Posts made in June, 2015


Mel Collie | 2 Reasons to Stop doing Crunches (and what to do instead) Ok, my last post was on adrenal fatigue…and one of the things that makes us tired is over training at the gym, usually because we’ve bought into the marketing idea that flat abs will make you happy, more desirable and sexy… So, if you believe that to be true (it isn’t by the way) I would love to share some facts with you about crunches.. 1. You can do loads of them , many about 22,000 of them, which burns a pound of fat, thats all. How long does it take to do that many crunches? You tell me…I can’t be bothered to even work it out. However, a point of your lovely fat contains 3,500 calories. Still doing crunches? 2. Ok..you’ve got a LOT of time on your hands. But, heres the thing, this is time you could spend doing other stuff that actually makes you happier which = improved self esteem, and when your self esteem bank account gets a boost, it tends to mean that the next time it gets a knock back, you won’t feel it as much because you’ve got some reserve in the bank account, hugely powerful stuff when you are worried about what other people think of you and your body. 3. Sit ups can give you neck ache and back ache, when done badly. I recently had a couple of friends staying for a couple of days and one of them had a baby recently, 3 years ago in fact. Her line alba hadn’t yet knitted back well (Google: diastis recti, it will tell you all you need to know)  and she was doing a well intentioned Pilates class twice a week, but at a big brand name gym in a class with lots of people, it hadn’t really helped her out, she’s now considering surgery. . I spent 2 years going to similar classes in a gym. You won’t get individualised attention. It isn’t geared towards that. She wasn’t to know, not her fault at all. I know physics and chiropractors recommend Pilates, but also know that they have clients coming to them with pain from going to Pilates sessions at gyms because of the amount of people in each class who have certain things going on that a one size fits all class won’t be covering. Crunches will not help a post pregnancy belly at all, it will create more problems for the muscles and pelvic floor, find someone who has been on a specific course on the issues that need to be addressed. Check...

Read More

Are You Tired In The Morning? 2 Ways To Wake Up With More Energy Do you find it hard to get up in the morning, then find that later in the day you do wake up and then cant get to sleep? Do you have anxiety and crave salty and sweet foods?  If you have ever heard of adrenal fatigue, you aren’t alone. Its something I notice when I’m tired  & over stressed, so, this is what adrenal fatigue is and a couple of simple things you can do to overcome it. What are adrenal glands? They sit on top of the kidneys, and secrete different hormones, one you may have heard about it Cortisol. Theres a cascade of hormones that trigger this though, before the Cortisol is released. This is the science bit – Your Hypothalmus (part of the brain) secretes a chemical corticotrophin releasing hormone. Its the bodies first level of action when we have a stress response to a threat.  Stress response, feeling anxious, feel that life under threat, the body believes it, so secretes hormones as an expression of reality to what it believes is a threat, the body reacts, does that make sense? A threat can be a utility bill on the mat, the bank account not looking healthy, a deadline at work, not feeling part of the local community, a relationship issue. So, your hypothalmus secretes the hormone, sending message to pituitary  gland to secrete adrenal hormones, which send message to adrenal glands to release , amongst others, cortisol being the one you have probably heard about. So when we are under stress which is . for many of us, constant – anxiety, worrying thoughts that don’t go away, the hormones are secreted all the time. Our body is always at a Fight, Flight, Freeze reaction. This means Cortisol is always at a high level in the body, you might find that belly fat hangs around for longer than it used to and is hard to shift, it takes more than regular dieting and doing crunches or going for a run. You find you are tired, hard to get up in the morning but hard to get to sleep at night as well as craving salty or sweet foods. Replenishing your system is the way to work with your body and your bodies responses. 1. Deprived of sleep, working at the office, deadlines to meet, families to look after, training at the gym for hours, can all lead to chronic fatigue. Sometimes we have to reach the point of pain in order to stop and take a look at our life and see...

