Everyone has an opinion about nutrition. 

It’s a conversation I have often. It’s also a conversation that I hear often.

Good nutrition seems to have become very confusing and often contradictory. How has this happened?

I think that it is mostly due to literally every single person having an opinion! That opinion is based on our history, beliefs and values. We all eat, we have all eaten – in a way we are all nutritionists trying to navigate through mountains of information. Of course, I also have my own opinion! I have been interested and intrigued by food for many years.  It’s a conversation that excites me!  Hopefully with this knowledge I have picked up, I can sort through some of the confusion.

JUST LIKE A CAR

Think about nutrition like you think about your car.  There are heaps of different makes and models. Everyone likes something different, everyone has an opinion. Different vehicles suit our ever-changing lifestyle. However, all vehicles have some basics – wheels, an engine, seats, suspension……..

Food is kind of the same. The basics are there, if we can get that right we can then add the extras.  The problem with nutrition is that a test drive to know if it works for you or not can take months, years or even decades – certainly much longer than a cruise around the block!

CHANGE AS WE LEARN

Unlike a car, there is so much about the human body that we still do not understand.  As we learn more we also learn more about what we need. That’s evolution. That’s saying that we used to believe in following one set of guidelines and now we have learnt, grown and evolved, we need to follow another set of guidelines. What we need nutritionally isn’t set in stone. Our lives change and with that we must be open to changing the nutrients we need to function – or indeed to function at an optimum level.

THE FOOD INDUSTRY

The food industry is made up of corporations that will try and sell you their ‘healthy’ options because they will make money. Your decision impacts their profit, so they will do everything they can to ensure that you purchase their product. Food holds emotional power over our decisions. Food companies use this to sway our emotions to purchase their product. (The Kinder Surprise is a classic example of this. Who wouldn’t want to give their child one of those!) If a car dealer was this pushy we would never go back!

(On a side note please remember that the word corporation (as a body) comes from the word corporate, corpus and corpse. Not sure that it’s a good idea to get our nutrition from a dead body.)

AND THEN THERE IS SCIENCE

To add another layer to our nutritional and food decisions we have ‘Scientific Research’ – sometimes this can be enlightening and at other times be incredibly misleading. (Thanks, Ancel Keys.) Scientific research is expensive. Given that, it often needs government money or big corporations to fund it. So often we blindly follow both – thinking that they have our best interests at heart. Do they? Really? Or do they have their own interests at heart?

HABIT OR ADDICTION?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard something along the lines of “I just had to…..” or “I can’t wait to have…..” or “I couldn’t resist…..”

Often it’s a habit that’s lasted years or decades, often it’s an addiction – the food industry spends a lot of time and money finding that ‘bliss’ point which becomes highly addictive-  so the company can then continue to make money off your addiction  – “once you pop, you can’t stop”. Let the profits grow….

NUTRITION EXPERTS

Whilst it may not seem so, there are quite a few things that nutrition ‘experts’ agree on. Just to be very clear, I am not an ‘expert’… or am I? I eat every single day, have maintained the same body weight for over 30 years, I sleep well and have a mountain of energy for my day! The only serious illness I have had was pneumonia and I read – a lot! I like to read, listen and watch everything and anything I can about nutrition. I have been fascinated by nutrition for as long as I can remember. Therefore. I feel that even though I have no degree I am an ‘expert’.

FOOD LABELLING

Companies spend a lot of money getting the packaging right, to tempt consumers to purchase their product. You may be swayed by a colour, size, picture or words. So often we trust what we read and when it comes to food we need to question the words. When food is labelled as being “low” as in salt/sugar, fat make sure you know how much it is referring to. For years Nutri-Grain was advertised as the breakfast cereal for champions – in fact it has one of the highest sugar counts of any cereal. Champions don’t tend to start the day with a sugar hit.

Check out the nutritional information. The nasty ingredients are hidden by long words and numbers. If you don’t know what it is I would suggest you apply some curiosity and find out. Yes, that takes time. Remember that the company that made the product is hoping you won’t make the time. Their interest is in selling you their product for profit. Take some time and get curious before purchasing. Make your dollar count and make sure you are purchasing a product that will maintain or improve your health.

So, what does everyone agree on? (Including me….)

