I LOVE Lorna Jane workout gear. I recently purchased a whole heap of their clothes on their online store to do my yoga & pilates DVD's in and its so awesome. Its pretty hard to find inspiration to do exercise DVD's at home but if im ever feeling unmotivated I can just change into my pretty yoga clothes and I feel all motivated again! Here is a selection of my current favourites that are available now. Here is the website URL: http://www.lornajane.com/
One of the initial exercises is my MBSR wookbook is to list up to 10 situations you find to be current stressors in your life and rate them from 1 (not stressful) to 10 (most stressful).
1. Poor diet: 8
This is probably my most stressful situation. Its been a very long battle with my diet & weight issues and although everyday I try find a solution and some days are better then others, I feel this is the area that needs the most work.
2. Negative collegues: 7
I work with lots of different nurses/doctors/managers and unfortunetely my area of expertise (intensive care) tends to attract very interesting personalities. Bullies being the worst type. And alot of them dont even realise they are so bad to work with. I try to find the good in every person I meet and my mission for each shift is to have a good day at work with my collegues and clients. Unfortunetely alot of them just seem hell bent on making life miserable for others and I find this very stressful.
3. Post-graduate Study: 6
I am doing my Masters degree and I find the extra study load on top of working full-time shift work to be pretty stressful at times.
4. My Husband: 5
I know this sounds terrible listing my husband as a stress in my life but im sure there are plenty of people who can relate! I love him with all my heart but he also works a stressful job and is a full-time shift worker and sometimes he unintentionally takes his stress out on me which is very stressful for myself.
5. Poor Sleep: 4
Being a shift worker it is inevitable that I will have terrible sleep habits. I generally try & sleep whenever I can but still always feel its never enough.
6. Traffic: 6
I find traffic to be pretty stressful. Im starting a new job in November which will require me to drive into the city which will take about 45mins drive compared to the 10min drive I do in my current job. Ive always been anxious when it comes to traffic but im hoping the more I drive in traffic the less stressful it will become.
Money does stress me out from time to time, mainly I feel im getting nowhere with my finances. I have a disposable income and I waste it all the time and I keep justifying it by saying 'im young and have no kids!' but my debts are starting to creep up on me.
8. Friendships: 4
I get stressed out sometimes that I have no close friends. Sometimes I think what if something happened to my husband and I was left alone, I would have no friends at all and thats scares me alot. Ive been hurt alot in the past and find it hard to make friendships which has been the case for me since I was a little girl. I hold myself back alot & find it hard to trust people.
9. Housework: 3
We all hate it and sometimes it does stress me out when ive been working hard and have had no time to do housework and the house looks a mess and all I want to do is relax but there is always that stress in the back of my mind I have to clean the house. Silly I know, but I still think its relevant.
10. Extended Family: 3
There is always some sort of drama happening on my own or my husbands side of the family and hearing about things or being apart of them is stressful at times.
Right. Well at first I didnt think I would come up with 10 stressors but just goes to show when you really break down it all down there is alot there. The idea of this exercise is to bring some awareness to the stressors in my life and to look back on them and see how I rate them when I learn to deal with stress abit better.
So the title of this blog essentially leads one to think its a vegan blog yet I havent said much about the vegan lifestyle as of yet.
Im vegetarian, have been for 4 years. Ive dabbled with veganism and even did raw for 2 weeks but have never fully sustained it. I dont really consume dairy or eggs but I would like to eliminate it all together. I think its very easy to get caught up in the vegan version world and go nuts on the vegan version of foods which are still full of fat & sugar yet seen as healthy because its vegan. Id like to be a low fat vegan. Its coming into summer here in Australia which is a great time to start I think. Ive never been a big salad eater which is weird because I love salad and I need to get in the habit of having more salads. Ive only just discovered cous cous and my god its easy to make! I dont eat enough fruit but im very picky with fruit. Essentially id like to explore more natural foods and eliminate sugars & coffee. Diet soft drink is a massive habit I need to kick. I can easily put away about 2 litres of diet cola a day no worries. Its such a horrible habit and I need to get rid of it. Its seriously an addiction and I think I need to treat it as such to eliminate it properly. My husband is a very big factor in my diet and I dont blame him but we are as bad as each other when it comes to food. He has put on alot of weight aswell and lives on take-away & junk foods. Im not as bad as him but im no saint either. We have definetely put on a few newlywed kilos thats for sure! I need to either completely ignore him when it comes to diet or try include him in my quest for health.
As for exercise, I always have great intentions but never follow through. I really need a proper routine. Ive always been intersted in yoga & pilates and have recently bought a few dvd's but havent really gotten into them yet. Again, I need to scheduale in times to exercise and make sure I follow through with it! I have bought myself the cutest little diary for next year in an effort to make note-taking and schedualing in things a habit! Im going to be very busy next year with my new job which I start in November plus going back to uni next year. Id love a holiday amongst all that aswell!
