Tag Archives: balance

Mel Collie | What happened when I stopped eating “Clean”

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So many diets, so many statistics showing us that obesity is an epidemic, an overburdening NHS with no money and out of date health advice leaves us confused, unsure about what to eat, when, calorie counting, colour counting, weighing, guilt..this confusion leads to overwhelm and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 the comfort zone, nothing we do scares us anymore, unless you make yourself join something that challenges you, do an activity that means you have to soul search for answers.

At the risk of boring you about my time in Snowdonia, thats exactly what I faced.

High mountain climbs, testing myself, abseils, questions, challenges.

Realisation and acceptance is key to living in the here and now.

We lie to ourselves all the time, even when we tell ourselves  we aren’t.

I do believe that eating clean is the only way to have a healthy heart, liver, mind, movement. However, when I started eating things like biscuits and cake again, I started to love food again, love the energy around food, love the places I ate them in. I believe that eating clean can be addictive and controlling, we can beat ourselves up when we don’t, which leads to a hormonal cascade which is just as bad as eating something viewed as a “chemical shit storm” ..

Anyway, I just chose to eat less..

I don’t eat three meals a day, I don’t eat breakfast because I don’t feel hungry before mid day. Doesn’t mean I eat loads later. Sometimes I don’t eat lunch either. I have more energy on the days I don’t eat before dinner.

Ive tried a few diets overtime, Ive listened to how my body reacts, how my energy changes, what happens to me. Not how it works for someone else.

Metabolism is unique and it changes all the time.

Its your job to be true to yourself and eat to suit you.

For me, my diet looks like this

Lemon water in the morning, 5g Vit C and some Ashwaghanda

Lunch, if I feel hungry, (do you know how that really feels?) is a couple of eggs, watercress and ham, sometimes, if we have some, in the house, I also have a couple of slices of Ciabatta or a flat bread , toasted, with the eggs, lush! Sometimes some Kabanossi sausage as well.

Its taken time for me to stop the “breads bad for you, its gluten” thought..however, it is for some people, it isn’t for others. If you find it leaves you bloated and tired, then you have an intolerance, and your gut has trouble digesting it, the same can be said of milk, but its not true for everyone.

Find what works for you.

For dinner then, maybe I will have a curry, with nana bread (shock horror!), or a tuna salad, or fish and salad – my gut isn’t a  huge fan of potatoes, they leave me feeling tired, or a picky tea which is a mixture of cold meats, cheese, beetroot, crackers, pickles..stuff like that, a shepherds pie, pizza, pasta and bolognese sauce…just good old fashioned food. I also love a slice of cheesecake, I also love chocolate peanuts and chocolate buttons, apricots, blueberries..but..in moderation.

 

Knowing that you can have a food, thats its not a sin, its not bad for you, means you are more likely to not binge eat it, because its is plentiful supply, you aren’t denied it, its not going to run out, it will always be there. Its not like Charlie and the Chocolate factory when the chocolate river and the sweets were all such a treat, it seemed they had to to eat it all and extra fast or it would all be taken away from them, so its a knowing that the food you have is plentiful and will always be there. You aren’t going to starve.

I just eat when I feel hungry. I do believe though that many of us truly knows how that feels, to be hungry, the feeling of being lonely, upset, stressed, unworthy, fed up, wanting a cuddle…can all be mistaken for the feelings of being hungry. We can snack in the car on the way home from a bad day at work and eat a bag of sweets before we’ve even left the car park. Empty calories we forget about because we’ve eaten them in a daze and without being conscious of it.

So, I suppose I stop eating at about 8pm, and don’t start until 1pm the next day if I feel like lunch, or 6pm for dinner.Its not an exact science, and its not regimented..sometimes those times change.

Thats a gap of 17 – 22 hours between meals.

The scaremongering stories are that your metabolism will slow down – thats not true, or that you will faint, thats not true, or that your body goes into starvation mode, that also isn’t true. Your body 2- 3 hours after eating,  is in a “fed” state, its still digesting the food you have just eaten, but you could still feel the urge to eat.

This is usually because we’ve been conditioned to feel hungry by the adverts we see, the words we hear, the smells from the supermarket pumping bread and coffee smells..