⁃              We are in a food, obesity, health crisis. That is clear to everyone. We are more over weight, have more serious health issues, have more ‘food’ available than ever before and it’s making us sick.

⁃              We are what we eat. This is not a new concept as it was first written in the 1860’s.

⁃              “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates has been telling us this for a few years…. (431 BC)

⁃              Our thoughts are powerful. Negative thoughts create health issues and can cut 7 to 10 years off your life. Think healthy thoughts for a healthy body.

⁃              Sleep is the foundation for good health. Without regular, restorative sleep our bodies struggle to maintain optimal health.

⁃              The importance of gut health continues to grow. Without good gut health we have chronic inflammation. Look after your gut microbiome, the bacteria in your gut is key to good health. The root cause of many of our diseases is gut inflammation.

⁃              Our portion sizes are too big, we eat too much, too often.

⁃              Drink more water and less soft drink and sugary drinks.

⁃              Drink less alcohol. Remember before an injection the area is swabbed with alcohol to clean any bacteria…. see point above about gut health.

⁃              We need to drastically reduce the processed food we eat. The more processed it is the more it will harm your body. Everyone agrees that when you put it in your mouth it should resemble its origin. As a general tip the really processed food comes in a few layers of packaging.

⁃              If the food you are eating has a lot of numbers or long words that you can’t pronounce it is no longer food and is likely to be harmful to your health.

⁃              Eat slowly. We have become a world where it is normal to eat on the run, standing up, in front of the TV, in the car. Take time out to focus on the fuel you are putting in your body.

⁃              Eat more vegetables, that are fresh, seasonal and cooked in a way that keeps the nutrients in.

⁃              Eat whole grain products in small quantities. The low carb diet created significant nutritional change for many – mainly because our carbohydrate intake has blown out of control. Eat less processed carbs and small amounts of the good ones – rice, pasta etc. Check out the amounts of rice eaten in Asian countries and the amount of pasta the Italians eat – it’s much less than we have in Oz.

⁃              Food cannot tell time. We need to eat our main meal with time to digest it and create movement before sleeping.

⁃              We need to limit sugar – everyone agrees that sugar is not good for our bodies…. but many people are still so sugar addicted.

⁃              Eat foods that are nutrient rich. Our natural food sources are being depleted of vitamins and minerals that are incredibly important for our health and longevity.

⁃              Stop eating processed meat. It’s highly probable that it’s carcinogenic and that’s bad – carcinogenic is cancer. Stop for a moment and think about what is in that sliced chicken meat or hot dog. You know it’s not food that is going to be good for your body. Even the nutritional experts that say we should eat meat do not recommend processed meats.

⁃              Eat 3 meals a day – morning, noon and night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals have been around for centuries. If you are eating nutrient dense and the right portion size, then 3 meals will be enough. Nourish your body regularly throughout the day.

⁃              Snacking (if you need to) is having something small to eat that is packed with nutrients and not kilojoules.

⁃              Man made fats like Trans fats are bad for us. Eat lots of other fats – nuts, seeds, avocado. Are you still eating margarine? There is not a single shred of goodness in that spread – that’s agreed upon by everyone! Good fats will fill you up with good fuel. Bad fats won’t make you feel good – usually they are the ones that have had a lot of Human Intervention (H.I.). If you find fats confusing think about its source. If you compress and squeeze vegetables will the result be vegetable oil? It will be water right and not oil?

When it comes to nutrition we are all incredibly different, with different backgrounds, opinions, habits, cultures, addictions, finances…. the list goes on. There is no one size fits all when it comes to nutrition. However, there are foods and food habits that are good for our bodies and we know which ones they are. There is a LOT of agreement. If you can find your inner expert, you will come to the same above conclusions. Follow them and you will certainly be on the path to better health.

Pant’s on, pant’s off – stand up!

Last month I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Functional Aging Summit in Orlando.  It was one of the best experiences of my life! What we can do, what we can achieve as we age has no boundaries. It just takes a little bit of time, a little bit of effort and most importantly some focus and determination to remain active. From there the opportunities are infinite!

As a Personal Trainer I have been given the AWESOME opportunity to create a positive change in people’s lives – not just for now but for years and for decades to come.

One of my favourite tips came from a bloke called Stephen Jepson. His website is http://neverleavetheplayground.com/about-stephen-jepson/ Have to love that – Never Leave the Playground!