Read More

Mel Collie | Are You Normal? Stop it Now… 3 ways not be normal in the trendy fitness world right now could be these… 1. The trend is to exercise to be slimmer, tone up, work the abs, well, maybe as far back a when Jane Fonda started wearing leotards, we’ve always been exercising with flat abs as our goal, why is that? Are we worried that is we don’t have flat abs then we won’t be loved, won’t look good naked, it will reduce our confidence in the bedroom? Who said that in order to be more desirable we should be slimmer and more toned? Is it true? How about we stop thinking of exercises to give us a six pack …(are you aiming to be on the front of a magazine? if you are, share your story of dedication and what it takes)  its not consistent, doesn’t last a lifetime and can burn you out,  Could we try to change the word “exercise” , one that many see as torture, boring, a chore, for “play, movement” and practice cartwheels, handstands, forward rolls, tumbles…do things you did when you were a kid. They are awesome for reduced pain and increased alignment. When the body is in alignment it works beautifully…check out www.amnacademny.com 2. Could we scrap the word diet, which in our modern day vocabulary, now means restriction but..it  didn’t used to mean that at all..we have changed it through the years, words change as we change, instead , pick a different word, why not use the word “nourishment”. When you choose that word, you choose to eat foods for your wellbeing, rather than eating “clean”for 19 – 30 days  because its a trendy thing to do right now. You don’t hear the stories of what happens after that. Maybe we should hear more truths. Maybe nourishment is more sustainable. Would you rather nourish yourself that diet? This is remarkable, as it gives you permission to remove from your vocabulary “bad foods”  and “good foods” Did you know you can actually test a muscular response to things like sugar? I will do a blog post on this one day, but for some people, nuts are good and for other they aren’t. Realising your bodies reactions to food can open up an understanding to how your unique nervous system works. 3. Your metabolism changes all the time. So what works today for you may not work next week, so go with the flow,  as my Body balance instructor used to say…It doesn’t mean that you failed, far from it! It means you are a great listener. And great listeners are...

Read More

Mel Collie | Can You Relax Away The Belly Fat? Did you know, theres a hormone called Cortisol that increases in our bodies when we are more anxious, worried, stresesd, sleep less?  Did you know that stressing when you are eating is like eating with a bowl of soup laden with cortisol? That means, if you are on a diet, and restrictive eating, and hating it , you are more than likely to find that results are slow coming, that belly fat isnt budging. How can you lower those cortisol levels? Try these 2 simple ways…   1. Relax (I know, you dont have time and relaxing is for wimps…) A couple of years ago, I went through a relationship break up and  wanted to go away for a while. I chose to jump in at the deep end , going on a beginners weekend silent meditation retreat in Devon at Gaia House that a friend recommended. It was bliss….just what I needed. Fear puts us off doing so many things doesn’t it? For me, the silence aspect meant I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I quite liked that! Especially as you were sharing a room with 2 other people, if I didn’t like them I didn’t have to be nice all weekend…as we were all being quiet, and all there with the same aim. meditation doesnt have to be like that though, it can be choosing to do something you love every day, like taking 10 – 20 minutes to go for a walk, play a musical instrument, have a bath, read a chapter of a book, have a nap, go for a massage. 2. Eat. Take your time eating …it can take time to prepare meals (the prep time is also like a meditation, calming, social, methodical), but it can take a few moments to demolish, watching the TV, looking at a lap top, texting , driving. .not noticing the food we’ve just eaten.  Instead, take 20 minutes and chew the food really slowly. Look at the food on the plate, notice the colours, the textures, when you chew notice the flavours, the spices, the textures.   Choose simplicity : ) By taking time to calm down, to find how you would like to meditate you give yourself permission to be just you for a moment, you can pick up your worries and stressors afterwards if you feel like you cant live without them and need them. That is your choice. We all have a choice what to pick up and what to put down. Some choose to meditate quietly every day for 15 – 60 minutes, morning ...