I’m just eating less.

Its how human used to eat. Sometimes a big kill and lots of meat, sometimes just nuts and berries and fish, sometimes nothing.

However…We are moving less, we don’t need to eat 3 meals a day. We don’t need to snack. We don’t need to graze. We are bombarded more with images of food through marketing of course, reminding us to eat , eat, eat…eating on the train, in the car, as we walk, we just eat mindlessly.

On the days you are doing a whole lot more like hunting tigers and climbing mountains, you may well need more sugar based energy releasing foods.

On days you aren’t, then your body just doesn’t require food as much as you think it does.

Dont diet, still eat the foods you love, but less, its simple really, but as I said in the beginning, its a journey, you will travel, you will stop and get off, you will get back on again, you will discover, you will feel fear, anticipation, wonder and happiness.

Thats the joy of life.

Realisation and acceptance.

Mel Collie

4 weekly woman group from Portreath, Cornwall incorporating exercise, nutrition, self esteem, confidence and acceptance of where you are.

Apply by sending me your name via email to : melcollie@gmail.com and we will send you an application form for when the next group begins. There are only 4 spaces . Let me know if you want to be considered for one of those spaces.

www.melcollie.com

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Is stress a positive thing?

Mel Collie | Is stress a positive thing?

 

Stress.. a warning sign to the mind thats something wrong in the data set. The mind looked inside itself and said..hey, whats going on..one of the filing cabinets is open and is not neat and tidy in here, its unorganised, its messy….whats happening?

Stress…the minds inability to be able to solve the situation..the minds constantly housekeeping, every second its checking the files..all the data, making sure its all in place, organised, and stress is where the mind says , this isn’t right, its not supposed to be like this.

You’ve hit a point, theres something you don’t agree with, its not that somethings actually WRONG, its just that you don’t agree with whats going on..

So, is stress a positive thing?

Is it an illusion..have we created the stress we know today, modern stress?

Well, your mind creates a state of feeling , you have a moan at yourself, because you don’t have anyone else to moan to.

We judge ourselves, often speaking to ourselves the way you would never allow a friend to speak to us.

We then internalise whatever it is we don’t agree with and it manifests as stress

The external stuff can be things like being stuck in a job you hate, not having the latest fashions, not having a new car, unable to afford to go abroad or buy new shoes or the latest laptop or newest mobile.

All these thoughts and processes bubble over in our minds.

We have an inability to recognise the data, our brains cant organise it, so we then get stressed..

We cant work it out

We haven’t got the answer

So we row with the self

Instead of…accepting it

When  your body is thirsty you need water..it the bodies last attempt to get water, to get your attention to drink and hydrate.

Stress is mental thirst, bubbling over with information that your mind cant put it into a neat pile, it goes into hyperdrive in terms of intellectual responses, so you over think and over analyse. as the brain throws information at every situation, it cant put it into boxes, making it neat and tidy, organised. Our 10,000 year old ancestors reacted instinctively to the growing stimulus and fought or ran from the tiger/lion/melting volcano.

Now we have invented issues we call stress – the mobile fell down the loo, cant find the car keys, cant get a six pack, the person in the office has a belly is flatter than yours, the office isn’t tidy, the trousers aren’t ironed properly…etc etc…

If you react often to situations like these they can be an indicator to where the real problems are in your life.

They are all invented problems that aren’t a threat to our survival, like the caveman running from the tiger.

So, maybe we  have to just accept thats what happening, realise it ..an accept it..

So, how can we begin to quieten the mind and release some of the stress we feel?

 

Ways to de stress

  • Quiet time is so important, especially with the constant noise from social media. Quiet time helps our mind to strip back the information that is not necessary.
  • Breathing slow and deep – 10 times – repeat 4 times a day.
  • Go for a walk on the beach/woodland/mountains/park
  • Have a bath – no one is allowed to disturb you
  • Read a book that stimulates your mind away from the glossing over stuff like how the latest celeb lost a zillion stone and how their wash board stomach makes them happy ..
  • Challenge yourself – do something that scares you…go climbing (believe me..that will really get you going..), go scrambling, go for a run, book yourself into something you have to work towards like a marathon, learn something new, spend a night out wild camping and look at the stars ..
  • Spend less time on social media and more time meditating, which doesn’t mean you war orange robes and sit for hours at a time, it can be as simple as just a minute a day, doing something that grabs your curiosity – like playing the guitar for example..

