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More than Survival

Anna’s Story

Allow me to tell the story of a fellow cancer survivor – where I have the honour of sharing a triumphant process of a woman regaining control and injecting choice back into her life. A stark comparison to the cancer process where choice is usually in limited supply.

Breast Friends

This is Anna (right) and myself (left) – we became very close friends (‘breast’ friends) – through the shared experience of Breast Cancer.  Anna supported me selflessly through my own treatment.  I couldn’t live without her 🙂

 

Choice and control is more powerful than you think… Often, like a lot of things in life, until you loose something, you don’t necessarily value its importance. This is a story of an incredible woman exercising choice and control to nourish her soul and bring a feeling of peace back to her heart, after feeling torment for so long.

Anna suffered from breast cancer at 35, then again at 42 (parotid gland cancer) and then again (yes, again) when she was 47, breast cancer (triple negative). She’s had 20 surgeries, 8 chemotherapy sessions, 60 radiotherapy treatments and various complications along the way that could probably fill a book (maybe she’ll let me write that one day)?

I titled this story ‘More than Survival’ and when you get to the end, you’ll understand why.

On the 24th February 2017 – I held Anna’s hand and walked through the doors of ‘Tatts on Tatts Off’ (Tattoo Studio) to begin a process that was incredibly moving.

On that day…

Walking through the door, I personally feel a sense of anxiety, even though I’m only the support person. It’s a bit of an intimidating environment for me. I guess it’s the fear of the unknown and the unexplored… I share butterflies in the pit of my stomach for my beautiful friend… exciting butterflies. Before we know it, there is banter, jokes and consent forms. I look at my friend and we give each other a knowing smile. Today is the day. Today is the day Anna has been waiting for [for nearly twelve months].

The ex Navy, ex Police officer and incredibly talented artist takes us through to a private room. It is clean, it is professional, and it is an impeccably organised and sophisticated studio with the right amount of spunk. Anna get’s to ‘Show em Who’s Boss’ she gets to take control, she is a warrior and today she gets to make a choice.

Let me explain what cancer is and how it operates in terms of mindset. It strips you of decisions, it strips you of freedom and it manages to back you into a corner that dictates and tries to define… If you can manage to get out unscathed emotionally, well I take my hat off to you… Whilst cancer can never steal your soul, it does a bloody good job of trying to do so.

With Anna, a survivor of three separate primary cancers… her soul is very much in tact, it’s on fire and it’s thriving. This woman I write about is absolutely ‘tough as nails.’ Courageous and young at heart, this amazing woman with a tough exterior is also a beautifully soft human. She’s got a heart of gold, and gold she has given to me, in bucket loads; a friendship that I am eternally grateful for. She sprinkles glitter on my life, brightening any darkness.

For years, Anna has had to look at scarring across her breasts, going through numerous surgeries, not because of choice but for the sake of her life. For those of you who think Breast Cancer Surgery is ‘just a boob job’ or a chance to get ‘a new pair’ – let me set it straight for you… IT.IS.NOT! IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT! If you have had radiation on your breasts, your entire breast becomes scar tissue. Now tell me how you stretch scar tissue? Exactly! It’s not ideal. Experienced surgeons struggle to create natural looking breasts post cancer treatments. It’s not a matter of just slotting a breast implant under a muscle.

I watch my beautiful friend, she’s lying peacefully yet with the occasional clench of her teeth and the pinch of her eyes… she’s in pain, yet taking it in, gritting and baring it, why? Today is all about choice!!

 

A whimsical design of flowing leaves, foliage and branches leads to a strong and sophisticated rose… petals are layered with precious detail. Two strong and intricately placed roses are meticulously tattooed across Anna’s chest. No longer scarred by endless surgeries, now imprinted by choice, an empowerment like no other which brings strength and beauty back to the core of ones own heart. A sexiness to be felt within, a confidence re-installed to a girl who deserves that feeling. All women deserve to feel beautiful and empowered – and today…. Today was the day to take it all back, take back control and utilise the power of choice.

