This time last year I really felt as though I had hit a brick wall in terms of my health and wellbeing. After the birth of my two little girls and a period of severe illness, I was struggling to regain my energy, vitality and reach the weight goals that I knew I needed to feel at my best in both body and mind. I made a big decision. That the time had come for a drastic life overhaul. Sound dramatic?! Maybe a little! Yet I knew I really needed to dedicate my time, energy and focus to my health, otherwise, I was never going to reach the goals I had set for myself.
Taking those first few steps isn’t always easy. Keeping up motivation isn’t always easy. Yet when you start to see and feel the difference that all your effort is making, then the journey actually becomes fun, exciting and incredibly rewarding.
It’s easy to make up excuses in modern-day life as we are all busy; many of us have full plates and are juggling a combination of family and friends, work or study and a plethora of obligations or commitments. Yet what I came to realise is that your health has to take priority. Nothing else can truly succeed and flow with ease when you are out of alignment with your own health and happiness. As a mother of two children under three, and a business owner of not one but three retreat businesses with a global team, I’m here to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it too!
Maybe you don’t need to overhaul your whole life. Maybe it’s just one or two areas that you feel need a little extra attention to come into balance. The tips I have for you below are the top things that have worked for me this year and what I now share with my own friends and even guests who are looking to transform their lives and wellbeing.
My key goal with Escape Haven has always been to help women reconnect to themselves and take the time to regain their sense of vitality in a supportive and inspiring environment. I feel even more connected to that purpose than ever before. My own journey has been the inspiration to launch our two newest retreat packages- our Luxury Detox Retreat and our Luxury Pilates Retreat. Both of these packages offer some of the key activities that have helped me to lose over 25 kilos, let go of stress and anxiety, boost my mood, balance my hormones, support my metabolism and really regain an optimal level of holistic wellbeing.
I am now excited to share my own journey and encourage, inspire and motivate other women on their own health endeavours. For a long time, I was stuck in a negative thought pattern that said ‘nothing works for me.’ Our thoughts are so powerful, as are the stories we tell ourselves daily. My decision to turn this story around and take positive action was the kick-starter. Below are my other top tips that have been pivotal in my journey. I know that by implementing these or some of these in your own life, you too will start to see and feel a radical transformation.
As I already mentioned above, we all have full plates these days which can easily distract us from putting our own health needs first. Many women also attest to feeling incredibly guilty about putting their own needs above others. What I discovered is that making time for yourself really comes down to priorities and time management. I broke up my days so that I could focus on one thing at each time throughout the day, making sure I was covering the needs I had with work and family, and treating my own health needs as an equal priority. Whether it was a morning beach walk, Pilates class, meditation or surf session, these activities were equally as important as my work meetings or taking my little girl to school. Scheduling in mealtimes became non-negotiable so that I knew I was eating at the ideal time and had the energy and focus for the other areas of my life. Making time for yourself also means learning to delegate. This year I have really put my team in positions of power so they can thrive at what they love and I can trust these areas are being taken care of. Breaking your day up into these different areas really helps you to focus and feel in control. I also found that I was more present, especially with my children, and more productive this way too.
Taking your health into your own hands also means having your health properly assessed by a professional. This year I have been lucky to work with some incredible doctors and healers who have helped me so much in terms of knowing exactly what I am dealing with and how to fix it. We can spend years (and thousands of dollars!) when we are self-diagnosing or walking around in the dark when it comes to our health. See a professional and get proper tests done, especially those that look for things like thyroid function, metabolism and insulin resistance. I was able to really find out the essential things that my body was lacking in or struggling with and supplement accordingly. This made an immediate impact and such a huge difference day to day and long term in reaching my goals.
3 litres of water a day is my non-negotiable. We really underestimate the effect that water has on our weight, and also on every single aspect of your wellbeing. Being properly hydrated assists digestion, balances your mood, increases energy levels, balanced blood sugar, supports alkalinity and so much more. Oftentimes we also reach for food when actually, our body is simply crying out for water! Keep a water bottle on you at all times and monitor what you are drinking. This is an easy way to immediately uplevel your health.
Work on your limiting beliefs
As women, we can be incredibly hard on ourselves. Many of us, or most of us, have stories and limiting beliefs that we have carried with us for a long long time. So long, that these stories and ways of being are ingrained in us. These can be incredibly hard to shift and can sabotage your very best efforts. I worked with one of our amazing healers on our Bali retreat, Karolina, who does Theta healing that works on a very deep level to shift these negative limiting beliefs. If you don’t have access to some kind of healer as such, I also found that my morning meditation and morning positive affirmations were incredibly powerful.