However, ultimately, to accept it, realise that you have situations that are stressful to you, and ask why, notice the knock on effects, how you can change your beliefs.

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

 

 

Mel Collie | MOVE is a 4 letter word

Mel Collie | MOVE is a 4 letter word

The society today has this notion that to relax means being lazy and being unproductive, so you now feel guilty when you say you are relaxing, you feel you have to justify it, apologise for it.

This is absurd.

Relaxation is so important, now more than ever.

Lifestyles now look like this:

Get up
Eat cereal/toast (too busy to cook breakfast)
Organise the kids
Race to work
Try to keep on top of the deadlines
Spend 4 – 8 hours at a computer screen
Drink coffee/tea to stay awake
Eat biscuits as a treat
Eat at the desk (sandwich probably)
Get home to cook dinner
Clear up, wash up.
Get kids to bed.
Sit Down – finally
Watch TV/catch up on Facebook/Read emails/
Drink glass of wine/coffee/tea
Do some ironing
Fall asleep on the sofa
Go to Bed

Repeat.

How do I know this?
I did this for a long time. Up at 6am, home at 9pm. Working, some weeks, 6 days a week.

Why was I still so tired? Why did I have constant illness? Anaemic. Cystitis (almost had an operation…glad I didn’t now!). Ulcerated tonsils. Constant tiredness. Black rings under the eyes. Weak muscles.

What wasn’t in my lifestyle?

1. Love for myself – too busy
2. Nourishment for my skin/bones/muscles/hair/energy levels- didn’t know what to do , how to do it or have the time to implement it.

Those 2 things can cover a multitude of stuff that todays lifestyle convinces us are either too selfish to do or we are too busy to do them.

TV, social media, are now mainstays in the household
I’m not going to preach and tell you not to watch them. (though I did away with my TV for 4 years, because I wasn’t watching it or benefitting from it, and I hated paying that licence fee!)

However. could you, for one week, match the amount you move with the amount you watch the screens in your life, (mobile phone included too!)

“Move” can mean many different things, it can be a swear word, a four letter word to your brain, as when you’ve been told to move in the past, you may have felt pain, so your brain remembered that, and like Google, it stored it, and Googles itself, telling you that when you are told to move again, it will hurt, so you had better not do too much or else..

Sound familiar? However, to move can be a way to relax. To unwind, can mean to switch off from the external stressors we have bombarding us everyday. Something as simple as unplugging from the wi-fi can help a sensitive nervous system recover.

Heres a few helpful ways you can move:

Deep belly breathing (the most repetitive movement you do every day)
Walk in nature(park/beach/woods/garden/hills )
Ankle rotations
Neck movements
Arm movements like drawing big circles with them
Rotations
Simple vision drills
Simple balance drills
Simple proprioception drills like gently tapping all the joints all over the body to wake up your proprioception.
Throwing and catching a tennis ball
Juggle
Skip
Dance (doesn’t have to be a full on cha cha cha..)
Jiggle your wiggly bits (no ones looking)
Shake your hands as if you are trying to shake water off them
Smile, a lot. It gives your brain good feedback,
Wiggle toes, what your feet feel gives your brain good feedback and helps the core switch on. (better than sit ups…)
Drink water (helps movement in the whole body and recovery)
Eat green veggies(helps muscles recover)
Take off the shoes and walk on bumpy ground like the sand on the beach, earthy ground in a woodland or grass in the park. (gives the brain good feedback)
Massage
Paint a picture
Draw a picture
Read a book
Write a poem
Help someone out who needs some advice or just a chat
Take up a hobby you’ve been meaning to do for a while
MOVE can be so many things.
Have I missed anything from the list? Sure, I could add loads more. The beauty of it is, theres no rules as to what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
What you do is learn to listen to your bodies reactions. Its messages.
When you hear it, the you that can choose, chooses to move. The you that cant choose , which is your survival voice, the voice that tells you to watch out, danger, sends you pain, will quotient and realise that its not so bad after all.

