My overall aim is to… Get healthier and slimmer, therefore increasing my confidence.
The area of The Life Challenge I’m most looking forward to is… The life coaching sessions with Master NLP Practitioner Shana Kad. I’m really excited about taking the Personal Breakthrough Journey, and discovering how to let go of past negative experiences and re-programme my thinking and emotions, so any unnecessary worry and anxiety is more manageable.
The most difficult part of The Life Challenge for me will be… Fitting everything in to my already hectic schedule.
This challenge has felt like a long time coming. But even though I have tried to get in to a healthier, more organised and positive head space in preparation, I still managed to get caught out. All of us Life Challengers were invited to a lunch date the other day to meet our coaches and gurus. I had imagined it would be a small and cosy gathering where we'd chat in whispered tones about our issues. The reality was very different. I was not only late, but turned up flustered and disheveled, with unruly hair and smudged 04:30am eye make-up after my usual early start, a busy day at work and a lengthy diversion via doggy daycare to drop my pooch off.
“I flew in to the cafe and, to my horror, was confronted with a packed dining area, full of polished professionals and flashing cameras. I thought. “OMG - it's the launch, of course!” I was immediately whisked over to a camera where I was interviewed about my hopes and fears for the challenge and find myself rattling on about how anxious I am to have colonic hydrotherapy. All I can think is “I wish I'd washed my hair this morning.”
I met my nutritionist, Sarah Queen, who seems lovely; Tarek from Fitness First who is suitably bouncy; Shana Kadd my life coach. After handshakes and swapping of telephone numbers, I tell Shana how embarrassed I feel with all this attention and how guilty I feel about it, too. She looks me straight in the eye and abruptly tells me, “Well, that's going to change.”
So, it's begun. There's no turning back. And I cannot wait.
One of the most important things in life, is to have the support of your loved ones. I am lucky to have that in buckets and I really came to appreciate that last week.
Week one, day one
A few days prior to the official start of the Life Challenge, I told my husband what I was about to embark on and warned him that over the next few months I am going to be preoccupied and a tad self-absorbed.
On explaining what it was all about, he was reassuringly pleased for me. I felt jubilant. I thought that was that, until our conversation took an unexpected turn of openness.
Obviously seizing the moment, hubster admitted how he had observed over the last few years certain things and behaviors of mine that had worried him.
As a result of my infuriating lack of self confidence, he made the point that looking at our holiday snaps of the last 11 years, it appears that he has always gone on holiday on his own as I am not in a single one of them! As a photographer, this drives him mad. But he also said he thought my self esteem issues were fueling my destructive eating habits, which I thought I had done so well to hide.
He was not scolding, or judgmental, but wow it stung. Tears welled up and I felt ashamed. But as if a lid had been lifted, I in turn found myself also confessing things I thought I would never utter out loud, let alone to this man whose love and respect is so important to me. I don't think I have ever felt so vulnerable. By the end of what had turned in to an alarmingly honest - almost confessional - chat, I felt free. It also amplified how important it is that I do this. Not just for me, but for those around me.
I have an appointment to see Sarah Queen the nutritionist later today. Tomorrow we deal with how I got to the point that I'm at today in a three-hour session with Shana Kad, my NLP Life Coach. Wish me luck!
Week one, day three
Love the carbs
I met up with nutritionist Sarah Queen and even in our first pow-wow, there were shocking revelations. I need to eat more. That’s it. More.
I can see my husbands eyes rolling in disbelief. Let me clarify. I need to eat the right foods, in smaller portions and more often. In trying to prepare for the fitness challenge, I had already amended my diet but Sarah tells me it needs some tweaking. By eating more frequently, this gets your metabolism going and keeps it working throughout the day. It also amps up your energy, keeping insulin at a constant level, hopefully putting a stop to hunger and cravings.
This sounds good to me. Energy is a big issue for me, especially with the 4.30am starts. As for eating more frequently, this makes me slightly anxious having suffered with emotional eating issues. But Sarah has set up a food diary for me on google docs, so she can help me out at any time if she sees that I'm struggling or wandering from the path of healthy eating righteousness. The second observation she made also had me reeling. “No way! Eat more carbs? What?” I’d always thought carbs were the enemy. Images of cake, bread and pasta sprung to mind. It's strange how diet fads and fashions from the past brainwash us in to thinking a certain way. I remember being told years ago that fat was to be avoided at all costs. These days research has found that 'good' fats like nuts are great for us in moderation. It's the same story with carbs. There are 'good' carbs and 'bad' carbs. I've just got to learn which are the good ones and what to eat them with.