Read More

Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor – Know the names? A Hiatus is a word that can be used to describe a gap in the program schedule of a TV series, maybe your favourite series ended in May and it has a Hiatus until September. Its bittersweet isn’t it really…you love the program and don’t want it to end, yet you also love the long summer nights (hopefully the sun is out…) and want a break away from the TV to do fun things! So, there is a Hiatus in your Pelvic Floor! Only its always there, it doesn’t come and go! But it is a gap – and one that has to be there, as its called a Urogenital Hiatus which is at the front insertion of the levator ani – an area free of muscles which is there to help you when you are ready for childbirth(so I’m relating to the female pelvis here..obviously..!) but also the area for the vagina and urethra. So its important that the Levator Ani has good tone to support the internal organs in this area – we are mainly concerned with the bladder and the uterus, as a weakness in the fibres can cause prolapse or incontinence. However, a stressed lifestyle, which can also mean someone who has nutrition stress or dehydration (lack of nutrients and drinking more caffeine than water for example) can have too much tone in pelvic floor muscles than too little. Reducing stress by looking after ourselves more, even if its 4 minutes a day, can help reduce pelvic floor muscles that are too “tight”, you can then see that doing more tightening pelvic floor muscles on top of this doesnt do much to help. The Levator Ani is a powerful muscle consisting of 2 main parts – it’s also a horseshoe shape and is made up from bundles of muscles – part one is: 1. puborectalis and pubococcygeus, which start from the area of the pubis and slings around to the rectum the lateral part is called the iliococcygeus all important for the internal organ support. 2. coccygeus muscle – which is found behind the levator ani and stretches between the spine of the ischium( can you see the ischium in the picture here) , sacrum and coccyx(tailbone) Now you know more about your pelvic floor (applies to men as well…a healthier pelvic floor helps improve sexual performance) one of the easiet things you can do to help relax it is to breathe through your lower belly. Place your hands on your lower belly and breathe in pushing into your hands with your breathe, hold for 4...

Read More

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Be Enough


Posted on Jun 6, 2015

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Be Enough There is a saying , and many other positive ones to add to it, that goes around the social media sites that proclaims that you are enough, and you should know it by now.. Well, its true of course, you are enough, so am I, so is the person that you don’t like very much (that’s a tough one…) However, many of us don’t believe that we are enough, often. Reading posts that tell us that we should be reminded that we have a right to be here on the planet, to be heard, to know that we are gorgeous just as we are, don’t sink in when there are other things going on in our life that are harful to our survival.That are threats to our wellbeing and future. Your brain is a complicated thing. It only asks you 1 question, can I survive this. When its not sure, it will slow you down and make you think and do things that you might not choose to do in happier circumstances. Healthy eating, fitness, your flat ab goal for a summer beach body (thats a whole other story I will touch on next week..) any goals you have, will be put aside whilst your brain puts survival as priority. Theres no such thing as being weak willed, you are never that. Ever. Your brain has a hierarchy of threats, the first one being respiration,, of course when thats reduced it thinks you arent going to be here much longer, so it has to slow you down, your movements, digestion, energy, until its happy your future is no longer under threat of survival. …even sex goes out the window, the last thing a threatened brain wants is to reproduce, it seeks safety first. Threats can be as simple as an unexpected bill in the post, moving house, being judged by others, a feeling of disconnect with the family or in the town/village where you live. The next time you beat yourself up about not feeling that you are enough, look at other areas of life first 1. Good old stress..the S word is common nowadays, but too much and your brain will be stuck in FFF – Fight, Flight or Freeze 2. Cortisol production increases, and with it comes increased belly fat, relaxation, meditation, daily walks, deep breathing, massages, all contribute to lowered cortisol, its not all about how much exercise you do, too much of the wrong kind for your body and you may not be seeing the results you want. be kinder. 3. Friends. Feeling part of the tribe,...

Read More