Cancer you might bring it – but Anna brings it better!!

I am witnessing the most beautiful art on an incredibly strong and inspiring canvas. I get to hold Anna’s hand as she takes back her own power and totally owns her inner sexy… she’s rocking it and I’m grateful to be her support on this milestone day.

Every single woman deserves to feel sexy, and sadly some have their ‘identity’ taken through brutal measures… I’ve never been a ‘tattoo girl’ yet, today, the penny drops and I understand it.

Peter Bone aka ‘Bones’ is the talent behind this artwork – he has a similar heart to that of Anna… almost two years ago, he started doing nipple tattooing. Often in tumour removal, reconstructive surgery or mastectomies that are a result of breast cancer, women may lose their nipples. Bones offers nipple tattooing for breast cancer warriors, pro-bono – it’s a love job! He recognised the emotional pain woman experience when looking in the mirror post surgery and the need for this type of service.

Often breast cancer surgery is expensive and emotionally taxing. At the end of the surgical process, the pain one feels internally when looking at their reflection can be incredibly heartbreaking. When I asked Peter about his compassionate decision to offer nipple tattooing free of charge, he said, “I was sick of hearing cosmetic surgeons charging a fortune for a less than perfect end result.” Peter believed that he could offer a much higher standard that women would be (and are) happier with.

Whilst nipple tattooing is a stark contrast to that of full sleeves, back tatts or tramp stamps, it’s a rewarding service and I’m personally grateful for Peter’s empathy and understanding for woman who must go down the unchosen fight path. Women can come to ‘Tatts on Tatts Off’ to complete themselves if that’s what they feel is missing. Or like my gorgeous girlfriend, you might choose to do something more artistic.

I’ve often said that I’m not a ‘tatt’ girl, though, I do admit to having five tattoos – yes five… not by choice. When you undergo radiotherapy, they must permanently tattoo various markers so that you can be aligned to the beams that will shoot radiation through your body. These remaining markers are like scars, they are reminders – I used to hate them, and now they’re just like all my other imperfections… they tell a story; the fact that I’m still here to tell it is case in point – I’m ok with my ‘marks’. However, if your radiotherapy tatts annoy you, come and see ‘Bones’ – multi-talented, he can also remove tattoos.

Out the other side – Anna has now had three sessions with her tattoo artist and the end result is one that has sparked a ‘new girl’. Even after the initial session when they were not yet complete, she had a spring in her step and a contagious energy that was radiating in bucket loads.   It was such an amazing transformation. The physical look of how such art has changed Anna’s appearance is one thing, yet the emersion of a new person that now houses a delicate softness in her heart for herself is priceless. This renewed self-love is the most magical aspect of the entire process; a breakthrough transformation after battling cancer multiple times.

After a tangle of life-threatening illnesses that deeply disturbed her life, watching Anna evolve as her blissful right of choice was fulfilled, is truly inspiring. I’m so proud and in awe of my beautiful ‘breast’ friend.

In conclusion – lets all take our hat off to the unbelievably brave and kind woman that she is. For Anna to share these pictures, allowing others to momentarily come into her world is incredibly admirable.

This piece was originally published in my digital magazine, Enlighten.  You can see it in magazine design HERE.

Since writing this article, Anna’s tattoo artist Peter Bone (aka Bones) has launched a charity called ‘Survivors Ink’.

What is Survivors Ink?

Survivors Ink is a non-profit charity organisation, focused on providing breast cancer survivors with FREE realistic nipple tattooing and financial support. Most breast cancer survivors and their families are still facing, both financial and emotional hardship as a result of their cancer treatment and recovery.

Many breast cancer survivors are unable to consider cosmetic tattooing and reconstructive surgery, due to the exorbitant costs associated.

Survivors Inks aim is to provide free realistic nipple tattooing to all Australians affected by breast cancer and aid in their physical and mental recovery, free of charge.

