The why of

It’s so important when you start off on a lifestyle change to answer the question why?

If you are doing it for anyone else other than yourself, it leads almost every time to failure and resentment.

Most of us need to hit rock bottom, before we get off our buts and do something about our health or our lifestyles.

I know I am one of those people, I am generally comfortable in my skin. But as I get older, I am finding that I am loving the women staring back at me in the mirror a little less with every kilogram that she has put on.

Getting healthy and losing a little weight is my mission right now! I am tired of being tired and tired of being too stiff to bend down and put my socks on. Real thing, happened to me this morning, I have managed to hurt my one hip and bending from the waist while sitting is very painful…

So what have I done, to fix this?

I am writing down my goals and I stepped onto the scale this morning.

I am committing to drinking more water every day, I hate the bland taste of water. I was adding lemon and orange slices for the first few days and my joints starting aching. The high acidity of the citrus didn’t agree with me. I am on a mission to find something else to add to my water to make it a little more palatable. If you don’t like it you won’t drink it.

I always laugh when I read about how adding just 15 min of exercise to your  day will help with weight loss quicker. I dance roughly between 6 and 8 hours / week and some how I am still picking up weight, but then I only dance in the late afternoon and at night. Maybe I need to add something else in the morning. So I am adding a 15 min stretch to my daily routine, in the morning with my morning coffee.

Stretching is so very important, and with my current joint pain is the best option. High impact exercises and joint pain do not go together!

So two small commitments to start me off with, water and stretching. Once I have these two set in place, I can add another small change.


Look Good Feel Great

In a previous blog, I talked about the fact that I was reading Joyce Meyer’s “Look Good, Feel Great”.

Now I know she isn’t some health guru, but she has written powerful stuff on the way we self talk.

So why, did I pick up her book? Well, she is an ultra busy lady and she has maintained her figure even though she travels extensively. I am always interested in how those ladies who have such busy work schedules manage to stay healthy and fit.

So did I learn anything new to add to my “I wish it was daily” routine? Not really, but it did confirm that I am on the right track.

#moderation is key

#10min of little excerise is better that none at all everyday

#emotion check before that chocolate

#drink water (I like mine with a little lemon)

#snack healthy

#love yourself (I know some days are super hard!)

#focus on how far you have come and not how far you must go

#don’t blame you genetic’s


How do we nurture ourselves?

This is something, I’ve felt very challenged by these passed few weeks!
If the question had been how do we nurture our kids, our husbands or our students – I have quick easy answers right and ready for you.

How do you nurture one’s self?

Now I’m not so much a girlie girl. I’m not into make-up and hair and nails and quite frankly those kind of things cost money, which is pretty tight at the moment!

So, when asked recently how I nurtured myself, I was quite blank – UM?
What had I done recently that nurtured me?

I dance, but can I call it nurturing at the moment, when every minute is spent working on a new project. I recently started working in the mornings again and all that free time (45min to 2hours) I had while my daughter napped is gone. By the time I get home after work and errands, her nap is usually done and she is ready for her mommy and me time, before we start supper and I get ready for evening classes.

I used to do a lovely long bath(not so much with water restrictions), where I read and add hot water till I’m all wrinkly. (Don’t judge, I’m aware of the lying in your own filth thing!) But currently those books are not easy readers, as in my spiritual walk, I’ve been really challenged by what I’m reading.

I’ve not picked up a sewing needle to do any quilting (my current skill I’m learning), my knitting is happening on the rare occasion I do get to sit still and watch some TV, I’ve not had time to practice any of the new stitches I’ve learnt recently. Sewing – right now it’s all about getting the dance students outfits ready for the show!

Yes, I’m totally the crafter – I love to work with my hands and see things grow and it helps with my very impatient nature, as making a blanket takes time and effort!

So, how do you nurture yourself?
Somewhere, I need to find the time to get back to my projects, so that I can nurture me, while I create fun stuff for family and friends.


How we look and how we perceive ourselves has been on my mind a lot lately.
I’m currently reading Look Good, Feel Great by Joyce Meyer.

My stand as a health and fitness instructor is moderation, and making little changes to your everyday routine. Being healthy and fit is a lifestyle choice, fad diets and crazy workout regimes, get you quick, “unkeepable” results. Breaking bad habits and replacing them with new better one’s takes time and commitment and trying to fix 3 or 4 at once is a recipe for failure.

I know there is some of you going, but I did it all at once – Awesome, but most of us fall in the trap of tomorrow, or just this once or time, kids, husbands, work, stress (come on you can think of a few more excuses I’m sure) For those of us with “mental blocks” on our will power, slower is better, slower is easier and easier makes it doable, when you are juggling, work, husbands, kids and trying to fit in me time and a social life!

In our family a popular eat out is “two for one burger special”
White bread, deep fried onion rings and chips (all so not great for a healthy eating plan)
My tip (it’s what I do whenever we do go):
Hubby and I order the rib burger (it’s a double patty) and replace my onion rings and chips with the veg of the evening.
I donate me bun to hubby and have yummy flame grilled delicious ribs with pumpkin and creamed spinach (I generally struggle to finish the portions).

