How to successfully change your negative behaviors.

A93AF681-B45D-468E-873D-5B19D9535D6FEvery day we lead our life through habits – some of these habits need to be changed to enable us to become healthier and as difficult as it may seem – you can do it.

Whether it’s spending too much money, drinking too much coffee, eating the same food, drinking alcohol every day, drinking too much fizzy sugary drinks, not exercising – these are all habits that can be changed – but not all at once.

What is your goal?

What is most important to you – and what habit is restricting you from reaching that goal?…..start there.

How to change habits

Pen to paper – write down your goal.
What triggers your habit? Find a healthy replacement.
Every time that trigger occurs – use the replacement – i.e. every afternoon I would come home from school/college pick up and crave biscuits – I now have a protein shake ready for as soon as I get back in the door -change this one habit every day for at least a month for the healthier habit to kick in.

You are now asking – how do I do that when I have lots of habits that are not great.

Change only one habit at a time. Changing any habit is difficult. If you try to change more than one habit at a time, you are more likely to fail and then give up on all of it. Find the most important change and start there.

Write it down. Just saying you’re going to change the habit is not enough. Write down what habit you’re going to change so you can see it and read it each day.

Write down how you are going to implement this in a plan. Your plan should include your reason for changing, obstacles (what will stop you from changing, triggers(time of day, boredom).

Start small because habit change is difficult, and trying to take on too big a task will make it more likely that you will fail. Going to start walking each day – start with just 20 minutes every other day and build it up. Want to go to the gym – start with going twice a week and staying for half an hour.

You reasons for change – are they strong enough? You have to really understand why you are doing this, and what the benefits are going to be to you for doing it. If you’re just doing it to look good, this may not be strong enough of a motivator. You may need something stronger. Maybe cutting out fatty foods for you and our  your family – means making yourself healthier, less likely to develop diabetes type 2 and also the whole family are learning healthy habits to prevent them from developing weight related conditions. One cause of obesity is environmental – i.e parents being over weight or obese and passing on the eating and behavioural habits to their children.

What are your triggers. For a smoker the triggers might include waking in the morning, having coffee, drinking alcohol, going out with friends. Most habits have triggers. Identify all of them and write them down.

For every trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. For smokers when you wake in the morning – what can you do instead of smoking? Some positive habits could be: going for a walk, yoga, cooking a dinner for the evening,  the house and more.

Become really aware of self-talk. You talk to yourself, in your head, all the time — but too often we’re not aware of these thoughts. These thoughts can inhibit habit change. They are often negative: “I can’t do this? Why should I bother?It won’t work anyway? It’s important to know you’re doing this and more important to change those thoughts into positive ‘of course I can do this – I’m doing this because I’m important – it will work if I stick to it’

Drink lots of -being dehydrated leaves us open to failure as we feel tired and crave our old habits to perk us up. Stay hydrated!

If you fail, figure out what went wrong, and try again. Don’t let failure and feeling guilty stop you from trying again. You will learn something from failure – and take that with you to carry forward. Let go of the guilt. Try again – you can’t fail if you keep trying.

Have rewards – regularly. You might have these as your bribes – it’s a positive bribe. Write these into your plan along with positive feedback from each day you successfully manage to kick those habits.

Remember 1 habit at a time – complete this habit for at least a month – if you have been successful and feel you got it and can handle another one – add it in.

You’ve got this

How bad do you want it??

ACE738B3-2F3E-4C67-AD3F-54C77149F372My course this weekend has highlighted a few things for me – it was fascinating and scary and would make anyone rethink their nutrition.

The risk of getting diabetes type 2 is very real if your waist size (f) is over 31.5 inches and (m) 37inches – being over weight with a high bmi – eating an unhealthy diet high in sugar and high processed diet – 1st degree relative with diabetes type 2 – an inactive lifestyle.

With this in mind – what else would make you change your lifestyle and get fit. If you are over weight and think you are reaching a stage where you could develop diabetes type 2 – what else will make you rethink your food intake and lifestyle – cause if this doesn’t – then what will?

Pt’s, gp’s, nutritionists and anyone else in the health profession can only help so much – We can advise you what to eat to help you lose weight – advise you on portion control – advise you to move more – but if you stick to your same behaviour patterns of eating food that’s high in saturated fat, eating too much sugar, too much alcohol, too much coffee – and not moving as much as recommended then you will see no weight loss – it’s harsh but it’s true – you could go on to develop problems with joints, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, hormonal issues, Ibs issues and many more weight associated problems –

So what am I saying? – take responsibility for your lifestyle and assess your food – make those changes that will help the weight loss – going to the gym once, twice even three times a week but outside those 3 hours a week you are binging on unhealthy food, drinking a few glasses of alcohol each night and just sitting for more time than moving – then what a shame and what a waste – don’t get me wrong those 3 hours are better than nothing and they are most definitely helping you get fitter and helping your cardiovascular system – but if it’s weight loss you are after – it won’t happen – not unless you and only you make that change.

How bad do you want that weight loss?

Are you prepared to make changes to your life?

Can you cut out some or all of those items that are causing you to put on weight or just stay at a weight you don’t want to be at?

Have you got what it takes to do it?