So I will be officially attempting veganism again from next Wednesday. I get paid then so I can go to the shops and stock up on healthy vegan options. I have bought a few easy vegan cookbooks aswell so I will be going through those to get some ideas aswell.
So some of the first questions im doing in my MBSR wookbook ask to think about whats been going on my life that lead me to buy the book, what am I hoping to change and what are some positive things about myself.
Whats been going on my life?
I feel like I have no control of whats happening and that life is literally passing me by in a blur and im scared I will wake up and realise im an old lady and havent lived. I spend my time either working, sleeping, or wasting time until either of those options is available again. I never leave the house or do anything spontaneous. I use finances as an excuse yet there are so many wonderful free things to experience in life. I dont have any close friends. I shy away from social activities, mainly in fear of how ashamed I am of my body and yes, im fatter then the last time everytime else saw me and of my terrible shyness which people think is either me being a snob or im just dull. Im not where I am in life where I pictured I would be 10 yrs ago. I take responsibility for my own life and I know life is what you make it yet I still hold myself back from living. I thought I was depressed again, I went & saw my doctor about it and she doesnt think im clinically depressed but recommended I speak to someone anyway. I dont feel thats the case with me. I feel its more of a frustration with myself but not a depression. Sometimes I wonder if I have burnt myself out as a teenager? Surely the soul gets damaged by that kind of emotional & physical abuse for all those years. Ive been lost for 12 years....im 24 now so thats half of my life. Its hard to overcome something you spend half your life living. I think im drawn to stress as a way of acknowledging my pain and not looking at the real culprit. What exactly is this pain and where does it come from? How can I overcome it? I think thats what has drawn me to this point in time when I realise I need to step back and take a good look at myself.
What am I hoping to change?
Im hoping to change my entire way of thinking and living. I am slowly poisoning myself with my own mind and I am physically destroying myself with bad diet & no exercise. I truly think I keep myself fat as a way to hide myself from the world. This needs to change. I still have a very strong desire to live and experience things. I want to be happy. And I know the only way to get there is to change these bad habits both internally & externally.
What are some positive things about myself?
This a very hard question to answer. I hear good things about myself all the time from other people but do I actually believe them? I often get told im very smart. I have a university degree and am going back to uni next year to do my masters degree. I know alot of people arent capable of that but to me that doesnt make me smart. I dont see myself as smart at all. I dont feel proud of my academic achievements despite how hard I have worked for them. Maybe thats why I push myself so much with study...until one day I do feel proud. I dont think im attractive at all. I think im quite ugly actually. I look like my father too much. Im not saying he is an ugly person but I dont feel...feminine I guess. I have good skin and my eyes are a pretty blue but as a whole I think my face is pretty ugly. I change my hairstyles constantly but am never happy with my appearance. My husband always says im beautiful and loves my figure & appearance but I just think he has been tricked into thinking that because he loves me. Im getting pretty emotional writing this. Hmm, so whats a positive? I think im very good to animals. I love my pets. I prefer the company of my cats & dog over people. Animals always love you no matter what. They love to be near you and they love getting your attention. Thats pretty much all I can think of at the moment. Hopefully I can come back to this question and add alot more positive things about myself.
Welcome to my blog! Pretty much sums it up on the side there but again, this is my blog about becoming a vegan butterfly instead of being the sludgy slug I am now. So here's the life story.
All my life I have had issues. Eating disorders. Depression. Low self-esteem. You name it, ive been through it. I cant think of exactly what it was that started it all. I had a great childhood. My parents are amazing and provided every oppurtunity for me in a loving home. I was an only child but was never lonely. I had great friends as a kid & was very close to my numerous cousins. I was a very active child, my parents always let me do whatever I wanted and were very supportive of after-school activities despite being poor. I did so much- ballet, dance, tennis, hockey, art classes, and I spent 5 years doing martial arts. My parents always made sure I had something to do and when I got sick of one activity they were supportive in me changing my mind and trying out new things. They spent alot of time with me as a child, always taking me to the park and playing basketball or riding our bikes around. Always played games with me. The TV was not my babysitter like it is for so many kids today. I lived my childhood outside in a healthy active environment. I was always provided with fresh healthy foods and had no idea what a 'diet' was or that certain bads were 'good' or 'bad'. To me as a kid fresh fruit & vegies were the normal thing to eat but junk food was allowed in moderation but it was never seen as junk, just sometimes food.
My body issues started when I was 12 years old & in grade 7. I was a skinny teenager but all my friends were naturally skinnier then me. I started to feel they thought differently of me because I was slightly bigger then them. I started to get left out of parties and became the outsider in my group of friends. Im sure they werent aware of what they were doing at the time & I dont blame them but I do feel thats how my body issues started. I started to think I was fat and became very self-conscious of my body.