Small changes, make a big difference!

I had a discussion just this morning about the coffee, fizzy drinks and how much water is enough debate.
I simply cannot get through a day without coffee, I also cannot have it after 3pm, unless I’m planning on staying up very late. I have about 3 (ok maybe 4) cups, between 6am and 2pm. Not ideal, but right now it’s very last on my list of things to address….

Besides, the small changes in our eating habits. Carving out time to be active can be hard, there is always dishes to do, clothes to mend, washing, work projects!
Finding that thing that goes, “that’s for me” takes time in itself. But once you have found it, finding the time for it becomes easy!

Obviously mine is dance – I love how I feel, when I’m moving around to music!
I’ve tried, running, walking, gardening, gym, yoga, Pilates and I eventually found an excuse for each of these activities. I have nothing against them, and I love to walk and do yoga, but not enough to get me out to do the activity on a regular enough basis!

Another option, is to grab a friend and try things together. But keep in mind, that you might mind find your thing before they find theirs…

Who is that looking at me in the mirror

We have just done a series about body image and this morning I found myself, wondering who is that lady in the mirror! Some days she looks frumpy and some days she looks fat, but today she looked “slim enough”!

It got me thinking about how we see ourselves and how our moods play such an important role in what we see.

We have been in class and seen the terror on first timers faces when they are confronted by the full length studio mirrors (a very important rule – you may look at yourself and at the teacher, but not at anyone else – no comparing yourself to anyone else). The rule helps somewhat, and when we start laughing and exercising and getting to know each other, in most cases that terror abates. I have had students, prefer the only spot in the room without any mirror. (It’s in front of the inter-leading door to my house) even if they get there early and can choose a spot, they still go in front of that door.

As women, we are constantly bombarded with images of what we should look like, an image that is unattainable for most of us! It takes hard work and commitment to love ourselves as we are. I find that exercise helps a little. I say a little because sometimes those wounds run so deep, that your journey to self acceptance is long.

A weighty problem

Choosing a healthy life-style is hard work and commitment, between kids, day jobs, hubby and running a dance studio, me time to be able to prepare your mind for the challenge of making healthy choice’s just doesn’t always happen.

Each of us are wired differently, I find climbing on a scale regularly, helps keep me motivated. Working out with a friend, works for others, working towards a goal is also helpful for some.
We need to find that little thing that will help keep us on track, so that we stick to it.

Now of course the next question is how do you find your happy weight. Many years ago, I subscribed to the “Shape Magazine” there was an article about your ideal weight that struck a cord.
It was all about finding a healthy medium, not “goal weight” but a weight you can comfortably maintain, without giving up every single creature comfort.

I have stuck it on the wall of the studio, to remind me that my goal, should not be “thin / skinny”, but it should be comfortable.
So I ended up working out an eating plan that allowed me to enjoy my chocolate and my liquorice, without breaking the bank on “fad diets”, “starvation plans”, and all the other crazy extremes out there. Am I at my goal weight, sadly not yet! The journey is on going, every day see’s us needing to choose between easy and healthy.
I started working again and easy was my only “sane” choice, right now I’m working on finding that balance again to be able to make the healthy choice, without loosing my sanity or dropping any one of a dozen balls, us moms are juggling at any given time.

Quite honestly, I would much rather be playing with my three year old or dancing than making supper choice’s.
Today is an example of it’s going to have to be easy, I’m not feeling 100% (I’m having a need chocolate kind of day). There is a pile of sewing that needs to happen for our end of year showcase, I haven’t thought of supper. This afternoon see’s me popping into the shops for a few odds and ends (bread, milk kind of things), which means that I’ll also buy something quick and easy to pop into the oven for supper and that chocolate I so absolutely need today.

Happy space

It was my husbands birthday last week and his dad used his holiday club points to book all three brothers plus families into a lovely resort in Jeffreysbay.

We had amazing weather and loads of fun together. Our little mouse is 3 and loves the water, I slipped her into a poliotter and we went swimming in water that could have been a little more warmer!

Rose loved it, I had actually forgotten how much I enjoy swimming. Summer last year wasn’t very hot and I can count the number of times I actually swam. I am looking forward to more swimming this year, it’s a great non-impact way to exercise.

When it comes to exercise you have to choose something you love to do or you won’t get up and get it done!

For me that one thing, I love to do is – DANCE.

I was very sporty as a kid and if it was a ball game, I could master it quickly. I had no rhythm, I did some modern dance as a kid. But it never really stuck!

As an adult, I have enjoyed Yoga and Pilates. Hubby and I have done ballroom dancing and I have tried some contemporary dance.  But my all time favourite style has to be Oriental Dance. It’s the thing that gets me up in the morning and gets it done!

My fitness class, pulls from all that experience and we dance ourselves fit. We dance ourselves into loving ourselves. It’s hard to be grumpy when you all of a sudden that combo that has been bugging you clicks into place!

Find your happy space, that one activity that elevates your heart rate and gets you moving.