If you know of anyone who could benefit from the process of nipple tattooing or alternatively are able to donate, please don’t hesitate to call or check out their website and social media accounts for further details. All donations are greatly appreciated.

www.survivorsink.com.au

www.tattsontattsoff.com

Instagram: survivors_ink and tattsontattsoff

Facebook: Survivors Ink and Tatts on Tatts Off

B x

 

 

 

 

Are you spending too much time on your phone?

Do you get mesmerised by the little red dots that tell us how many notifications are on each of our social media platforms, or our emails? Are you drawn to them without even realising? Do you check your phone way more than necessary – simply because you have habitually become drawn to clearing notifications?

I became unwell recently with a virus that snowballed to the point I ended up in hospital… really crook. I ended up with vestibular neuritis, a condition where I was suffering chronic nauseousness (plus incessant vomiting) and an imbalance caused by dizziness. I struggled to walk straight and I can only describe it as either morning sickness on steroids or the point you reach when you know you’ve had too many drinks (and you can’t go back) – yuck!

Due to the dizziness, scrolling my phone made things worse, it made me want to throw up (more than I already was) and so I took some time off my phone. It also stressed me out if I saw work emails, because I knew I was too sick to professionally take the time to reply.

Even though picking up my phone made me sick, I began to realise how habitual it was for me to constantly check it (particularly because I had nothing else to do). So when I was drawn to it, I realised that it was because of my notifications.

I went into settings and I turned off Facebook and Instagram notifications, amongst a few others – and the verdict? Wow – what a difference this has made to my life. No longer when I press my home button, do I see a long list of ‘Insta’ notifications etc. that naturally have me unlocking my phone and diving into social media. It’s not only checking notifications, but it’s also the next half hour of time wastage that comes naturally when you begin the infinite scroll.

I have gained so much more time in my daily routine. I check in on social media, wayyyyy less than I was doing. Now when I check in, it’s because I choose to do so, not because I see something flash on my screen that I’m hypnotised to check.

Do you waste way too much time on your phone? Do you procrastinate via your phone instead of doing whatever it is you are meant to be? Do you feel flat after you’ve wasted an hour and gained absolutely nothing? Do you sometimes feel prisoner to your phone?

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I love checking in with my favourites and previewing chic brands, housing ‘inspo’ and cute new bits and pieces; I also love sharing snippets of my own life – yet, all of those things (for me) should be in moderation… And I was over using my phone with zero purpose and starting to resent the time I was wasting.

I think if we’re all honest, these smart phones have become like a drug. When we’re bored, scroll your phone. When you’re alone at a café, scroll your phone. If you’re waiting for dinner to cook, scroll your phone. Hop into bed, scroll your phone, wake up in the morning, and scroll your phone! For me, it just became TOO MUCH!!

Turning notifications off has changed my overuse and I have a much healthier relationship with my phone/social media now that I have done so.

If you feel like you need a little detox, perhaps you too can turn your notifications off?

… Just some food for thought!

B x

What’s Your Grocery Game?

Daily, Weekly, Fortnightly?

Do you enjoy Grocery shopping? [Me: “Hell No”].

In my ‘Single Mumma’ days, I was paid fortnightly, so I shopped fortnightly.

When Hubby and I moved in together, we lived in central which meant we just went daily, we’d take in turns and get whatever we needed on demand. Mind you, neither of us would ever walk away from our daily shops spending any less than one ‘Pineapple’ ($50).

I’ve also tried weekly shopping, online shopping, online/pick up. I’ve had routines that have worked and others where we spent way too much [i.e. choosing extra things we didn’t need and weren’t on the list] or, having a huge amount of wastage and filling a big garbage bag full of veggies we didn’t end up using [wastage is a pet hate of mine].

