Monthly Archives: June 2015

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Be Enough

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, connection, safety, belonging, cuddles, eye contact, all help increase a hormone called oxytocin. Its made in the brain, in the hypothalamus ( you never know, you might be asked that on Mastermind one day…), too much stress = less oxytocin, the love hormone, helps reduce anxiety, is produced in abundance with human contact, eye contact, during sex , so, to reduce stress, go and cuddle your best mate or other half or the kids right now , ok even your teddy bear if you still have one..(Ive got 6…!)
4. Keep promises. Don’t cancel that massage, don’t cancel the drink with your best mate, dont break promises that you make for yourself. Promised yourself that you would do a few things this year, (remember new years resolutions?) did you want to take up Yoga or Pilates? Did you want to try a new type of food? Did you want to go travelling ? Did you want to read more? Walk more? Go to bed earlier? Have that bath and light those candles and relax more?Doing things for yourself doesn’t mean selfishness, it means you have more of an abundance mindset, so when you are happier and at peace with the self, you have more to give others.

Yes you are enough, but sometimes just reading it and bashing yourself over the head with it isn’t enough.Take a step back and lay some foundations.

Remember, your brain seeks survival. When you recognise that you are stuck in those reactions of fight, flight, freeze, be kind to yourself and take time out. Simple acts of deep slow breathing will send a message to your brain that all is well. Then some of the positive messages might sink in, stay there and you get those “lightbulb” moments ūüôā

Mel Collie & Chris Tuck
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Get more lightbulb moments by working with Mel & Chris over at their website, you can discover more here:
www.survivors-of-abuse.com

Mel Collie|5 ways to work with the Menopause

Mel Collie|5 ways to work with the Menopause

I was 50 this year..but my Menopause was apparant ¬†10 years ago, I started going through it in my late 30’s, however, I was lucky, the night sweats and other things associated with the Menopause weren’t that bad, and the reasons now, looking back on that time, could have been because I was making different choices around nutrition and lifestyle due to a redundancy and change in career. Wow, thanks to that redundancy!

If you are going through symptoms right now, or are noticing that your body isn’t reacting to things like it did in your 20’s , then these 5 ways might just help you out too. (here’s a science bit first though…)

The hormone that helps us keep muscle tone and help keep belly fat stable and not increase is Testosterone. The hormone that increases belly fat is cortisol, even though we all need cortisol, too much of it doesn’t help us out. I will give you some ways to drop cortisol and increase testosterone. Keep reading…

Testosterone drops after we get to 45. Its less than half the level we had in our 20’s. So, staying the same with choices in nutrition and exercise, are a little bit crazy, doing ourselves more harm than good in expecting our bodies to react the way it did 20 years ago or more. Give yourself a break!

1. Grains and milk increase insulin in our bodies, this means that Testosterone drops too. Reduce the amount of grains you eat from day to day. If you drop them all immediately, you might not find that sustainable, so make changes you are happy with and are sustainable long term. If you love fruit or toast for breakfast and cereals too, change from having them every day to maybe 1 – 2 mornings a week only, and instead make time for omelettes, scrambled eggs, salmon and eggs (that’s a lot of eggs!) ¬†Green smoothies, protein shakes. If you don’t do breakfast, then thats fine if that works for you. ¬†Now, one way of breaking out of the “I cant eat that for breakfast!” is to look at that thought and question it…is that true? Is it really true? Maybe its time to change that thought and see the first meal of the day as just that, another meal, which means you can eat a stir fry, a chicken salad, a chicken omelette, soup, sounds a bit weird doesn’t it. Take a few times to realise that its not all that bad, and that it fill you up for the rest of the morning, so grabbing something to keep you going at 11am disappears.

2. Zinc – add some zinc into your day, 30 mgs a day is about right, no more as too much interferes with the bodies ability to absorb other minerals.

3. Sleep – get some quality sleep in, easy to say though isnt it…I was a terrible sleep, always taking at least an hour to actually get to sleep! ¬†If you are super busy, and using that as a reason that you just cant get to bed by 10.30 , for 5 times a week, look at why that is, and can you change a few things around? Can you get to bed by 10.30pm, for just say, ¬†3 nights a week, and then build it up to 5 ? Is it possible to switch off the laptop/tablet/tv so your brain gets time to wind down. Replace the social media for a bath, reading a chapter of a book, walking around the garden, standing outside and looking at the stars as you take 10 slow deep breaths, simple things, doable things, like-able things that nourish your brain and body . Good sleep helps testosterone levels. Lack of sleep helps increase cravings for carbs the next day, also relying on caffeine too increases cravings for sugar and reduces quality sleep, increases stress and reduces Magnesium levels.