You may have already been doing this without thinking about it – time to think about it!

Pants on, pants off – stand up!

As you are getting dressed and undressed stay standing. None of this sitting down business. It’s great for your balance and co-ordination. If you find that you struggle, then take it back a notch. Lean against a wall and get dressed/undressed. You will get better at it – I promise!

It’s worth trying isn’t it?

If you have any questions just shout!

Please – protect yourself, protect your family and protect your FB friends. 

 

Please be security conscious when using FB.

Yesterday we had a ‘situation’. It was one of those times when one thing led to another which led to another. Thankfully there was no nasty outcome but there could have been….

Before bed we lock the door, close windows, lock the car, know where our keys and purse/wallet are – subconsciously we are making ourselves and our family safe.

FB is public – and the scope of the public is millions. It’s a game of numbers so there are going to be people who are trying to scam you. The obvious FB scam is your identity.

  • Regularly check your security settings.

FB changes all the time. It is constantly growing and evolving and with that our security may be compromised. Personally, I go in and check it out every other month and update my settings. There is always something that has changed, and then I change it back.  Go to the arrow on the top right of your screen and in the drop down box you will see Privacy Settings.

  • Be aware of the information you are broadcasting to the FB world.

We don’t tend to stand on street corners and call out our date of birth, the name of our first teacher/pet/car, our mums maiden name. These are all security questions used by other companies and institutions we do business with. Those posts that ask questions about your history were not designed by your friends to know more about you. That’s what coffee catch ups, and dinner nights are for. Those posts were designed by hackers – it’s a trap…..

  • Before accepting any friend request have a look at the profile.

How long have they been on FB? How many posts are there? How many friends do they have? How many mutual friends do they have?

A good hacker will use the name of one of your friends and may already have your friends on their friend list. No one sets up a new profile – EVER!

If someone came to your front door and looked like a friend but was dressed differently, walked differently, had a different voice you wouldn’t let them in, would you? Check out the profile and if it doesn’t look right delete the request.

  • Never give away your personal information via FB messenger.

Sounds pretty obvious but hackers are good at what they do and what they want to do is steal your identity. The will pretend to be your friend and have ways to get you to hand over details. Things like “Do you mind if I have a parcel dropped off at your place? I just need your Driver’s Licence number, so they can check.” Of course, you want to help your friend. Instead pick up the phone and call the person who is asking you.

  • We need to be vigilant.

Put together a security plan. Just like you do before you go to bed. Before long, it will become second nature. If you see something suspicious on a ‘friends’ FB profile or have a strange request let the real FB friend know. There is every chance someone is using their FB page. It’s the same scenario if you knew that there was someone inside your friend’s house. You wouldn’t walk on by. You would sound the alarm, make some noise, turn the lights on. Frighten the burglar off – they will run if they think they will be caught.

Please – protect yourself, protect your family and protect your FB friends.

 

Gaining knowledge….

Learning new skills and watching clients learn new skills is SO interesting! When we head out for a Road Route it becomes very clear how we all learn in different ways.   Everyone looks at the map in a different way  and everyone needs different ques to learn how to navigate themselves around.

There are 3 main types of learning. At training I try to combine the 3 ways to capture everyone’s different style of learning a new skill (or repeating a skill).

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Kinaesthetic

Often, we are dominant in one form and use the other two to reinforce our new skill.  Until I did my PT course in 2002 I had never considered how I preferred to learn.  It was a massive game changer for me then and is something I am mindful of every single training session as I “teach” members new skills.

Having that AHA moment back in 2002 literally changed my life as I had spent 16 of the previous 32 years thinking I was dumb…. School had always been challenging for me. I studied hard and the results were average or below. Discovering that I was a visual learner changed everything.  As I studied the bones of the body I drew the bones out, used pins and made myself a huge skeleton. His name was “Bones” and he hung around on my door frames for months, so I could learn the bones of the body. I’m a visual learner – reading from a book, repeating the names, hearing the names did not work for me. I needed to SEE the bones.

When I describe Road Routes I tend to use visual and verbal cues and will use my hands and turn my body to describe the various corners and straights.  Members will pick up on the cues that are important to them and if in doubt will just follow someone else!