The verdict… I’m going to share with you, ‘My Grocery Game’ – Tips and tricks where I have had the greatest success. I’m not just talking about saving money and minimising wastage, I’m talking about the ‘practicality’. What suits our family and my weekly routine strategically so I can set and forget and focus on other less mundane activities. Let’s face it, grocery shopping is a bore, I dislike everything about it, from rush hour and trying to get a park and then the loading, unloading and unpacking… repeat. Thankfully I’ve found my grocery niche, my ‘grocery game.’

Fresh Fruit and Veg

[I’m laughing, because I’m writing about groceries, so many giggles on my own right now… groceries?! Really, haha!? So practical, though… right? I’m always keen to get other ideas on what could make this a more enjoyable process].

This is my Monday to Sunday basic routine when it comes to food, cooking, shopping and planning, which are all easy tips to implement.

Monday

  • I meal plan for Tuesday – Friday and do an online order (for pick up on Tuesday morning). So I’m only planning four meals which is easier than seven or fourteen, right!
  • Dinner: we get chicken and chips (it’s a childhood legacy from Hubby’s upbringing + it’s a night off cooking for me + more importantly…. Delicious!) #naughtybutnice
  • Clean out the fridge in preparation for tomorrow’s pick up

Tuesday

  • pick up the groceries from Woolies. I absolutely love the pick up option… why? I’m not waiting around for a 3-4 hour window wondering when the delivery will arrive. Pick up is more flexible and it’s easy-‘peasy’.
  • sort my groceries into Pantry, Fridge and Freezer sections and give the fridge a wipe out before packing away.
  • Whilst unpacking I cook a soup, its easy and low maintenance and can do this whilst multi-tasking. The result= my lunch sorted + plus freezer portions.

Pumpkin + Chickpea soup

  • I also make healthy snacks – this week I made Strawberry and Rhubarb Spelt muffins (trust me, we have plenty of the packaged variety snacks in our pantry, so for me I need to prepare a few fresh treats) 
  • I cut celery and carrot so that when the kids and I get hungry it’s ready to dip into some hummus. When I’m really hungry and nothing is prepared I will always choose the unhealthy option, so preparation is key for my will power.Food Prep
  • cut up anything too big for my crisper, this also means I’m more likely to use it if it’s semi-prepped and ready to go.
  • Freeze any meat that’s not needed for a few days.

Wednesday + Thursday

Enjoy your days, knowing you don’t have to think about what to have for dinner nor do you have to go to the supermarket… yay!

Friday + Saturday

  • We sometimes have takeaway either Friday or Saturday night, so if we get take away on Friday, I just move Friday’s meal to Saturday or vice versa.
  • By this stage we generally do just a little top up shop of milk/bread and any other essentials we need for over the weekend (bacon and eggs for a Sunday brunch etc).

Sunday

  • My favourite… I call this ‘Masterchef’ challenge night. It’s when I invent a meal purely out of whatever I have in the house. There might be leftover veggies, frozen meat… anything. I always have the basics stocked, like pasta, rice, Quinoa etc so it’s a matter of being creative and I love this (a good chance to use up what would otherwise be thrown away the next day). I’ll be honest though, sometimes its eggs on toast.   Other times, I will prepare a ‘Sunday Roast’ or a slow cooker dish.

Grocery List Tip: We have been doing this successfully for years now. I use a Kikki.K Shopping List, I feel like we’ve been through about twenty of them. It lives on our kitchen bench. Basically the minute we run out of something it goes on the list (everyone except my toddler does this, it’s a rule). For all of our essentials I have back ups, so we never run out. It’s also great for hungry teenagers that whine about what’s available. I say to my teenage daughter “If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get bought”. The benefit of this, is that besides meal planning, my list is always ready to go for whoever is popping to the shops. I don’t have to search for what we ran out of or figure out what we need. It takes care of itself.

Meal planning is something I love, because I have a huge passion for cooking. I’ll write a separate post all about this.

