOESN’T WORK.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to Change the world. Today I am wise,  so I am changing myself.

The circle of life; things will go right, things will go wrong, but everything will be ok. Trust yourself.

Love & light, Charlie x.

Live a life in balance…

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