25 September 2017Last updated

Life Challenge Week 4: Paola Pani

Paola is touched by the support from her fellow Challengers during week 4

Aquarius magazine
28 Mar 2012 | 05:23 pm
  • Woman and stomach

    Paola has been learning about the digestive system.

    Source:Supplied picture Image 1 of 4
  • Rain

    "I will notice the sun through the clouds and I will hope for a rainbow with a more conscious smile," says Paola.

    Source:Supplied picture Image 2 of 4
  • Not alone

    Paola's fourth week of the challenge has got off to a great start.

    Source:Supplied picture Image 3 of 4
  • Fish

    Paola is relishing the chance to cook tasty, healthy meals.

    Source:Paola Pani Image 4 of 4

Week four, day one

A great day

I felt today would be a good day! I felt good since I woke up – lots of energy, feeling positive and looking forward to the day ahead. Maybe it is thanks to the colonic treatment that Kay gave me yesterday. In less than 24 hours I had three people telling me how good I looked, which still makes me blush but at least I can now say thank you with grace without trying to find thousands of justifications, or think that people didn’t mean it and simply feel sorry for me (this belief that no longer serves me is now gone – big applause for me!). 

So yes, Kay is amazing, caring, professional and beautiful... I must tell you I didn’t have any expectations going to see her – as said before, I didn’t want to think about all the negative misconceptions attached to colonic hydrotherapy, so believed I would get healthier skin and organs and general detox. And it was exactly like that! At no point did I feel any kind of embarrassment, or discomfort. She is absolutely professional and her love for her job is totally reflected in the all experience and treatment. She massaged my stomach a couple of times as I had lots of trapped gas, which she said is normal after long flights, and I immediately felt my stomach smaller and less swollen.

Today I feel my skin is brighter, I feel lighter and I have a general healthy look which immediately makes me feel beautiful and confident. I will see Kay again next Sunday and you must think is strange what I’ m about to say, but I’m really looking forward to see her again because she has this power of calming you down by taking her time to explain every stage of the treatment, so you are at ease very quickly and trust her completely. 

I also met up with Christina today and I’m so happy because I’ve lost 1.5 kg of fat since the start of the Life Challenge and to see the actual figures gave me a sense of accomplishment. I was convinced that my stay in Italy would have put me back into the starting line, but I guess saying ‘no’ a couple of times really did the trick. My muscle mass is exactly the same, though, which means I have to push myself in the gym more and go more often. 

All these good things today made me think I deserved a reward, so I went food shopping. Now my fridge is all happy as well as it’s full of veggies, lots of fish (which I love) and lean meat. I planned the week’s meals and tonight I’m going to oven-bake a delicious sea bream stuffed with cherry tomatoes, lemon and garlic, accompanied by artichoke salad and boiled asparagus freshly handpicked by my father – all seasoned with a super healthy extra virgin olive oil straight from Italy. I feel like a master chef! 

Week four, day two

Support network

What a beautiful Friday I’ve had! I woke up feeling energetic again and, after a healthy breakfast of yoghurt, nuts and fruit topped up with flax seed, accompanied by my fab cappuccino (with less than half teaspoon of brown sugar) I ventured in to the garden for a clean-up. Moving and squatting around, potting and planting seeds, nourishing the soil made me not only sweat like I had had a good workout, but left me with a feeling of achievement, peace and ready to cook another delicious meal! So after a nice relaxing lunch of grilled chicken with my garden herbs, couscous salad and a small piece of cheese, off I went to read my emails and what a beautiful and inspiring surprise! I’d received two of the most inspirational and moving e-mails I’ve had in a long time. One was from Karin, who I’d exchanged a few hugs with on my way out from Christina’s appointment and regretted that I hadn’t had time to tell her how proud I was of her achievements and how much I love her blog. Her e-mail was so full of care and love that it made me cry – but it was a good cry. I felt like it was sent by a best friend. I must tell you that the Life Challenge is doing all of us a lot of good… I feel a sense of solidarity and, unlike at the beginning, I’m starting to feel that no matter your background, or how small you think your problems are, there is always another woman out there that is feeling exactly the same as you, who understands you and who you can relate to you. 

This leads me to the second amazing email I received, which was from Bhawna. Her words made me feel part of something great and special, and made me fell less alone. A sense of overwhelming gratitude stayed with me for the rest of the day. So thank you, Karin and Bhawna. You know this already, but you made my day! 

Week four, day four

Gradual growth

I’m not sure if I’m more excited about what I have learned today, the yoga class later, or seeing Shana again tomorrow! 