What’s your ‘Grocery Game’, what works for you, do you have any tips? Sharing little life hacks and hearing others makes me so happy. I’m like “wow, why did I never think of that… I’m SO GOING TO DO THAT NOW”! Etc.

I hope you’re all having a fantabulous week.

Bec x

P.S. Go through your pantry and chuck out whatever you don’t need. De-cluttering the kitchen cupboards or pantry is a nightmare, but the therapeutic effect when it’s done is ‘soooooooooo’ worth it!

P.P.S. My husband on the other hand loves to do groceries and likes ticking things off the list. I despise a big grocery shop as I’ve mentioned, however, from time to time when I’m not in a rush, I do like to browse the aisles and see what’s new. It’s these kind of trips that I buy a lot of what I don’t need (but it’s fun).

 

© Copyright 2016 becbraid

 

Gratitude

How awesome is gratitude…

Often, in today’s society we are quick to judge, we are quick to critisise and often, we don’t stop to appreciate the good things people do.

I just recently sent one of my counselling educators an email containing some positive gratitude. They spend soooooo long providing feedback about assignments or answering questions etc. And when I get a really engaging teacher, a teacher I can truly learn from and be guided by, it makes my study experience so much more enriching (particularly with online study). They also stand out like a light bulb as a ‘favourite’ teacher. I felt grateful and so I thanked her. Yes, she’s employed to do so, yes, she gets paid to do so… but this attitude just stirs the pot on too much ‘entitlement’ (in my opinion). She was genuinely so appreciative saying she vary rarely receives feedback… so a few minutes of my time brightened her day and probably created a smile within that made all her hard work worthwhile. It may have re-fulfilled her ‘purpose cup’ and reassured her of her work and the value that she provides to others.

Then today… I feel so lucky and appreciated. Lucky because I’m working and doing what I love, and appreciated because some beautiful people took the time to simply say thanks.

Coincidentally, I received two thank you cards today:

  1. Brunslea Park – Sam + Madds

In the past month, I’ve teamed up with Brunslea Park – they have welcomed me into their team for various projects over the coming few months. We are collaborating and joining heads to bring more value, connection and strategy to the Brunslea Park community through the services that I provide at becbraid Copywriting. [Read more about my services].

Sam and I met today for another creative content meeting and upon arriving there was a card (and an amazing Bliss Ball – FYI Sam makes THE best Bliss Balls).

The card made my day. I worked really hard on my holiday and at times I sacrificed family time as I had myself pretty thinly spread between work, study, family and the holiday itself. Even though this was my choice and dedication that I wanted to demonstrate for my new client, it was so amazing to receive thanks and acknowledgement from them. I felt immediately valued and was welcomed into their tribe. A small gesture with a big result!

P.S. anyone in their first year of business will understand the sacrifices you make and the family juggle that is inevitable in the start up phase. 

  1. Cancer Council Head Office – Cancer Connect Team

Since 2015 I’ve been a Cancer Council Volunteer (firstly in our local office), and in 2016 I became a Cancer Connect Peer Support Leader after completing training in Sydney – you can read more about this service here: http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/patient-support/cancer-connect.html I speak to other cancer fighters/survivors in their time of despair or questioning. Its highly moving work, at times can be difficult, but I do so because I know how desperate I was to talk to someone when I was diagnosed and afterwards in tying times. Today, I received a thank you note in light of it being ‘Volunteers Week’.

How incredible it is to both give and receive gratitude? How important it is to practice gratitude, whether by gratitude journal or simply saying quietly in your mind how grateful you are for the little moments of magic in every day life!

Do you practice gratitude?

Do you offer gratitude to others?

As I mentioned in the introduction, all too often people are quick to jump on negative feedback or criticism – why don’t we try to give more energy to the great things people do!

Bec x

What’s Your Flight Style?

Are you a talker, sleeper or ‘do-er’?

I recently boarded a flight back to Sydney after a work trip. We’d had a beautiful morning at the beach before reluctantly packing to head back home… Home is inland and very much ‘beachless’. A little sad to leave the turquoise ocean behind, yet, feeling grateful for our mini break.

