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Women’s Wellness Activator

I’ve been on somewhat of a personal and professional development path this past couple of years. If you’ve been reading these newsletters, following my social media and attending metafit, you will have noticed various shifts and changes in my message, my focus and my attention.

I’ll be the first to admit, I did fall out of love with taking metafit sessions day after day, week after week, and felt I could offer so much more than just metafit. So, I went searching …

I invested in courses, and business coaches. I entered an affiliation relationship. I experimented with a few different class offerings, I focussed on a different market segment.

I tried stuff – some worked, some didn’t.

Some things gave me great joy and satisfaction, others depleted me.

And it is as a result of all of these combined experiences – positive and negative – I have arrived where I am today … and that is exciting.

I’d like to introduce you to me – Jacqui Toohey – Women’s Wellness Activator – a funky term for a Health & Wellbeing Coach.

I help women build strong bodies, minds & lifestyle habits so that their strongest, healthiest and fittest years are ahead of them, not behind.

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Fitness not Fatness

How do you measure the success of your exercise or fitness program?

Was your answer an aesthetic measure – loss of weight, thinner waist, smaller thighs, visible abs, less cellulite …

So what happens when none of the above happen after weeks or months of exercising? Your weight is the same, you still have love handles, and your cellulite hasn’t budged. Have you failed?

If you said “yes” you’re not alone. Visible results are used as the measure of success by many – the diet industry, leading fitness chains, social media influencers to name a few.

Unfortunately, this is also one of the main reasons women give up on exercise – because they interpret their efforts as “failing” when appearance related milestones aren’t reached.

BUT, despite the scales not budging, you have more energy, can run 5km without stopping, have reduced your blood pressure, improved your cardiovascular fitness, reduced your resting heart rate, can carry 3 shopping bags in each hand from the car up your front steps…

Where is the cudos, the recognition or even the before and after pictures that captures all of that?

Somewhere along the way the reason we exercise has been flipped to be more about FATNESS NOT FITNESS.

But how fit and healthy you are is so much more than how you look. Its about how you FEEL, what you can DO, how much MORE you can LIVE.

That’s why I will NEVER run a 6-week challenge where how much weight you lose is the measure of success, I will never use before & after pics, and nor will I promise that by working with me you will lose weight.

What I WILL do, is encourage and empower you to reclaim your PHYSICAL POWER – the power to be, and do, and live more, and measure your success on what your body can DO, not what it LOOKS LIKE.

And see the word exercise to mean FITNESS NOT FATNESS again.
@jacqui.toohey

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Today I did something I haven’t done for a while…

Woman sitting on ledge thinking

Today I did something I haven’t done for a while – I stood on the bathroom scales and weighed myself.

I used to do this daily.

The number I saw on the scale would then influence my mood, what I ate, how much I exercised, how I dressed, what I thought of myself. In short – it would dictate whether I had a good day or a bad day.

What happened today? Looking down at the scales I noticed the numbers where a little different to the last time – “interesting”!

I looked in the mirror and I saw myself. I saw the body of a (nearly) 48-year-old woman. A woman who has carried, birthed, nourished and nurtured 3-children. A body that has been physically active for as long as its been alive. A physique that is strong, has run marathons, can do pull-ups, can deadlift more than it weighs. A scar that signifies the entrance to the world of baby #3.

A body that is starting to change as it transitions from child-bearing years through the years of peri-menopause to menopause and beyond. A frame that supports a family, encasing a heart that beats, lungs that breathe, and limbs that move.

A body that I am at peace with.

But it hasn’t always been that way.

There were years of fighting with my body. There were years of restriction, over-exercising, of not feeling thin enough. There was a great fear of getting fat, weighing more, of not being fit enough, of not being enough.

When I looked in the mirror then I only saw flaws – not tall enough, not busty enough, arms too muscly, too many veins, not enough curves, not a flat enough stomach…

And when I looked at the scales then, the number was much less than what it is today.

Weight does not equal health, or worthiness, or happiness.

Thin does not equal fit, or healthy, or happy.

Well-being and healthy habits are so much more important than the number on a scale. Living a fulfilling life is not dependent upon how you look, what you weigh or how young you stay.

I am heavier, happier and healthier now more than ever.

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Do you suffer from Decision Fatigue?