Of course, when it comes to learning and teaching, external factors come into play quite often as an outdoor trainer. Planes fly overhead, cars and motor bikes race by, lawns are moved, bins are emptied, wind, rain, sunsets, sunrises, cute dogs……They all become distractions.

Internal factors play a significant role on how clients learn. We have stressful days, illness, sleepless nights, issues with food, partners, kids, traffic, hydration…. the list is endless and impacts our ability to learn.

It’s said that knowledge is power. When it comes to knowing how you gain knowledge – well that’s super powerful!

 

 

 

More care, less plastic

I was 14 years old – it was 1984 – I asked mum if we could find another option and stop using plastic bags for grocery shopping. I haven’t used them since.

I don’t say this to gloat, pump my ego, or to make you feel bad – it’s just the way it has always been for me.  It’s so deeply ingrained in the way I think – to not only recycle and reuse but whenever possible, to not use in the first place. I always had a deep mistrust of recycling…..hmmmpf – with good reason it seems.

One thing I have never done is judge how the people around me use plastic.

I have always believed passionately that MY impact can make a difference.

However, now I think that it is time to please ask EVERYONE to find an option and not use single use plastic water bottles.

Please do not use them.

Ultimately, they are not kind to the environment, your health or your purse.

Approximately 22 BILLION plastic water bottles end up in landfill every single year. How do we even estimate how many end up in our precious lakes, rivers and oceans? They may be convenient to use but for the environment, the impact is forever…that’s not very convenient….

Reusing single use water bottles is not the answer. They are manufactured to be used once and once only. To use repeatedly is risking your health.

With regards to your health, water bottles used to be made with BPA. BPA was found to be linked with pretty much every human disease known! There is now another evil found in plastics which is called Phthalates. It makes plastic durable, transparent, flexible and ironically gives it longevity.  The impact on our health may be even more catastrophic than BPA…..

Another reason I have never used single use water bottles is I calculated the cost of a litre of water and just refused to pay that much for something I can get for free from the tap. Bottled water costs between $10 and $15 a litre – exorbitant!

Now you may be thinking that if bottled water was really that bad for our health than the manufacturers and the government wouldn’t allow it right? Well, I don’t think they actually care. It comes down to profit and winning the next election. When you look at sponsorships for many of our sporting competitions you will see that the companies that make single use water bottles are involved.  It’s big business and your health is just not that important to them.

At times it can seem overwhelming. At times I have thought that all my efforts have no impact. It only lasts a moment…..

We have a choice.

Every day we can get up and stand up for what we believe in OR we get up and give in.

When it comes to my health, when it comes to the environment, when it comes to YOUR health I am NEVER GIVING UP!

So, let’s work together here – together we CAN make a difference.

Be well, stay well.

Over the years I have talked to many members about how to feel better when they have a cold.

As a child, I suffered dreadfully with colds. These days I am rarely sick.

I use the following tips when I feel a cold coming on.

The best tip of all is to think “Be well, stay well.” I believe that you get more of what you focus on – so focus on being well.

Embrace the cold, embrace the Winter – there is nothing you can do about the seasonal cycle. Focus on what you can have an impact on and enjoy the seasonal changes.

The seasons will roll along and life will continue and before we know it Spring will be here.

You have a sore throat and can feel a cold coming!

Drink honey and lemon tea.

In a cup of boiling water add the juice of half a lemon and a heaped teaspoon of honey. This may sound like an old wives’ tale, but it’s been around a long time because it is simple and effective. The honey will help soothe your sore throat, while the lemon helps to clear up a blocked nose.

 Manuka Honey is both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Pick one that has at least 10 UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). It tastes delicious and instantly soothes the throat. Don’t be put off by the high price tag of a high UMF. A little bit goes a long way and a jar will last you a long time.

 Gargle with warm salty water and baking soda.

Gargling salt water helps to moisten the throat and fight infection, as salt is a natural antiseptic. Try adding a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and stir to dissolve. You can add a little baking soda to help take the “zing” from the salt away.

 Stay warm.

It is important to stay warm during your illness, as a cold can leave you feeling weak and shivery. Wear plenty of layers during the day and cover up with extra blankets when sleeping or resting in bed or on the couch.

 Turn on a Nature Direct Breathe Easy.

