Stacey's personal Christmas roundup
I'm a diary keeper / journal writer. Each year I write a little summary of the year, it helps me to see all the accomplishments and look at the learning I did and what I might like my following year to look like.
Sometimes we get so bogged down with our thoughts and worries that we forget to take a look and acknowledge that hey, we actually had a pretty cool year. Life is full of ups and downs, successes and hard knocks. But that's what makes life...well....life. It is random and sometimes it isn't pretty or perfect. But, you know...that's life.
I wanted to take the time to share my end of year round up with you. I hope you enjoy it, it's not all flowers and rainbows, and I hope you notice that you don't need to be achieving great accolades such as "Supermum" or "best abs" or "weight loss" in order to have lived a great year.
I usually pick a bit of a theme for my yearly ambitions and this year I had a couple of themes. One was to really be true to myself and the other was to work on how my body worked, not how it looked...how it worked.
I have had chronic back pain for 15 years, and whilst it was a thorn in my side for so long, it is now something that isn't so bad anymore and once I got my brain out of the way, I found that it was no longer a reason to not start to challenge my body and allow for more integrated movement patterns.
I started this process back in 2012 while I was recovering from Adrenal Fatigue, I ditched the weights room in favour of Tai Chi, Pilates and Pole Fitness.
So in January, I got my focus wall organised and put up images of how I would like my body to work, with flexibility, ease and no fear. It's amazing what you can achieve when you visualise well.
I soon learned that pole class wasn't causing me any more or less pain the following day than being sedentary, and as my energy returned from Adrenal Fatigue I started to feel out of balance by not doing enough intense exercise. But I wasn't sure if my back could withstand it, but then I had a moment of clarity - I was damned if I do, damned if I don't. I didn't have a disc problem, in fact I didn't have an injury, I simply had a body that was tight and restricted through years of compensatory actions, and with that realisation, I knew I couldn't hurt myself doing intense activity. Sure, it wasn't going to make it better, but it wasn't going to make it worse. So I put on my big girl pants and joined Crossfit.
Through the year I worked with 3 different Bodywork specialists to help continue to unravel the mystery that was my sore back (I've seen many over the years). Each new piece of learning helped me unravel more clues. And with one key stretch I was able to do Crossfit without anything seizing up. This was a huge achievement as I thought I would NEVER be able to do exercise like this. But it wasn't total plain sailing, the amount of tears I have shed over the fact that I keep coming last would fill a small lake (ok slight exaggeration). Yep, even Personal Trainers can feel inadequate.
My body confidence grew and I joined the Beach Volleyball League and continued with Pole Classes, where this year we started on our inverted poses, handstands etc. And just today in fact, I tried Parkour for the first time - leaping up 7ft walls, climbing trees and jumping over rails (at my starting level of course). I've got a great scrape up my arm to show for it, but its a scratch that I'm so proud of and proud of what it represents to me. It represents that I can trust my body and trust my intuition to move well and land well.
Recovering from Adrenal Fatigue has been awesome also. Energy levels are good, and digestion is the best it has ever been in my entire life! I can now pretty much eat those "taboo" foods like gluten and dairy with no huge issues (although too much and I know all about it!) I learned I could eat potato chips for dinner if I wanted to and wake up the next day without guilt, weight gain or the need to eat potato chips for breakfast also. The better the metabolism works, the easier it can deal with treats! Don't worry, I eat really well most of the time..and I enjoy it.
Those images that are on my focus wall kept reminding me what this year was about. And I am glad to say I accomplished it. Sure, there are no before or after photos to show you, no body fat percentage numbers, no awards etc. Because that's not what health and fitness is about, its about YOU and your goals, no one elses. And mine, was to move better. And I am. The increase in quality of life far outweighs a six pack on the beach.
