Mel Collie

Assessing Movement. Not Muscles.


Mel Collie | What happened when I stopped eating “Clean” So many diets, so many statistics showing us that obesity is an epidemic, an overburdening NHS with no money and out of date health advice leaves us confused, unsure about what to eat, when, calorie counting, colour counting, weighing, guilt..this confusion leads to overwhelm and overeating, thats why I stopped eating “clean”…sounds like a crazy thing to do when theres an obesity epidemic, but I think that the trend of eating clean/paleo also has its issues that no ones talking about. It can be totally the wrong thing if you are anorexic or have eating disorders as its another way of controlling food. (What is eating clean? Eating clean means no sugar and a whole lot of fresh food thats not processed.) Obesity hit the headlines again today about the fact that fat doesn’t make you fat.. Its something that us health and wellness instructors have known a while Its important to eat fat, avocados are actually good for you, as are nuts and seeds and butter. Whole milk is better than semi or skimmed milk. If its low fat its not healthy for you, its full of chemicals that your Liver doesn’t know how to break down and use. Veg and healthy body movement makes a big step towards a healthy future for your body, which means less burden on the NHS and on your heart. Flora is rubbish..its not good for you..butter is, its a healthy fat as is coconut oil. However…as good as you are at eating well you will have days when you don’t…and want to eat sugar. And thats ok! Its ok to eat in moderation, have chips, cookies, cake, chocolate. Im sure that you will go out for dinner and have a pudding, and thats ok, as long as at the time you actually enjoy it, without the stress of feeling guilty, thinking it will all make you fat and sick and you’ve fallen off the wagon. We are doing less activity in our lives, but we are rewarding ourselves more, thats why sitting in front of the TV is a great pastime with a bowl of crisps , we love the reward..but don’t like the task. And the task is? Working your body, like its supposed to. Stressing the body by moving it. We are creatures of movement, hunters, gatherers, our brains haven’t changed or evolved to accept or understand modern stress. We now sit in front of a screen and don’t move for hours. We wonder why we get fat, sick, with painful joints. We don’t challenge ourselves anymore, we love...

Read More

Mel Collie | Effective abdominal exercise you probably aren’t doing… Sit ups are popular if you are after an abdominal exercise, and thats ok, as long as your lower back and neck aren’t doing the actual sit up work for you, and you are also doing other stuff as well, like rotational exercises for example, power lives in rotation if its a great midsection you are after…however, the most repetitive exercise you do, every day, is breathing, the overlooked muscles, the diaphragm, is a major part of your core, and if your aren’t breathing well, you are using your neck muscles, which means your inner core stabilising system is well and truly on holiday… How to use your breath effectively Practice – lie on your front, gently allow the lower belly to press into the floor as you breathe in This can be very tricky for some of us, as we are told to pull our bellies in all the time to create a look of having a flatter belly, when in fact what this does it to encourage breathing into the neck and chest…I’m guessing they are tight enough from sitting at a computer all day or driving for a living, or watching TV most evenings. Your shoulders don’t need any more tension. So, when you exhale, the lower belly will come back by its own elasticity. You may feel light headed and dizzy. The brain may not be used to having as much oxygen as you are now taking in, because you have been a shallow breather for a while. You may also find that your blood pressure and heartbeat come back to a normal range for a human being. How does that diaphragm move? When you exhale, it relaxes upwards, like an umbrella, pushing out the used air into the lungs, this is why, an exhalation, when lobber than the inhalation, allows oxygen to be pushed into the blood supple. When you inhale, the diaphragm contracts, it collapses downwards. If this is the first time you are practicing this with awareness, its better done lying down, so you don’t also have to consider posture as well. Practice it for one repetition before you get out of bed,and before you go to sleep Just 1 rep? Yes…just one – if I ask you to try it for a minute x 4 a day, you might do that for a couple of days, then forget, because life takes over and practicing breathing may not seem so important to you when the kids are screaming and you’ve got the shopping to do , the dinner to cook and the...