Nature Direct’s Breathe Easy cleans the air by removing pollutants and allergens. It uses a completely plant based natural formula that will cleanse and purify the air helping you to breathe a little easier.  Shout out if you would like to try mine.

Drink up but stay off the coffee

Staying hydrated will reduce the effects of many symptoms such as headaches and sore throat, while also preventing dehydration. Hot teas and soups are a good way to increase your liquids whilst also helping to relieve sinus congestion. The caffeine in coffee will not help your cold symptoms. Have you noticed that when you are really sick the coffee craving disappears?

 Blow your nose only when it is necessary and use soft, good quality tissues and moisturiser.

Constantly and forcefully blowing your nose can lead to a build-up of pressure and trapped mucus in your sinuses, which may become infected. Blowing your nose helps rid the body of mucus helping you to decongest and it is certainly better then sniffling – especially for those around you! So be gentle – don’t force it.

 FESS is a fantastic nasal decongestant.

It’s non-medicated so can be used as often as you like.

An alternative which has become very popular in recent years is flushing out the sinuses with a Neti pot. The Neti pot contains a saline solution which is poured in one nostril and out the other. This thins the mucus in the nasal passages, allowing it to be flushed away. I have never been brave enough to use this but if I was ever seriously congested I would give it a go!

Essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil can help clear the nasal passages and make breathing easier.

Add a couple of drops to a bowl of warm water and then soak a face cloth in the water, wring it out, then use it to cover your face and let it sit there for a couple of minutes while you inhale deeply.

Make up an oil with a good carrier oil and rub it on your chest and feet before bed.

Put a few drops in the bottom of the shower and inhale the steam.

Take some time off work – your health is worth it.

Your work colleagues will not thank you for sharing your germs.  When I give this advice I often hear that it is easier for me as I am self-employed. Well in a way it is. When I get tired I lay down for an hour or so and I feel much better afterwards. The reason I will head for a power nap as soon as I feel unwell is because I really cannot afford to be sick – as I’m self-employed in an owner-operated business!

I believe that a few hours of rest (or a luxurious day) prevents a few days or weeks of not being able to do my job.  It makes me much more productive and effective which has meant that I have been able to continue to run the business over many winters.

Get to bed early.

Your body needs all its resources to fight the cold virus so get to bed early and get as much sleep as possible. Try to keep your head raised while sleeping, as this will assist with the drainage of your nasal passages. If you do not give your body the rest it needs, you will continue to feel unwell.

Change your pillow case every day while you are feeling unwell.

One snotty night on your pillow case is enough.

 Usually a cold will go away within 3-7 days. If it is over 7 days, visit your Doctor.

Clinics are filled with sick people this time of year and there is very little that a Doctor can do for you. Of course, if symptoms persist…….

How often do you have a cold and just as you are feeling better you are sick again? Having a cold will compromise your immune system – so do everything you can to protect and support your immune system.

Take a Multi-Vitamin supplement.

Taking a supplement packed with essential vitamins and minerals is an easy way to boost your immune system. (If you are interested in trying the Youngevity power packed BTT then just shout!)

 Eat garlic.

Garlic helps to protect the immune system with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation.

Zinc up.

I first started taking Zinc when I lived in the UK. Over there it is a very popular choice as it not only prevents colds but if you do end up with one you will probably recover sooner and experience less severe symptoms.

 Get lots of vitamin C.

Although the effectiveness of vitamin C in stopping colds is widely disputed, I certainly feel that it shortens the duration and severity. I tend to take a fairly large dose in a short period of time and I’m totally ok if it is a placebo!

 Echinacea – placebo or real?

Echinacea has also been widely disputed by experts although some studies claim that Echinacea can both decrease the likelihood of developing a cold, while also reducing the duration of a cold. The key is to take Echinacea as soon as you feel the first symptoms of a cold coming on. I have also found that a supplement derived from the bulb of the plant seems to be more effective. Blackmores do a liquid Echinacea – disgusting yet effective.

Olive Leaf Extract – one of my favourites

Pick a high-quality extract as the taste does improve with quality. Olive Leaf extract works so well because it is packed full of antioxidants and supports your immune system. It is ideal for sore throats and nasty chest coughs.

 Stop the spread of germs.

The reality is that when you are out in public it is entirely possible that the person next to you has sneezed into their hand and then touched something that you are about to touch. You then rub your eye and the cold virus is transferred – it’s that easy.