Create morning rituals
How you start your day hugely impacts the tone of the whole day to come. Set aside some time in the morning just for you- this may mean setting your alarm just ten minutes earlier. Morning rituals are around doing something that makes you feel strong positive and grounded. For me, the morning rituals I enjoy the most are what I mentioned just above- morning meditation and positive affirmations. I use an app called Calm which is a terrific way to meditate for those new to the practice, and then I state 3 positive affirmations. You will be amazed at how these little things can make a huge difference to your day. Choose a morning ritual that you love- it may be a cup of tea, some time in nature, some breathwork practices, a morning bath- something that lifts your mood and sets you in the right direction.
I lost 25 kilos in 12 weeks on an eating program that revolved around meals consisting of 100 grams of protein or 150 grams of seafood and 300 grams of vegetables. I followed this for both lunch and dinner. For snacks, I enjoyed green apples, strawberries, oranges or an egg. I cut out all sugar, grains, gluten and focused on a very low carb meal plan with plenty of quality protein and lots of veggies. I felt elated after a week on this programme and I had so much energy. I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t have any cravings and I finally felt in control of my eating. I also implemented periods of juice cleansing for 3-5 days at a time. I found these to also be incredibly helpful, not only to assist with weight loss, but also with mental clarity and energy. The juice cleanses work on a deep level to remove toxins from the body and clean out the digestive tract. Combined with colonics they can be very transformational and really support radiant health. I always recommend people see a nutritionist or professional when it comes to adopting any sort of meal plan or embarking on a cleanse and I also know the different things work for different people. Yet this was what I followed and found to be incredibly successful.
The key to physical movement is finding something you enjoy doing. For me, I have loved incorporating Pilates and surfing into my life. Pilates really helped me to rebuild my body strength and having a stronger core made me feel and move differently. Pilates is low impact but the movements and practice have truly profound results for the entire body. It improves both strength and also flexibility and really tones the body- you will discover muscle groups you never knew existed! Surfing has always been a passion of mine, and once I let go of for some time while struggling with my health. Getting back in the ocean made me feel so alive- there is nothing like that ‘surfers high’ as we see on our surf ladies each week on retreat! Surfing is so much fun it barely feels like a workout while you are out there, but it sure is! Finding ways to move that light you up is key.
Besides healthy eating, I also incorporate a lot of amazing treatments. Lymphatic drainage is wonderful as it helps to remove toxins and also water retention. Body scrubs, Ayurveda treatments, infrared sauna and acupuncture are all go-to’s for me when it comes to taking proper care of myself. These types of treatments work on so many levels- making you look and feel wonderful on a physical level, and also working on a deeper level to detoxify, release blockages in the body’s energy systems and also release stress and tension. If you can take yourself to a day spa or a healer at least once a week or once a month, then you will find that these ‘indulgences’ really need to be looked at as essential to our wellbeing. Don’t let your inner story or guilt tell you otherwise! These treatments go a long way in transforming your health and can often heal ailments quickly and effectively. One of the reasons we have introduced so many incredible healing options on our Bali retreat is because we know first hand how powerful and transformative just one session is.
Do you know what? It took me quite some time to actually figure out what I found to be fun! Once I had figured it out, I started to dedicate more time to focus on things that brought out my light side. I love planning things into my week now that I enjoy and that make me laugh, and this also means spending time with people who uplift me too. We can allow life to become so serious. Busy lives also tend to place ‘fun’ things at the bottom of the to-do list. I found that doing things that lit me up and being around positive people really transformed my mood, mental health and energy levels. Think about what fun means to you and make a commitment to including more of this in your life.
At this year’s Global Wellness Summit I discovered a new term- ‘the walking wellness wounded.’ This referred to people who work in the wellness industry but didn’t take time to look after their own health. I certainly didn’t want to fall into this category! As women, we are natural givers and carers, yet we simply have to remember to treat ourselves with this love and care also. This year I have visited some incredible retreat centres, wellness hotels and also a yoga surf retreat of my own. These retreats reminded me of why I started the business after all! They have been instrumental to my health and wellbeing- in body, mind and soul. They also filled me with inspiration on how we can assist you better on your retreat experience also. I came away from each of these experiences feeling like a brand new person. I gained so much for each journey and they have been instrumental in keeping me focused, motivated and at my best throughout the year. I am already making plans for more retreat time in 2020, as well as begin to get more involved with my own retreats again especially with the exciting launch of Escape Haven Voyages!
Phew, that’s quite a list! Yet these are simple, easy and manageable tips that anyone can work with. Don’t feel as though you need to incorporate them all into your life right away! But if one or two really stood out to you, focus on those. If you are looking for a radical transformation, look at introducing these steps one at a time so as not to feel overwhelmed. On our Bali retreats, we are always dedicated to helping you find your optimal level of health and happiness, and programs are always customised to your specific needs and goals. If you are looking for a kick-starter, a retreat can be a great place to start! Or if you simply have any questions, send me an email, I am always here to support you on your own journey.
Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul
We invite you to experience our award-winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness classes and restorative healing sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.