You know what? You have got it, and it all starts with mind set and wanting to lose weight more than you want that extra food – dig deep, set those goals, take charge of yourself and start working towards what you want – cause I know you don’t want diabetes or something else weight related – do you?

How many hours a day do you sit?

Sitting is an epidemic.

We sit to watch tv – We sit to eat – We sit to read – We sit to work – We sit to drive our cars. We spend so much time sitting and the majority of us sit with bad posture. We slump in our chairs and all the while the load all the pressure that’s put on our spine is causing us to ache more and more.

Imagine the scenario – I spent 3 years sitting on a very comfy sofa, making jewellery for hours and hours – I loved it so much that I always lost track of time. Eventually id stop for a coffee break and attempt to stand up – my back seemed fixed in the seated position each time I stood up – I really had to force myself into an upright position. My shoulders and neck would ache regularly – but I carried on thinking it would work itself out. However, it didn’t – why?

Well you see our body is so clever it recognises how we position ourselves and helps us get strong in that position – so hunched over, shoulders rounded, hip flexors shortened from seated position, lumbar spine loaded as its being transferred directly to the pelvis and sacrum area – all of this means the body decides this is how you want to be positioned so Ill help you by keeping you in that position. Until the compensatory position you are in causes you problems and imbalances and you start aching.

So what can you do? We have to sit, our jobs make us sit, our lifestyle means we sit – we have to sit but do we have to ache.

Counteracting bad posture.

1.Stretches will help massively. Try this – Sit in a relaxed straight position – Your feet should be parallel to one another and arms down by the sides – inhale – exhale and gently pull your stomach toward your back. Knees are a little bent in. Take your arms out to the side and raise above your head and interlace the fingers. Stretch upwards, hold for 10 seconds. Stretch backwards causing an arch in the back, hold for 10 seconds. Sitting straight with neutral spine, stretch slightly to the left, hold for 10 seconds. Stretch slightly to the right, hold for 10 seconds.

2.When you arrive at work – take the stairs! Laugh in the face of the lift and give your body a good stretch and a bit of a cardio work out.

3. Some exercises can be discreet – this isometric glutes exercise is one of them. Seated, squeezed those buttock muscles and hold for 10 seconds, and release. Keep doing this for as long as you can – until those glutes tire out.

4. If you are working from home, or doing a hobby such as jewellery making or crafting – set an alarm clock for every 20 minutes – get up walk about, do some gentle lunges and squats – even do some jumping jacks- whatever it is just get up and move and really really stick to it.

If you want to avoid back issues as you get older and want to carry on pain free doing your hobbies – then really take care of that back. If you can stand whilst working – do it. I know from experience the pain you can get and the posture issues that will develop if you carry on doing what you are doing.

If you need any 121 assistance contact me direct and I will work with you to address any issues.

Taboo subject – jumping jacks and pelvic floor😱!!

This is an issue for women of all age – not just us more mature women. Often it’s not discussed and women just suffer. This issue is common – but here’s the thing – you don’t have to suffer with it.

Yes I’m talking about leaky bladder – that fact that when you jump up and land you feel like you may leak a little. It’s not the most pleasant of subjects to discuss – but I know that most women that read this will be thinking ‘oh that happens to me’ trampolines are a serious no no – and it doesn’t seem to matter how many times you go for a wee before – it still happens.

Pelvic floor problems can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or too tight.

Some people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This might be made worse by doing squeezing exercises and overworking the muscles without learning how to relax. So over doing kegels, not going to the toilet when you need to go and incorrectly performed kegels can also cause a leaky bladder.

What else can cause problems.

1.Not keeping pelvic floor active or over working them incorrectly
being pregnant and having babies

2.Being overweight, obese or having a body mass index (BMI) over

3.Heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
a chronic cough or sneeze

4. Precious injury to the pelvic region and
growing older.

so what can we do?

First and foremost, if you are experiencing any pelvic symptoms it is important to visit your GP to rule out any potential medical issues. However, if you think that overactive pelvic floor muscles are to blame, the best thing to do is to begin down training exercises to help relax your pelvic floor. This is just a starter – but if you have issues there is a link at the bottom to more exercises to help.

Down Training Relaxation -This pelvic floor muscle relaxation method known as Down Training teaches the pelvic floor muscles to relax and release.
1. Laying down with a pillow under the knees for 20 minutes a day will help to relax the pelvic floor muscles.  Whilst relaxing practice body scanning all over the body, including pelvic area. Recognise where there is increased muscle tension and aim for complete physical relaxation by focusing on the area that is tense.
2. Learning diaphragmatic breathing – Slow diaphragmatic breathing  is very important for relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. In yoga you will find this is done regularly.
3. Gentle perineal bulging – this is very gentle bulging of the pelvic floor and should be taught by a pelvic floor physiotherapist it a specialist as bearing down too strongly can actually increase spasm so this must be done gently.

One of the most important things I have read is posture – imagine inside you pelvis is a bowl of water that must not spill back or forward – when that bowl is balanced you are in the correct position and that stops the pelvic floor being put under pressure from incorrect posture. When sitting when standing – just check you are not overloading the pelvic floor muscles.

Visiting specialist physiotherapist or personal trainer that works with pre/post natal issues may be of benefit as well. You don’t have to suffer with this – it’s ok to ask for help.




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