4. Exercise – ok, heres the thing, if you are still doing loads of exercise and thinking doing more and more is the answer, stop that right now. Here you are, not sleeping, stressing, running around, doing loads of things for everyone else, spinning all those plates and then you decide its also a good idea to train hard too, Its like a punishment for your body “Im going to beast you so you had better give me those results!!” ¬†Its going to dig its heel in and not budge, in fact over training and under recovering will increase belly fat. Switch those hour long classes at the gym for 20 – 30 minute sessions of HiiT (High Intensity Interval Training) BUT…only 1 – 3 times a week, that’s all, don’t do them everyday, that’s not the idea. Pilates and or Yoga will also help 1 – 3 times a week.

Now, the most important thing is to walk everyday. Yes, that’s all, that’s the magic ingredient, go for a walk. 30 minutes a day is something to aim for, 60 minutes even better, but don’t stress about trying to fit that in, start with the time you can do, then build it up over the weeks ahead. Me…I never walked anywhere..when I started to go for walks, I found it so BORING, unless it had a purpose, ¬†like simply walking to the shops, walking around the park (hated that…) ¬†had no reason why..until I changed my thinking and realised that just to walk was a gift, how fortunate to be able to walk and have the opportunity to walk in nature, see the trees, the flowers, say “hi” to others also doing the same, feeling the wind in your hair, just being on the planet – sounds a bit geeky doesn’t it ūüôā ¬†This simple walking in nature things reduces cortisol, reduces stress, helps our brains cope with the day to day stuff we have to deal with, calming and balancing, now thats what I call a purpose to walk.

5. Stress – already touched on this in the above, nut here’s the science. Stress is inevitable, it can be as simple as a deadline at work, kids driving you crazy, worrying about the future/past, ¬†financial worries, nutritional stress, judgements from others, worrying about fitting in and keeping up with others (stop comparing yourself to others on social media!) Cortisol (fight, flight or freeze) blocks the effects of Testosterone, they compete, so if sex life isn’t happening because your sex drive is low, this could be one of the reasons, plus, if your muscles find it hard to tone up and belly fat isnt shifting look at what feels like a threat to you right now.

6. Extra one for you, is nutrition. Apart from the grains we talked about earlier, how much fat are you eating? Good fats like avocado, nuts, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, butter – good fats help boost testosterone, actually help drop belly fat, however, don’t then reach for a big bag of peanuts and eat the whole lot. A handful or 2 , find what your body needs. ¬†My favourites are almonds, a handful or 2 (maximum) 3 or 4 times a week, avocados 3 – 4 times a week , eggs everyday (I love omelettes, boiled eggs mashed with butter, fried eggs in coconut oil with watercress).

Join my Menopause help list, emails every week with advice and stories on how to cope and whats going on in your body and brain.

Heres the link:

http://eepurl.com/bc1J7z

See you there.

Mel Collie

 

Mel Collie |Happiness for People who Dont Get Positive Thinking

Mel Collie |Happiness for People who Dont Get Positive Thinking

I know, me too, I go for all those cutey photos with words written on them, them 2 seconds later forget them as I stress about the morning ahead, getting things done by the deadline, what to cook for dinner, cleaning the house, making sure everyones happy…etc etc..

Positive thinking, in actual fact, for many of us humans on the planet, doesnt work. Im telling you the truth, and heres the reason why…(the same for setting goals and vision boards…that become invisible boards)

and what you can do about it..

Stick with it, because I’m going to be scientific..

1. Your brain is amazing, you know that already.

2. If you have the following things going on in your life, all those positive quotes will do nothing for you…they will just slide off you like water off a ducks back, so, if you are feeling stuck, if you are struggling, dont believe in yourself, feel threatened, under pressure, frustrated at what others are succeeding in around you, working too hard without a break, worrying about finances, illness, feeling in pain – emotionally as well as physically, ¬†lack of feeling accepted in the community – maybe you’ve just moved house or work, feel like theres a lot of change going on around you.

3. The brain has different areas, and if they are being neglected then they will let you know about it. The reptilian brain is the oldest part Рits that survival response, fight or flight, it doesnt care that you want to tone up,eat healthy, weigh less, wear a bikini or whatever your goals are. If it perceives you are under threat, it will kick in, your goals will not be as obtainable as you thought. The mammalian brain processes emotion, it seeks physical wellbeing and safety, is affected by judgements.  The neocortex wants emotional safety, acceptance, eye contact, praise, love.