When you pick up a knife to cut an apple, you know its not going to kill you.
When you move, its not going to kill you either.

An old pattern and belief system in your brain is being held there, for whatever reason, your brain is only interested in your survival. It doesn’t care that you have things to do, it only cares about survival.

Being safe means it will tell you that sitting and watching TV is what you should be doing, the alternative means a life of pain.

However, a life of sitting is also a life of pain, but the brain sees it as safer, so thats what it chooses.

So, choose a task you would like to do, just one, choosing too many can lead to overwhelm, which can lead to procrastination, which means the days ahead stay the same and nothing changes. Confusion leads to giving up.

1. Get clear on what you want
2. Be aware of your current situation-be clear about it.
3. What do you NOT like about it
4. What happens if nothing changes with the current situation?

Need some assistance? Come to a weekly session with me, in Llanberis, Monday 10am or Wednesday 6pm.

Click this link for the classes or message me and pay on the day:
https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Don’t live in North Wales? Skype/Facetime sessions coming soon.

Worskshop dates being released soon too.
Mel Collie
mel.collie@live.co.uk
www.melcollie.com
www.posturegeek.co.uk

 

mel collie | How many times a day ?

mel collie | How many times a day ?

If I asked you what movement or exercise you did the most per day you might say that you walk a lot, or that you sit a lot because of your job and that prevented you from exercising as much as you would like to..But you wouldn’t consider that breathing is the most common movement pattern we perform everyday – we all breathe about 25,000 times a day…thats a lot isnt it?

Many of us breathe shallow quick breaths, and maybe because of sitting, injuries, fear, anxieties, our breathing changes,our rib position affected, many a section of our rib cage that doesnt move as effectively as the other side for example.

Rib mechanics can easily be checked and altered in a matter of seconds.

However, without doing an assessment on you personally, heres what you can do to help your breathing improve:

Lie down on your back, knees bent, pillow under the head so you are comfortable.

Place one hand on your belly, between the navel and the pubic bone.

Place the other hand on the part of the upper chest by the collarbone, as you breathe see which hand moves first.

Is it the top hand?

For most of us it is as we use the smaller shoulder and neck muscles to breathe, instead of utilising the diaphragm

Now imagine the lower hand is a heavy book, use the tummy to push the book up to the ceiling as you breathe in, and lower it as you breathe out, no need to suck the tummy in, just breathe.

Practice for 10 breaths, 4 times a day, without squeezing your bum or clenching you jaw or moving your shoulders off the floor.

The diaphragm is an often overlooked muscle in training but s simple breathing exercise can bring it back to life simply and effectively to help improve posture, balance, strength and confidence.

Mel

x

 

 

Mel Collie | Would you like an easy way to improve your balance?

Mel Collie | Would you like an easy way to improve your balance?

Balance – when we grow up our balance starts to falter, we become less steady on our feet, less secure about crossing the road, unsure about walking down the stairs, heights scare us, worried when we are in a crowd – fear of being knocked over, missing the step up onto the bus, fear of breaking a bone that will take ages to heal…

Would you like an easy way to get your balance back?

I’ve seen, and tried, many ways to train balance, but many of them involve you standing on a wobbly surface.

Now , since I’ve been on the planet, the ground beneath my feet isnt wobbly, its perfectly sound ,no wobbles in sight, so I wouldn’t choose to put you on a wobbly surface to improve your already unsure balance system.

The thought of doing this can increase fear in the nervous system which means the brain will further tighten certain muscles and increase pain.

Thats not a great start…

The science bit

The inner ear – the vestibular system on the inner ear is responsible for your balance.

It works with your visual system, your eyes, it keeps objects in focus as your head moves. So it makes sense, don’t you think, to use exercises to help your balance improve by usng your eyes and your head movements, simple moves, easily followed. Much easier for you if your balance is already a bit shaky , as these easy moves can be done seated or even lying down, standing by a wall or chair.

The simple bit

Watch and follow along with me to test your balance and improve it.

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

melcollie@gmail.com

07800797300

mel collie | inner ear balance
would you like to improve your balance easily and quickly