Tackling My Eating Habits

What does being healthy mean to me? That’s a question that I’ve often asked myself over the years.

As part of my self-care and awareness journey, I am wanting to become healthier.

What does that mean exactly? Well, although I may not be 100% certain what that means, I am certain that I want to be healthier in my mind, my body and my soul.

The aspect of my life that I am currently trying to tackle is my eating habits.

Previous attempts (and there have been many) of me trying to change my eating habits have always failed. Why? Because I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was always doing it for other people and my emotions controlled how much value I placed in their opinions.

Over the past couple of years, as I have tried to manage my emotions and become aware of what makes me tick, I have learnt that my emotions play a large roll in the way that I eat. My PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) also plays a part. So does my social life. There are many aspects of my life that combine together to form the eating habits that I have.

I am now at a point where I understand myself enough to try and make a slow, steady and realistic lifestyle change.

I acknowledge that things need to change, but I know from previous attempts that there is no magic trick that will change the way that I am overnight. I also acknowledge that I enjoy cooking, I enjoy going out with friends for food and I also have a sweet tooth. I don’t want to deny myself things that I enjoy – but I can, however, cut back. I am wanting to make an actual lifestyle change, so it’s something I can maintain and that I actually enjoy.

I will be posting pictures of some of the meals that I make, create and/or eat on my Instagram if you would like to keep up to date with how I’m going.

Are there any small tips that have helped you change your eating lifestyle? If so, let me know!

Giving Back: Street Appeals

In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering for organisations like the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and the SPCA. A lot of organisations like these run Street Appeals, where people can donate money into buckets that you’re holding outside of stores like Countdown and Mitre10. You may be thinking, “Hmm, I don’t know about that. I don’t like harassing people for money”. Well, let me ease your mind – as someone who is collecting in a Street Appeal, we are asked not to approach people. Instead, we let people come to us, which I think this is really important because no one wants to be pressured into donating!

I usually sign up to the Street Appeals with a friend and we do a two-hour block of collecting. We usually make a day of it and either have breakfast or lunch together as well (depending on the time). We spend most of the time chatting away with each other and to those who donate. It’s quite interesting to see the different conversations you can have with those who choose to donate. Sometimes it can be a real eye-opener, as the person shares their personal connection with the organisation.

It is such an awesome and easy way to give back to others with a low level of commitment. I wanted to get into volunteering for years (specifically at the SPCA) but realised I didn’t have the time to commit to regular volunteering, so signing up for things like the Street Appeals (and other cool one-off events like the Cancer Society’s Walking with the Stars half marathon), I am able to volunteer my time on an irregular basis – win-win!! Why do this? Well, to be honest, it makes me feel good! As I say, it is such an easy way to give back to others, so I think the more important question is “Why not?”. I have found over the years that taking care of myself includes doing things for others and this is just one way that I achieve that.

That being said, this won’t suit everyone. If you want to help out but Street Appeals don’t sound too appealing for you, then perhaps look into other things that you could do – like bake cupcakes for the SPCA Cupcake Appeal or look into volunteering at the Starship Hospital. Whatever way you choose to give back, the organisations and those they serve will appreciate it 😊

New Year, New Me?

At the start of every new year, you often stumble upon the statement new year, new me. I’m not too sure how intensely people unpack this statement, but from my own experiences, it often has a shallow meaning behind it.

As a society, we place a lot of emphasis on the beginning of the year, as though it’s the only time we have to enable change in our lives. In reality, January 1st is just another day, and there is no reason why we have to wait until then to make changes in ourselves or our lives, other than using the upcoming date as an excuse.

A few people I follow on social media have decided to ‘opt out’ of the new year, new me statement this year, by saying “New year, new me? Yeah right”, so it got me thinking.

This blog, this journey and my life, in general, is all about becoming self-aware, empowering myself and others and generally trying to be better. It’s about acknowledging that we all have faults and things we don’t like about ourselves, we are all different, and we all have things we want to improve on in our life. The statement new year, new me challenges me, as it indicates that the old me was no good and the new me will be amazing. I don’t think we should have that mindset because although we are forever changing beings and will always have things to work on, we are all amazing.

I think it’s important that we learn to love ourselves as we are – something we can do while simultaneously trying to better ourselves. No one is perfect, but we can aim to achieve a better and healthier lifestyle for ourselves. Everyone is different, and therefore every person has their own definition of what it means to be happy and healthy – think, what does it mean for you? Rather than thinking new year, new me backed with unrealistic resolutions or meaningless goals, think about some lifestyle changes you can make. These could be anything, big or small.

Do you need to buy a coffee every morning? Should you wake up and meditate for 15 minutes before work? Could you tell your loved ones you appreciate them more often? Always wanted to pick up a new hobby like dancing or playing an instrument? Could you save an extra few dollars per pay?

It’s your life – make changes that you know will be realistic, beneficial and empowering. Happy new year!