A new year, and the start of a better me.

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Well hello there.  I feel like I’m really only introducing myself properly now with a photo, so hi there again.

I wrote last week about 2014 being the best year yet, and before that how my word for the year was love, with my intention to better love my whole self, body, mind and soul.  So this week I’m writing about what that will look like for me in a practical, everyday sense, in the hope of encouraging others in their own journeys.

I took this photo on Saturday, after a run in the morning and in the midst of planning and getting things done around the house (including an unplanned bathroom renovation – more on that to come!), as a ‘before’ shot to mark the beginning of this intentional health and wellness journey. 

I’ve been here before, but this is the time to take the wholistic approach – Spirit, mind, body and heart – and I’m already finding how much of a difference that makes. I’m not actually making any massive changes – I’ve already radically changed my diet over the last couple of years, and particularly the last couple of months, and I don’t plan on becoming a fitness queen , just committing to moving every day in some form. The biggest change for me is what goes on in my head – ‘I can’, instead of ‘I can’t’, and ‘I will’ instead of ‘I’ll do it later’, and accepting that a couple of minutes of pleasure from eating something that isn’t good for me just isn’t worth it. 

Over the last few months, I’ve worked out that by following a Paleo-based diet, I don’t have any headaches or aching in my joints.  Or feel bloated.  Or lethargic.  And I actually have energy!!!  I love that I’ve found a way of eating that creates optimum health for me.  I don’t like that it means missing out on the foods that I reeeaaallly love (bread, anything dairy, and yes, chocolate), and I’m focusing on not feeling like I’m missing out, rather that I have the incredible blessing of actually being able to choose to eat what is good for my body.

My daughter was recently identified as being intolerant to gluten, sugar and MSG, which means we’re currently changing her diet for her to feel better, too.  For a 12.5 year old girl who really enjoys good food, this is a challenge, but she’s being encouraged by the fact that I’m going through the same process, and my aim as her mum is to be the best role model I can be for her, so in a sense, she’s now my accountability.

I am just so grateful that in this current day and age, all I need to do is type a few words and hit ‘search’, and I can find any grain-gree, dairy-free, sugar-free, additive-free and anything-else-free recipe to add to our menu, making this process a whole lot easier.  Blogs such as The Paleo Mom, Nom Nom Paleo, The Clothes Make The GirlThe Nourished Life, The Healthy Chef and The Detoxinista have provided a wealth of information, encouragement and food options that are easy to incorporate into our family, along with my staple books Against All Grain, I Quit Sugar and The Metabolic Clock.  There is a huge amount of information online and in print, but as I’ve worked out by identifying my personality types, I work best with limited options, so I’m sticking to these sources of information.

Obviously, food and the choices I make regarding what I what eat are a huge part of my life, but it’s not the sole determinant of living in optimum health.  I find it relatively easy to change what I eat – getting moving, however, is a whole different challenge, one I’m still trying to work out.

I have been so unwell that I can’t walk, and had injuries that have prevented me from doing any exercise for lengthy periods of time.  So you would think that when I am well and not experiencing any limitations on my physical abilities, I would embrace any opportunity to move.

Um, no.

I’ve written before about how I give up when it gets too hard, how I prefer my couch and a good book over a walk or a run, and how I really don’t like that about myself.  In trying to change that, I’m focusing on what the barriers are I face every day to get myself moving, where is the resistance coming from?  And to be perfectly honest, I still really don’t know.  All I know is that to get moving, I have to make a conscious choice, and not go easy on myself.  I never, ever regret it, and as much as I may not like the activity at the time, I choose to do it because it is the best thing for my body, and it always feels great afterwards (maybe that’s the key – just focus on the afterwards!!!).  One thing I have discovered is that by having a running/walking buddy that I’m committed to meet up with makes it A LOT harder to skip or reschedule, and is working for me.

Food and exercise are only a couple of aspects of health and wellness for me, but they’re what I’m particularly focused on at the moment.  The changes are really pretty simple – don’t eat what isn’t good for me, and move every day.  Keeping in mind how good I feel when I stick to this, and my desire to be a great role model for my children,  makes it easier to resist temptation and get motivated.

I’d love to hear from you, and where you are in your health and wellness journey.  The beginning?  Middle?  Well-established?  At the I-don’t-have-a-clue stage?  Do you have any resources that you love and are staples in your life?  Please join in and share in the comments, the purpose of sharing my journey is to encourage anyone who comes across my path in life, and I love hearing other people’s stories.

2014 is already awesome!!!

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