Read More

Mel Collie | Is it true?You are a biased liar…! I’m moving house…its all happening over the next few days Moving house is the most stressful thing.. And last night it snowed..today we should be packing, cleaning , and all that stuff..but we want to go outside and play in the snow On top of all that my legs are aching from yesterdays 5 hour walk amongst the mountains of Snowdonia I could do this easily: stay in the house, complain about my aching muscles and pack up the house, feeling sorry for myself.. or change my story I chose to loved those aching muscles, a result of a fabulous walk over great mountains and wonderful scenery…then the distress over having those aching muscles just vanishes, along with the painful ache.. The packing can be done tonight, tomorrow and Friday…we don’t have a lot of stuff…no big pieces of furniture, just a landrover full of bags and boxes. All I did was ask myself if I believed my story Turns out I didn’t I was lying to myself, finding excuses as to why I couldn’t do something… We do it all the time..I bet you do it too..why you cant lose weight, why you cant eat healthily, why you cant just have 2 biscuits, why you cant just eat 1 square of chocolate, why you cant go for a daily walk, why you cant go to bed earlier, why you cant spend more time on yourself…etc Its one of the hardest things you will do in your lifetime You believe you hate heights..its a lie You believe you cant do it..its a lie You think you should have the abs of a 20 year old …its a lie You give up because its too hard…its a lie Looking to have instant results? Its about the long term vision. It has to fit into the lifestyle you already have, its a recognition that you aren’t the same person that you were, its about asking yourself  …does this work for me..are you looking for a new method. a new way, a new way of thought? Change the way you think, which changes the way you act Change the way you do ..which changes the way you think They lead to the same thing A new and improved you If thats what you are searching for… Its basic human nature to want, looking around the next corner..wondering whats next. Our software has evolved not to wait for anything, forward plan.. Thats why 14 day fat loss programmes sell, they sell you the instant result. Does it last? Probably not…does that mean it...

Read More

Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? If you were watching daytime ITV last week, you would have witnessed a conversation on Loose Women about weak pelvic floor and leaking. It wasn’t discussed in a manner that was very helpful to other women who find this embarrassing or want to stop this happening, but don’t know where to begin, who still believe squeezing and core exercises are the way to go for a”strong” pelvic floor. A strong or weak pelvic floor can leak. A weak strong (yes, your muscles can be both) pelvic floor can be “tight” because its working for other muscles , and if its doing the work of other muscles, its exhausted (weak), and does not need any further strengthening without the other muscles its compensating for being strengthened first. For example, the glutes, external hip rotators or inner thigh muscles could be unorganised, which is another way of saying they aren’t working in harmony with the other muscles in the movement chain, maybe because of an injury, a scar- which can inhibit other muscles working well, or just sitting for a living So, if you are doing pelvic floor exercises and they aren’t working, stop,it isn’t you, and you aren’t doing anything wrong, have a go at doing something else instead. Heres 2 things you could start to work on instead: Awareness of your jaw clenching throughout the day. The jaw and pelvic floor fascia is connected, but the brain can also make the connection to use the jaw for strength, especially when during childbirth you clenched your jaw , the connection between that and pelvic floor contraction and relaxation was made in your brain – what gets fired together gets wired together…Clench your jaw, is your pelvic floor more toned when that happens? If it is, you cant walk around with a clenched jaw all day…or, maybe you have.. Breathing. Its becoming more commonly known now, thankfully, that proper breathing using the diaphragm rather than the upper chest and shoulders can improve intra-abdominal pressure, thus improving pelvic floor tone , that doesn’t especially mean making a strong pelvic floor weak or strong, but making it work in tune with the other abdominal muscles and diaphragm, so they all work well together, they are more organised. Slow breathing can be practiced before you get out of bed in the morning and when you get into bed at night, in the bath or any other quiet moment to yourself – you need about 60 seconds each time to practice at first. Allowing the exhalation to be a little bit longer than the inhalation , as this is...

Read More

Mel Collie | How To Feel Lighter


Posted on Apr 21, 2016

Mel Collie | How To Feel Lighter When was the last time you felt light? I don’t mean lighter as in weight, so don’t go jumping on the scales…they are for dieters and we all know restriction leads to your body going completely in the other direction.. I actually mean lighter in your life When was that? When did you last feel bubbly inside, like those Vitamin tablets that dissolve in a  glass of water , bubbles fizzing away, when did you last do something that left you feel like that, all effervescent inside , interested, curious,excited. What were or are those little patches of light or sparkle? What was the last thing you were curious about, that you wondered about. It could be such a small thing, its almost not even worth bothering about, in fact you probably ignore it altogether. I have one right now I have a curiosity about macro photography. Everyone I follow on Twitter has been doing grand landscapes..but some are doing different stuff, I’m fascinated by ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) and Multiple Exposures, shots that makes you think and you remember, not photos that tell you what is there already with pretty colours and stuff and you forget a second later…Im curious about macro shots, small stuff, detail, microscopic photography, I have a patch of light about it, a sparkle or interest. I spent hours researching it yesterday afternoon..its sparked my curiosity Now what not to do is to tell yourself its silly, its nothing grand and wont win you the lottery or make you ££££, because thats a sure fire way too kill ideas before they have even had a chance, its a sur fire way to kill any passion.. But , what if you just to followed it See where it lead you.. You have no clue why you feel these little patches of light But they just feel good It feels right If you don’t follow it, if you don’t listen to it, then you may just be depriving the world a glimpse of the human being that is you. Even if it touches one person. Even if that person is just you If you were not afraid of anything, nothing, not afraid of other peoples judgements or of your own (and that can be huge!) then what would you do for a living? What excites you, what grabs your curiosity…what do you wonder about? It my just be those little sparks of light that are you, become meaningful, become your passion..which could just change your happiness , wellness and even your life, without you even trying to steer the...

Read More