The next year I started grade 8, which was the beginning of high school. Throughout my highschool years I switched between groups of friends but never truly found any real friends or felt like I belonged anywhere. This only made my body issues worse and I was convinced my lack of strong friendships was because I was fat (when I was actually one of the skinniest girls in highschool!) I started to skip lunch each day at school. I would throw my lunch in the bin every morning on the way to the bus stop & just drink water at school. My 'friends' knew but never really cared. Everytime I looked in the mirror I saw myself getting fatter & fatter. I started skipping breakfast aswell. Then I would skip dinner as much as possible. I became the master at coming up with excuses....ive got too much homework, or I would take my dinner in my room & pretend to eat it but would throw it away. If I had to eat with the family I would keep little plastic bags in my pockets and stash the food in there to throw away later. I was incredibly sneaky & very good at hiding these habits. If I had no way of avoiding the meal I would make up for it by exercising for hours in my bedroom. I would stay up all night in the dark pretending I was asleep but was doing push-ups & sit-ups to work off the food. Soon I discovered purging. I became able to purge any food I was forced to eat very silently. I would have a shower after dinner & purge it all there. If I couldnt get to the shower I would do it in the toilet. If I was at someone's house I would go to the bathroom & quickly & silently purge it all. I started doing martial arts at the beginning of highschool and at the peak of my anorexia I was an exercise machine. I spent hours training. I had to be the skinniest but also the toughest & strongest in my sport. Martial arts was the perfect exercise to burn calories and I would collapse when I finished training on a tiny amount of calories. I was striving for perfection in my sport. I fainted many times, at training and at school. Everybody just thought I was prone to fainting. There was one boy I went to school with, I had been in the same classes as him since primary school. One day at school I fainted and he was there when I woke up. He knew exactly was happening to me. He had liked me since primary school but we always had different friends & it wouldnt have been acceptable for us to date. On this day I fainted he told me I was beautiful and to stop what I was doing to myself. He had been watching me since primary school and had been concerned about me for so long. We never dated. We always looked out for each other and caught sneaky glimpses of smiles across the room but nothing ever happened. We have each gone our seperate ways since highschool. Ive seen him once since then and there was the same chemistry but again it would never happen. He will always be the one that got away. Im married now & I love my husband so much it hurts but I do think about him every now & then, I just hope he is happy. Looking back I wished id taken his advice that day. I wish I had looked at myself and realized the damage I was doing. But all I could see was fat.
I was incredibly depressed through highschool. I was outgoing & bubbly but noone knew I cried myself to sleep every night. I began cutting myself. I only cut for a few months, never anything really deep but it was still pretty bad. I managed to stop on my own and im so glad I did before i did any real damage. I have a few scars but only superficial stuff. When I was 16 I got a job at a local bakery. At the end of the day anything not sold would be given to staff or thrown out. I started eating alot of sausage rolls & sticky buns & purged it all. Soon I stopped purging but kept eating. I had also stopped doing martial arts training to concentrate on my senior exams. I gained alot of weight to the point I was now considered 'slim' or a healthy weight.
I started university the following year and continued a life of junk food & no exercise mixed with exam stress. In my final year of university I lose about 20kg doing weight watchers but only managed to maintain it for a few months before finishing university and starting a full time job. I thought it was just an adjustment period of being a full-time shift worker mixed with moving out of home & in with my fiance. That was 4 years ago. I have continued to lead a very unhealthy lifestyle of bad diet & no real exercise plan. I am constantly stressed & sleep-deprived and I feel like im 30 years old already when im just 24yrs old.
I have a very stressful career. I am a registered nurse and for the last 18 months I have specialised in intensive care nursing. I have started studying again and as of November I will be moving to a bigger more stressful intensive care hospital and doing my masters degree next year. Yes, I know its adding even more stress to my life but I love my job so much. To me, id rather find ways to counteract the stress instead of give-up on my dream career altogether even though its not helping me stress-wise. My career is very important to me and I plan to continue to make it grow. I love the challenge. I crave the challenge. I enjoy challenging myself everyday to the point of being stressed out. My problem is I never release that stress. And its this built up stress which is killing me. My diet (or lack of) and exercise patterns are also a mess.
Ive been vegetarian for 4 years now but its very easy to be an unhealthy vego and im proof of that! Ive played with the idea of being a vegan and id like to try be vegan again. But a healthy vegan! There is plenty of unhealthy vegan foods out there which is ok every now & then but I am striving to be a healthy vegan and even someday maybe low fat raw vegan. Exercise is another issue. I walk the dog most days but thats about it. Im very interested in yoga & pilates & would like to explore those activities further.
I used to meditate alot when I was younger, my mother introduced me to it and she still does it but I havent in years. I need to learn how to quiet my mind and delete all the crap it accumulates throughout the day and learn to rest & breath properly! I found a review on a book in a yoga magazine titled 'A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook' which also includes meditation exercises & a CD. Ive just had my copy delivered in the mail today and look forward to working through the exercises. I will try keep this blog updated with my progress!
So essentially the whole idea of this blog is a place for me to have a rant about the positive changes I plan to make to my life and to share my hopefully inspiring journey to influence others to take a step back and say 'this is my life and i am in control'. Happy reading!