Sneezing into your elbow is a way to stop the spread of germs – even more effective if you have long sleeves…….eeeewwww!!! It sounds obvious but head to Southland and check out how many sick people there are out and about. How many do you think washed their hands after sneezing into them?

Throughout the germ season wash your hands often and wash them well with warm water and soap. Pay attention to this during all stages of a cold as the cold virus can easily be shared. Sharing is nice – sharing your cold is not so nice.

Stop the spread of germs.

The reality is that when you are out in public it is entirely possible that the person next to you has sneezed into their hand and then touched something that you are about to touch. You then rub your eye and the cold virus is transferred – it’s that easy.

You get more of what you focus on – so be well and stay well.

 

 

I’m a Youngevity distributor!

Moving and fitness is my thing. Moving gives me energy and strength. 

I’m intrigued by nutrition – the way we can fuel and heal our bodies with food and supplements.

I live with gratitude for the world around us. Nature never ceases to amaze me, along with how destructive and disrespectful humans can be to the world. 

Helping people is my passion. It has me bounding out of bed every morning – keen to make a positive difference. 

Jeanette Anderson and the Nature Direct products stepped into my life nearly 9 years ago. It was an instant connection as I loved the products and Jeanette’s passion to make a difference. 

Recently Nature Direct was placed under the Youngevity banner along with many other health products. Jeanette approached me and asked if I would be interested in joining the Youngevity tribe. 

I looked at the Youngevity products, trailed a few products, listened to Dr Joel Wallach and Dead Doctors Don’t Lie and I was HOOKED! 

I am often asked why I take supplements when I have a healthy diet. The answer is simple. The nutritional benefits from our food are compromised at every step along the way, literally starting from the soil. Despite eating real food, I am a healthier and better person when I use supplements. When it comes to supplements even they can be compromised. Quality is compromised for profit. 

Youngevity shares many of my values. They care about health, they care about the environment. Profit is distributed to everyone on my upline. When I grow and have my own down line they will also benefit financially. 

Youngevity are a tribe who are positive, energetic, uplifting, supportive – my perfect fit 💕

 

Please contact me direct if you are interested in finding out more about the Youngevity products and special pricing for your first order. Let’s chat if you are interested in being a distributor 😊

Mobile – 0438 765 335

 

Oxfam – 100km!

What a massive weekend it has been!

Step Trekkers smashed out the 100km’s! Today we are tired and sore but flying high on our achievement.
We all made it across the line which was awesome. Last year only 42% of teams did.
Our time was 24 hours and 11 minutes. The average time for teams is 28 and a half hours.

Personally I felt really good over the distance. My stomach was a little uncomfortable for most of it. You know you have to eat but your digestive system shuts down as the body focuses on the areas that need more attention. I also struggled with sleeplessness – not that I wanted to sleep. More the opposite! I was kind of in a bubble, which wasn’t a bubble as I also felt incredibly grounded. Totally aware of the team, hearing their voices and foot falls. The sounds around you are amplified. It was a crazy kind of feeling being on the track for so long – very surreal.

This was Colleen’s 5th Oxfam. She was given a gold bandana to wear. Full respect for getting out there and doing this for the 5th time knowing how incredibly gruelling it is for the body and mind. Her experience and wisdom was priceless.  This was also ‘unfinished’ business for Coll and her best time over the 5 events.

Greg was amazing on the hill’s! He says he had trained but I think he has hooves the way he flew up those hills! Quite spectacular to watch as he blasted up and away! Greg’s easy going attitude and sense of kindness was a source of inspiration along the way.

Chris has been a constant source of motivation for me, for many years now. His incredible resilience and strength was solid gold!

We were lucky to have some great support, for which we are all very grateful.
Renee met us at Checkpoint 2. Her laughter was a great lift to my spirits!

Graham and Sylvia met us at our first stop at Checkpoint 3 – 1000 steps. Sylvia surprised us with much welcome icy poles!

At Checkpoint 4 we had Graham, Sylvia, Emmeline and Colleen’s husband Armando meet us. It was our first big stop and they were amazing!