Lesson learned today is about our digestive system. The gut is the most important organ in the body because, if it decides to shut down and stop working, the brain doesn’t receive enough energy to wake the body up in the morning; the heart feels heavy, lungs feel out of breath and the stomach gets congested and bloated, while the kidneys can’t keep up with the garbage the body produces. This is why it is so important to keep it healthy by chewing slowly (the saliva begins to destroy harmful bacteria and chewing prepares the food for further processing), drinking lots of water, exercising regularly and by taking care of your emotional health. Once the food has been swallowed we have no control over the digestive process until we need to eliminate the waste. The brain only has a direct effect on the bowel in times of stress. The bowel has ‘emotions’ and is not just a massive waste dump; it produces serotonin and also contains a spread-out immune system that supports the rest of the body. You might understand by this information that I have seen Kay for the second time. During today’s treatment I was very relaxed and she gave me some information to read about how much we should eat, which is always tricky for me, and the book suggested that we should eat an amount the size of our two hands as our stomach is as big as a fist. I also read a lunch recipe which I reproduced at home immediately after my visit, made of a handful of potato, an avocado, leafy salad and a red pepper (the leftovers will be eaten as snack later with rice crackers and cream cheese) all sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil. At night the same concept, but avoiding carbs....Delicious, healthy and filling!

I’m now ready for my yoga this evening and I’m looking forward to seeing Shana tomorrow. Every appointment, every small progress and each meal are an integral part of who I am becoming: a healthier, happier and more confident me! 

Week four, day five

Rain on my life

What happens when rain washes away all the dirt and no obstacles are big enough, or heavy enough, to stop the rain from dragging everything with it? Yes there might be loss and destruction, but soon after something magical happens – there is stillness, sometimes a rainbow, and a strong will to put things back where they belong. There is an opportunity and a hope for a better day, or a better tomorrow, which we don’t always appreciate.

In a much smaller scale, that’s what I feel I’m experiencing. The past seven years have been quite a rollercoaster – changing five different countries, six houses, new friends, new jobs (or none) – always with the luggage ready, feeling very unsettled with no real prospect for the future. No hope, no goals, only glimpses of sunshine through the clouds. Those challenges, though, brought me here and I didn’t appreciate it enough.

What I’m now going through is a total clean up. And although I know that every now and then my water will still have the urge to run down and still will want to drag all the filth built-up during the years, I will let it run freely, trying not to build up too many obstacles in its path. I will listen to the rain pouring down. I will notice the sun through the clouds and I will hope for a rainbow with a more conscious smile.

Week four, day seven

Major shifts

Slowly my world is changing. I’m telling you I am witnessing it with my very self, with all my body and my own eyes. Those eyes that once were hoping for something to happen, for life to begin – or to end for that matter – are now getting clearer, brilliant and truthful with a new set of values that will serve me and my life purpose. 

I’m so proud to be another living proof that the methods Shana so effortlessly applies to help you re-programme your thoughts really work. And as I m starting to live the life I deserve, the life I always wanted, every day is an achievement, every task done is a reason for doing more, every e-mail is a confirmation that my perceptions of life as I used to know it was just that – a perception of my limiting beliefs. Every day, little by little, I’m savouring my life. I’m alive! How wonderful is that? 

To verify this I will have to give you a couple of examples of great changes that happened in my world to make you understand that I’m not just talking nonsense and that I’m truly becoming a new reflection of me, that I’m loving every day more, that I’m loving the world and people around me more. So, trying to be as brief as possible, here are some events that I noticed this week that hopefully will give you an idea about how my daily life is slowly transforming in a magnificent and new amazing journey. Remember, these events are a very tiny portion of all the powerful and positive energy that I feel inside me: 

1. I sent a very thoughtful and beautiful gift to someone close to me I thought I was hated by

2. I went to a social event with a friend without taking 3 hours to get ready, or searching for my husband’s hand to save me from feeling uncomfortable being left alone with strangers

3. I organised an house party in connection with Earth Hour, even though my sofa is going through a ‘transformation’ and my lovely garden is not fully grown (this would have been impossible in the past)

I feel I am true, I am myself and I don’t need to have a perfect house, or a new perfect outfit, or a husband holding my hand to define who I am. I am at peace with me and whatever comes with it will be a reflection of who I think I am. And so far I am loving it! 

I know there is much more to come. I know life will test me. I know that I need to constantly notice the changes and take learnings, but I’m living and enjoying each and every moment of it and I would be so proud to know that through my experience, and my example, you might one day be inspired to search for that beautiful and amazing creature that is already inside you, and that you just need a key to unlock. 

Yours truly, Paola.



Aquarius magazine

Aquarius magazine

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