My 5-Top Tips to avoid Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue. Heard of it? It’s that feeling of overwhelm that gradually builds up, to the point where if you have to make one more decision, for yourself or someone else, it may just tip you over the edge.

Let’s face it – life is one decision after the next. If you are a (recovering) perfectionist like me, trying to make the “right” decision whilst keeping everyone happy, reduces your capacity to make excellent choices when it really matters.

Personally, I have learnt that by trying to make the “right” decision about every logistical arrangement for the family, every group fitness session, every post on Facebook and every minute of my day is not only impossible and exhausting, but it leaves me mentally and emotionally drained to make great decisions about the things that matter the most.

I was sweating the small stuff!

So rather than trying to make the perfect decision, or not make a decision at all in case it’s the wrong one, I now try to make a choice that meets a basic standard of satisfaction, and then move on.

This is what I like to call “its good enough”. Decision made, move on.

In practice, this allows me to get more done because I’m not wasting precious time or energy on decisions that in the grand scheme of things, don’t really matter.

For example – So I didn’t get the best possible price for my new runners. Meh. Move on. So my choice of salmon at dinner didn’t look as tasty as the chicken my husband chose. Move on. So I didn’t correct the typo in the Facebook post before I pressed publish? Move on.

Here are my 5 top tips on how you can avoid “Decision Fatigue”

  1. Don’t fall into the comparison trap! Despite your best intentions, if you compare there will always be someone who made a better (cheaper, tastier, better looking, easier, quicker results etc) choice. Make the best decision you can with what you know and leave it at that. So your shoes cost $50 more than Sarah’s who bought them online, OK, move on, let it go.
  2. Limit your choices. I love the idea of a uniform. Why? It takes away the need to make a decision about what to wear each day. Steve Job’s was known to wear only blue jeans and either a black or white t-shirt to work every single day so he didn’t’ have to waste his energy each morning on deciding what to wear. By applying this principle to those things which aren’t really critical, will free up your time and brain space for the meaningful stuff. Long live activewear!
  3. Lower your bar or standard. This has possibly been one of the harder things for me to do, but also the one that has made the most difference. By lowering the decision-making bar to what is a ‘good enough’ choice rather than what is the perfect choice, has saved me hours of unproductive research, worry, and indecision. 80% is good enough.
  4. Make it irreversible. Some decisions we make, such as what to wear to work, are not going to change the course of history or damage your health if you simply make the decision and move on.But, if you make an open-ended decision by keeping your options open just in case you change your mind later, or hedge your bets, this will leave you wide open to constantly second-guessing yourself which is exhausting. Make a choice, stick to it, end of story.
  5. Be decisive despite your uncertainty. Hands up if you’ve let the fear of making a wrong decision stop you from making a right decision…or making any at all. Yep, my hand is UP. Of course, there are genuinely important decisions that we need to make throughout the course of life – and these are the ones we want to save our energy for. We have so much data, information and a plethora of possibilities at our disposal that if we analyse the small stuff for too long we miss out on living life and allow potential or opportunities pass us by.

Research has found, the most successful people don’t sweat small decisions and they don’t spend years analysing and researching the big ones. Instead, they make the best decision they can at that time with the available data. If the outcome is less than ideal, they pivot and move on. Delaying a decision at the time can seem like the safest thing to do, but can often be the riskiest.

What I’ve come to realise is that good enough is truly good enough. By letting go of the fear of making an imperfect decision I am no longer distracted from making great decisions about the things that matter the most in life. Living life, being in the moment, that’s what really matters x

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Change

“The Change”

Change is sometimes forced upon us. Menopause is a little like that. We don’t have any control over when it will happen, how long the transition will take, or what symptoms we will suffer. But just like paying taxes and dying, women will travel through perimenopause on the way to destination menopause. But what we do have control over, is how we react to and manage this change.

I am 47. It’s a little weird to see that number on paper, as it confirms that I am creeping ever closer to 50 and yet it doesn’t seem possible. I still feel 24 in my head, my body usually acts like a 30-year-old and my outlook on life remains young. Yet I can tell my body is changing. Although it’s been pretty smooth sailing up until now, I know bumpy seas may not be too far away…

Entering my forties was a breeze – in fact I was in better condition both physically and mentally than I was in my twenties. I felt awesome! The baby-making days were well and truly over (you can read about my Bump, Bubs & Beyond story here), I was running faster & further than ever (pic above is me running New York City marathon in 2011 age 41), lifting, jumping, studying, I started my own business, worked with a charity, managed an active family. Life was (and still is) good.