And there was the mind, being true to myself. I'm still working on this one, and interestingly a lot of my back problems are tied up in fascial problems, which, among other things, are also affected by our thoughts/emotions and left over stress/trauma. I started working with a Myofascial Release specialist 9 weeks ago, who, so far, seems to be the game changer in my problems. I have known of this mind-body connection for a long time now, but had been searching for over 2 years for someone who was able to do proper Myofascial release. Funnily enough, he'd been in Hamilton the entire time!
This year I had some professional coaching regarding stuck issues in the mind, and through fascial release I am continuing that process. Am I perfect? Hell no! I have the same emotions and crap days just like you do. Right now I'm battling with a stuck point in pole training and also in another area of my mind (which I won't divulge)....grrrr!! Frustration and tears!!
This year my personal trainer, Calum Stuart passed away from Cancer. It was Calum who introduced me to the CHEK Institute where I have studied my Holistic exercise and Lifestyle Coaching qualifications. It was sad beyond words to see Calum go, as he was instrumental in helping me build personal and professional confidence and also develop key skills that have enhanced the holistic work I do. I feel the need to honour Calum every day, and earlier this year I just, on a whim decided to jump on a plane to LA. Calum was a great traveller and lover of life. In LA I was fortunate to spend the week with Danny-J from The Sweaty Betties, where we attended First Steps to Success by Dani Johnson (Yes, there were two D. Johnsons in the same room). Dani Johnson came from the depths of homelessness, to become a self-made millionaire.
Meeting Danny-J, some of the other Sweaty Betty Ambassadors and other ladies from the United States was major soul food for me. New friends all the way on the other side of the world!
I came back with terrible jetlag and actually ended up in a major depression for 2 months. I did not medicate it, I could see it for what it was and rode out the storm and nurtured myself. But don't you worry, I experienced all those same pitfalls of depression that you do.
This year I also developed an amazing relationship with my cat! I know, weird thing to say huh? I love Munchkin, he's so awesome, but we hit a bit of a rocky patch. Learning how to communicate with him better and understand his language has been pretty awesome, we really do "get" each other.
My goal was to re-brand and in July I launched Body Detective(TM). I had been trying to conceptualise my new brand for over 12 months and when the penny finally dropped, it dropped fast! Who says you're a failure if you can't solve a problem? I couldn't solve it for 12 months and then one day it just came to me. If you can quieten your internal chatter down long enough to just relax, things do start to come to you.
My other goal was to study Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, which I completed. Enabling me to conduct a range of diagnostic tests to help identify areas of your biochemistry that were affecting your body (things like hormones etc). I am glad to say I now have a great mix of Holistic exercise, nutrition, functional, and lifestyle skills which as many clients will attest to really do make the difference in their bodies. As I mentioned I recovered from Adrenal Fatigue, and through that 2 year process and my formal study, I can safely say - I can help anyone with theirs! So long as they're prepared to do what is required.
I had a bit of a disaster with one of my group online programs earlier this year, but learned from that and walked away with a new found understanding of various things and glad to say my online group is going a lot more smoothly. Am I a failure? Um...nope. Just a human, like you.
What's on the cards for next year? Well, I haven't quite set those goals yet, but I am all booked to meet Paul Chek in Sydney next year for the second in my Holistic Lifestyle Coaching courses, HLC2. I am excited beyond words, as I remember saying to Calum before he passed away that I was going to meet Paul Chek one day.
And continuing with the Myofascial unwinding work, I am looking at learning how to "let go", and am very excited to see what this looks like.
I will, of course, not forget 2013 and will continue with Crossfit, Parkour, Volleyball and Pole and keep up with ensuring I don't end up adrenally fatigued all over again.
LIFE & LEARNING
You will learn a ton of things through your life. Well, at least I hope you will. You will have highs and you will have lows. Try to be kind with yourself. You're not perfect, I'm not perfect. We are just humans.
Have a Merry Christmas, and a great end of year celebration. I hope this has inspired you to set some different types of goals for 2014 and to let go of the things that you call "failures" this year. There is no such thing as a failure when you are on the journey.