SELF-CARE SECRET #2: SUPPORT

A support system is key to success

The hardest part of achieving any goal is not the first step. That’s usually relatively easy. In the beginning of any new goal, you’re fired up and eager for results. What’s difficult is maintaining that energy. That’s why a support system is so important, according to Kate Hudson.

Over the weekend, I came across this Youtube video of Kate being interviewed by Gwyneth Paltrow for Goop, and she talks about how hard it is to cultivate discipline when you don’t have support. Gwyn mentions that this is the very reason she created Goop, because she knows from experience that without support, progress is not sustainable.

The candour and insight of Kate’s attitude to healthy living reminded me that it’s hard to do anything alone and it’s okay to ask for help, in fact, it’s vital. Which is why I’ve decided to sign up for Jen Heward’s IGNITE Challenge. It runs for the next 6 weeks, and my goal is to expand my meal choices. I’ve no idea if I can do this.

FIND YOUR WHY

I don’t like joining in, and am not a fan of group activities. No joke: my idea of hell is being stuck on a tour bus with a group of tourists for eternity. That’s why my fitness journey has been a solitary experience, relying on my resolve and curiosity to maintain the challenge, find new workouts and keep up my motivation. It’s not easy.

Of late, I find I put the minimum of effort into food prep. This is a dangerous place to be. Many years ago, I learned that the secret to eating healthy is to prepare meals in advance. That way, when you go to the fridge, the healthy option is there, already prepared, making it an easy obvious choice.

At some point, this began to feel like too much work, and I’ve become less creative with my choices. I still prepare food in advance, but I’ve lost the joy of cooking. To change things up, first, I have to work up the energy to want to change. This is where support comes in.

SET A CHALLENGE

But I love food, and love preparing it, especially when I know what I’m making is IBS-friendly and not going to cause a flare-up, meaning I can enjoy eating it without fear. It took years of experimentation for me to find a collection of IBS-friendly ingredients that allows me to eat a range of foods.

Because I put so much effort into this in the past, and know what I can eat without causing a flare up, I restrict my choices, play it safe. I don’t want to play it safe anymore. I want to remember how much I love food, and go back to enjoying every meal, and take pleasure in knowing it’s fuelling my gains.

So, I’ve joined a group, yes, me, the loner with no friends has signed up to an online fitness challenge with one of my favourite fitness coaches Jen Heward. I’ve been following Jen’s workouts since 2016, and have wanted to work with her for some time. If I’m going to join any group, it’s hers!

FIND YOUR TRIBE

Signing up to the course was a challenge in itself. Just to access the app, I had to clean up my phone, delete a bunch of old files, and update the software. I was so irritated by this process, I burned a boiled egg. See photo for proof – I didn’t realize it was possible to burn a boiled egg either, but there you go!

On Day I of the challenge, Jen hosts a Live Session on her Facebook page. Like a good student, I study the app beforehand, but I need not have worried because Jen explains everything in detail, and I can see that lots of the women have similar questions to mine, meaning I get all the answers I need during this Q&A session.

But I get a lot more than that. I signed up to a lot of online courses – as many of us have – during the 2020 Lockdown. So far, Jen stands out from the others. Not only is her personality warm, inviting and inclusive, she’s so non-judgmental, I instantly feel like I’m part of a secret family.

Jen’s app is so beautifully put together too, all the meals look yummy, and I’m already excited about trying some new recipes. After the Q&A session, I feel included, supported and motivated, like I’m really going to learn something, and am part of a truly non-judgmental community that’s rooting for me to make gains. What more could you ask for? Suddenly, I feel like a joiner!

PRACTICE

What new activity is on your mind, something that you’ve been thinking about doing but haven’t made time for yet? Can you get the ball rolling this week? Make a phone call? Make an appointment? Download that app? Go for it!

FOLLOW ME

If you’d like regular updates on the gains I make during Jen’s IGNITE challenge, make sure to hit that follow button!

EATING PLAN

If you’d like advice on how to create your own meal plan, I’ll be running workshops later this summer. For more information, send an email to wildwomanaw@gmail.com

Published by The Healthy Hashhead

Challenging attitudes to cannabis, nutrition and fitness with conscious questions.

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