Checkpoint 5 was a big stop – 58km’s in. Colleen had said if we can get to that one ok it would be a game changer and she was right. Armando, Emmeline and Graham had set up ‘camp’. We also had Greg’s sister and Joanne. Jacqui Harvey came out to meet us as well which was wonderful. Jacqui was one of our first members and owns Yarra Valley Gourmet Foods. She has been so supportive of our fundraising – it was uplifting to see her smiley face there.

Checkpoint 6 was our last major stop before the end. Graham, Emmeline and Armando were there to support and encourage us. At 71.3 km’s this was challenging! So weird to go back onto the very flat track and keep going – especially knowing what was ahead. At this point my head was starting to play tricks – weird!

Checkpoint 7 was a quick one. Armando, Emmeline and Graham were sound asleep at this stage. As soon as we arrived they were amazing – it was up and action to get us what we needed and back out on the track for the last gruelling 15.4km slog.

We entered the finish line with a jog – Colleen’s idea! It was a real buzz to have energy still left at that point! Armando, Graham, Emmeline and Joanne met us. The support, hugs and beers were most welcome! HEY! Don’t judge drinking at 9am until you have walked 100km’s in 24 hours!

The 50km teams started on Saturday and from the beginning they were challenged with the out of control weather. So brave to get out there and still give it a go despite the conditions.

The Go Girls team – Anne, Kaye, Simone (who did Larapinta with us last year) and Chelsea (Simone’s friend) – managed it in 12 hours. Unfortunately Kaye had to drop out with foot issues.

The Stepping Up team – Caroline, Louise, April and Jen – made it through in 11 hours 24 minutes. Unfortunately Caroline slipped early in and April struggled with wet feet and blisters.

It would have been a tough decision to drop out, but the best one for the team – to allow them to continue. We had a plan that if someone was to drop out then they would at a Checkpoint and let the team continue. So grateful we didn’t have to go through that agonising decision.

Once again the 50km teams had amazing support from Sylvia, Emmeline, Graham and Kevin. Kevin is a friend of Glynn’s and Cheryl’s and has been a massive support for us over the last 6 months.

Thank you to everyone who supported us – for your support on the ground, for your text messages and facebook posts.  It was incredibly inspiring and uplifting! Glynn – your jokes were brilliant! Thanks to Dianne for the ATP supplement – it gave the body incredible support along the way.

Thank to all who supported us with $$. So far our combined effort to Oxfam is almost $8400! That makes an incredible difference to a lot of people’s lives – for those who don’t have the abundant lifestyle that we have.

It’s been a massive 6 months. I have done strength training EVERY single day! Added flexibility and stretching in there. Focused on my nutrition and hydration. Walking training in the last 3 months has been 3 to 5 times a week – that’s a lot of planning, organising and time. It’s been amazing to have this kind of focus and to spend so much time with Colleen, Chris and Greg. It’s definantly been a growth experience – I’ve learnt a lot about myself and been able to look at the world in a different way. It will also be quite a relief to go back to a ‘normal’ life!

Thank you once again – onto the next adventure 🙂

 

Elly is 6

Its Elly’s sixth birthday today.  Those that know me well, know that I think birthdays are important to acknowledge. It is both a celebration of the day we were born and an acknowledgement of how many years we have had.

With Elly it is a little different. I picked her up on the 17th March 2012 and after she moved in I realised that my life had become pre-Elly and post-Elly.

This little ball of white fluff, with the cutest, cutest face needed me for everything. Relying on me for all her needs made me feel needed.

2012 was a ruff (!!) year for me and on those bleak and grey days, play time with Elly filled me with laughter and joy.  We still have play time every day – at least once if not twice! 

I had to learn to communicate with Elly. Watch her tail and ears for sadness and happiness. There are no false appearances. Her tail and ears are a gauge and an indicator to her emotions.  She is happy over the smallest things – a run around on a grassy oval. A roll in something smelly – bliss!  It’s a reminder to embrace the simple things in life because they can bring you so much happiness and make your tail wag or bring a smile to your face.

Elly is a feisty dog. She takes her role to protect me very seriously. She always has my back and that makes me feel grounded and supported.

If I am away for 2 hours or 2 days she greets me with an abundance of tail wagging. She is so happy to see me. Her unconditional love fills my heart.