Then earlier this year, I started to notice a shift both physically and emotionally.

Physically I’m not bouncing back quite as quickly from training as I did 12 months ago. I need to include recovery, restorative activity and rest days regularly or I pay for it (hello sore back!). I’ve noticed a little “marshmallow” around my tummy and upper legs despite no deviation from my usual diet. And, I have days when I am completely s p e n t.

But I think it’s the emotional side that is most telling. In general, I’ve never really been too up & down with the monthly ebb & flow of hormones. Not any more –  I’m all OvEr the place!  Some days I’m clear headed, efficient, super productive, can handle anything that comes my way – good or bad. Other days I’m in a complete fog. Making a decision is stressful, being “on” and “up” for clients a real challenge, and trying to see the good in situations or people takes a lot of effort. My darling daughter tells me that there are times when my fuse is really, really short and I’m super grumpy mum! I also have days when I’d prefer to be by myself.

So, although I haven’t had it medically confirmed (blood tests next week) I’m pretty sure I’ve just taken a seat on the perimenopause train. This could be a quick express trip or stopping all stations. Either way, this is why I’ve started researching, questioning, listening and talking with other women about menopause. I want to know the facts that will help answer all the “why do I feel like this” questions I have. I want to find solutions and work out strategies so I can embrace this stage of life and see it as a positive experience. And I want to STAY STRONG, FIT & ACTIVE (in active wear) for a long time to come.

Women are brilliant at talking! Sometimes we just need a little kick start to get the conversation flowing, but when it does – BOOM! Let’s start this conversation about menopause. It (menopause) will happen so staying silent is not going to make it go away. Being a negative Norah (sorry Gran T x) about all the side effects will not make them feel any better. If we share our experiences, talk openly and honestly – without judgement – we can help each other through this stage and out the other side with our dignity, sanity and badass attitude intact!  Because guess what – we still have a whole lot of living to do.

If you’ve got a story to share, questions to ask, strategies that have worked for you, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at jacqui@heartbodyandsoul.com.au  or join the closed Facebook Group I’ve created especially for all of the 40+ fabulous women of the Heart Body & Soul community.

All power to the badass ladies of Heart Body & Soul xx

 

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Teenage Boys & Laundry

What is it with teenage boys & laundry?

Ladies I’m curious…is this the same at your place?

Have you found that at a certain age, the male child who was once verbal, communicative and fairly compliant with daily chores, completely disappears. In his place is someone who looks familiar but has sprouted hair in a few new places, a deeper voice (when its used) and who likes to spend a lot of time in his bedroom with the door closed.

On venturing into said bedroom (once male child has left the building), my first reaction is to pull open blinds & windows and let fresh air IN and THAT stench OUT! Holy mother of…what is THAT!

Next is to try and work out what needs to be washed which isn’t as straight forward as you would think. What has been worn obviously need a trip to the washing machine. BUT – here’s what gets to me – clothes that haven’t been put away, let alone worn, need to be washed too just because they have been sitting underneath what has been worn so it STINKS TOO!

This expedition into said bedroom doesn’t happen all that often as I leave the kids responsible for putting their washing down the laundry chute – you want clean clothes, you put them out to be washed. But, when you haven’t seen any washing come down the chute from teenage son#1 in some time, and the dog can’t even stand the smell wafting out from under the door, then you know it’s time for action and the expedition.

Try as I do, there just seems to be a disconnect between teenage son #1’s intelligent brain and practical ability. I sometimes wonder at what point he’d crack (if I didn’t crack first) and see how long it would be before he thinks it’s time to remove the upper layer of floor covering and put it down the laundry chute to get washed? After he’s worn jocks more than once? When someone mentions he’s a bit on the nose? I shudder to think!

So, I’ve decided to go back to the daily “has anyone got any washing” question. With a little prompt, the practical ability kicks in and sure enough, I get a chute full of stinky laundry – just the way to start the day!

How do you get your teenagers to look after themselves? Any tips?