So when any of these areas in your life are happening – a row in the family, a stressful job, nutritional neglect, judgements from others in the social circle, then the brain will skim over those positive quotes , it can also be something as simple as a change in your life. the body seeks homeostasis, and when it sense this is under threat, then things will change in your response, as all change is a threat to homeostasis Threat can be as simple as something is changing too fast, too slow or something is unclear to you. This threat can manifest as fight, flight freeze. Fight can be increased pain and inflammation, flight can be wanting to run away, turning up late for appointments, and freeze can be simply not moving, staying and feeling stuck not taking action.

Instead, look at your own life and those around you. Ask some question:

What going too fast/slow for you right now

What feels stuck?

Are you getting support, connection, feelings of safety and belonging, how is your self esteem and self image, do you have financial worries, health worries, do you feel shame and blame. More stress = less joy and less care of the self. Stress is indeed more likely to add inches than an iced bun. ( see my last blog on the iced bun revolution !)

When we are anxious, we have less faith in ourselves, which in turn impacts on self esteem. We then use food as a reward, (if the brain feels less connected in the community/the self/from friends  it will look for that elsewhere Рlike food)  then feel guilty afterwards, using exercise as punishment for over eating rather than using it to nourish areas of our brain and having more fun. (e.g. try a new workout, go for a run in the park, go for a 30 min walk everyday, do cartwheels, try handstands, do stuff you did when you were a kid, stop training as if your abs and happiness depended on it)

Work with yourself. Awareness of reactions, emotions, whats lacking, whats missing.

Accept whats missing, work on connection, compassion to yourself, drop the judgements.

Maybe then your brain will no longer need those “think positive” reminders, because it feels safe, connected, better sense of wellbeing and notices threats.

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

 

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Eat Iced Buns Revolution

Mel Collie | Eat Iced Buns Revolution

I was wrong…

About 5 years ago I taught Bootcamps on the beach in Cornwall. I got a buzz, being a morning person, from being outside training on a beautiful morning, not so great in the cold dark Winters though! Thats one of the reasons i stopped, but also I was observing a rather unhealthy trend amongst other Bootcamp teachers, and I was aware of a lot of them on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc posting pics of their meals, their toned bodies, it was getting to obsessional and too…well…untrue…some of these people I knew were not being honest about their food/protein/carb/sugar intake, some still do this, and its not healthy.

What is healthy then? Well, to me, maybe to you as well,healthy means to be happy in your mind.

Not having a six pack, not judging yourself as you look in the mirror at the wobbly bits but by accepting what is.

You don’t have to totally LOVE your reflection, you can still wobble and have goals to change things, however, when you begin with the mindset, you begin with foundations.
A bit like building a house, you don’t start with the chimney pots and roof tiles..Kevin on Grand Designs would give you one of those “are you crazy?” stares!
You wont die if you eat a donut today, you might put on weight if you eat 5 or 6 everyday, but putting on weight is your bodies way of telling you that your Liver is struggling to cope with toxins. When you notice it, tweak a few things, but dont drastically remove foods you love.
Sugar is ok – in moderation. Use that moderation.
Me? I was obsessed with green smoothies, juices, protein and carb intake. It wasn’t sustainable. What do you do when you go out with friends, do you say no to a glass of wine, so a pizza, to a pudding? How does that leave you feeling? Do you then go home and raid the fridge in guilt ?

Now? I eat in moderation.
I change things everyday, because your metabolism changes everyday, you are never the same person twice, you are always changing, just like the weather.
Have an iced bun, have some toast, have a coffee, have  glass of wine,  eat well when you go out for dinner.

Decide to eat well, with awareness, understand that food isnt scarce right now, we are lucky to live in these times where we have choice, embrace it, dont eat like you are going to starve tomorrow, slowly eat, mindfully eat, have fun with food, have sugar and caffeine, wheat occasionally, be a detective for your body, mind and soul.
Its amazing that, as you look around and notice others (notice at least 5 others today) notice these things
1. Notice what their body is telling others about their mindset
2. Notice how they choose to believe their thoughts about how they feel about themselves
3. Notice how they choose to move
4. Notice yourself in the same way
5. Notice your thoughts, and begin the end of the internal struggle. Notice how anti ageing that is to the frown on your face, the softness of the skin, the radiation of your internal happiness, then watch the magic happen.

Much Love

Mel

www.melcollie.com