Thanks to Elly I have met a lot of people and made lots of friends.  Heading up to the park and meeting my puppy friends is a real highlight of my day.  Before I had a dog, I said I didn’t have an hour spare in my day to walk a dog. Which is kind of funny as I find at least 45 minutes every morning and night to walk her – as she needs it. The time is important to her and the time has become important to me. I always come back from my dog walks to the park or the beach feeling restored. 

Pet ownership is an emotional commitment because we know that there is a good chance they will not have as many birthdays as us. There is every chance we will watch them grow old and pass away.

Pet ownership is a lesson in gratitude. To be grateful for every moment that we have with them. To be grateful for every day. So today my heart is filled with so much gratitude for this little white ball of fluff.

My baby is 13 today!

Early 2004 I had fallen in love with Step into Life. Loved the training, enjoyed being outdoors, found the sessions fun, thrived in the positive environment. 

Had been a 1 on 1 Trainer for about 18 months and was working full time in a job I didn’t enjoy. It was time to Step into My New Life. 

Those early days were busy, chaotic, life changing – the business thrived and so did I. In those first crazy 4 months Joanne, Margaret and Dagmar came into my life and never left. I feel incredibly grateful to have consistently trained these  3 strong, kind, courageous women for so long. 

Things settled down in 2005, 2006., 2007. The business steadily grew. Bill, Colleen, Graham, Judy, Linda, Chris, Tracey, Tori, Cheryl, Viv, Mirella, Graham, Jeannine, Julie, Kate, Marcia, Tamara signed up and are still training today. We grew strong as a community, lessons were learnt, goals were ticked off. 

 In 2008 it was time to add 2 more challenges – fundraising and adventure. Raising $15,000 for Save the Children is something I still feel incredibly proud of.  Heading to Vietnam and seeing how the money was spent was life changing. Emma Roberts moved into my home and helped make it happen. For 6 months it then unravelled a little as I struggled with pneumonia. I thought my days were numbered. My Step family supported me, I was humbled and grateful. Anne and Greg joined us that year. 

 2009, 2010 and everyone was talking about the GFC. It didn’t seem to have an impact on Step Chelt though. When things look bad our health becomes more important. Amidst the chaos in the world, we thrived. Belinda, Chris, Glynn, Jeanette, Julie, Kaye, Meredith, Miranda, Monique, Renee, Ron, Rosemary and our beautiful Jane joined our Step family. 

2011 and 2012 saw a flood of PT’s on the market and I thought that Step Chelt wouldn’t survive. I was exhausted and demotivated. Things had to change and with the support of my Step family and the gorgeous Lisa, changes were made. The van was purchased, Saturday mornings were handed over to Joel and now Moran. Angela, Sylvia, Stephen, Richard and Meaghan joined the team. 

 The last 4 years have been challenging. The market is different, things change. Some things stay the same though. We still want to connect with each other. We feel better when we move, laugh and are outdoors. Sessions are still fun, positive, inspiring. New members have come along and instantly become absorbed by the Step family and our little community – Adrian, Agnes, April, Belinda, Caroline, Chris, Emma, Jade, Jane, Jenny, Joan, Kate, Louise, Mark, Maxine, Norma, Oksana, Olivia, Rachel, Rania, Stav, 

Last year as a good year for growth with Clare, David A, David T, Leanne, Luci, Trevor, Norma, and Lucy joining us. 

This year our community has grown a little with Jo, Danila, Simone, Nick, Emmeline, Steph, Megan Sam, Raquel, Marve, Judith, Helen, Ian, Emily, Emma and Bronwyn 

 Over the last 13 years there are around 1200 members who have joined our community and for various reasons moved on.  I can only hope that they have created a few positive changes to their health and fitness. That’s the ripple effect of a strong community. 

Last week, having a team of Steppers to fundraiser with and trek Larapinta with, was an incredible experience. Time and time again the other trekkers would say to me that we must have a lot of fun at training. “We certainly do!” was my reply! One of our fellow Larapinta trekkers described the experience as Courage, Connection and Care. They are 3 words that would also describe our Step Community. 

13 years is HUGE! Lots of things have changed but in a way a lot hasn’t. 

 This teenager still loves being a Group Outdoor PT. We still have fun, we still laugh, get results, achieve things we never thought we could. Most importantly we still look out for each other, we care about each other, support each other – in the good times and the challenging times.  

 

Being a teenager is going to be fun – bring IT ON!!