Anyway, the point of this article is to seek ‘What’s Your Flight Style’? This may seem like a weird question, yet this thought process came to me when I boarded this particular flight back to Sydney.

We slotted into our row of three and immediately did our [family] ritual… bags up or under the seat. iPad hidden so that Mr ‘four’ can be bribed to sleep before the iPad comes out, drink bottle ready, snacks within easy reach, and don’t forget the three favourite super hero figurines that must be held in gorgeous chubby toddler hands. Hubby’s usually catching flies before take off (i.e. yes, he is snoring and sound asleep – an impossibility for me).

The above all plays out fine, when group flying that is – i.e. you already have your ‘crowd’ you know them and it’s easy to fly in familiar company. However, what if you are flying solo?

When you fly solo, you are unavoidably going to be seated next to a complete stranger or two. Do you chat to them? Do you say hi and then do what you want to do without any interaction? Or are you an engager for the long haul [the entire flight]?

As we settled into our seats, behind us sat a woman who was eager to spruik conversation with her fellow stranger. Before I’d had a chance to put a magazine in my seat pocket, she’d already introduced herself, extracted fellow stranger’s name, age, final destination and asked for a photo of where ‘said stranger’ lived… I said to my husband “We’ve got a talker”… he grimaced and rolled his eyes at the same time.   This incessant chitter-chatter didn’t look like it would dim. No, in fact it was going from strength to strength.

I listened… a) because she was a loud talker so it was hard to ignore, and, b) because I thought I could get a story without doing the legwork of the interview [bonus].

If you are seated beside someone who wishes to talk [interrogate] you, how do you handle it? Do you look at your novel and pine, knowing that you are not going to get the opportunity to turn those glorious pages in peace, or do you have a trick up your sleeve to politely [or not so politely] disengage from conversation?

 

I’ve always been polite and sometimes ‘too shy’ to assertively withdraw [continuing conversation because it’s making the other person happy]… that was until years ago, when someone taught me the headphone trick… This works a treat: smile at the person interrogating you as you place the buds in your ears and say, “late night!” – Whilst closing your eyes, placing your head back and pretending to be asleep at lightning speed. Give it ten to fifteen, and then, without any eye contact or engaging body language, swiftly pick up your book and get reading without the slightest of a side look. Voilà – message sent loud and clear.

Often we are able to engage in small talk for a short duration before natural human instincts allow other like-minded humans to ‘do their own thing’ or give them some space. They can read the play, they know the exact timings of ‘niceties’ and know when to just let someone be.

 

I can tell you… after this particular flight, I wanted to turn around and high-five the good sport that answered rapid-fire questions for one and a half hours, politely with only a hint of reluctance, yet didn’t opt for an escape [perhaps she forgot her headphones].

I listened, I love to listen and close my eyes to see what I can absorb – I wanted to know whether she [the interviewer aka. the ‘talker’] would leave any stone unturned].

I learned what kind of milk the talker gave to her children, the kind that comes with cream on top, which her kids love. I learned her 74-year-old grandfather runs a handy man business and is still full of beans (God love him), that she has two children and her nine-year-old daughter is interested in all things marine life. Her interviewee [victim] lives remotely on a spread of land containing three properties… “Three Properties” the talker exclaimed, the conversation steered into jobs and her career. I cringed and held my breath momentarily when I thought she might ask what her taxable income was. “Cattle” she said, followed by “how many head”? “Sheep” she said, followed by “How many head”. Do you have a mum? Are you close? What does she think of your boyfriend? What’s the first thing you do in the morning before work, before responsibilities? No, even before breakfast, what do you do? Where were you born? What is your heritage? She had no boundaries… Onto asking how she met her boyfriend and what their plans were with regard to timeframe of procreating! Really? It didn’t stop… literally for one and a half hours; she just kept it going… She’d have made a bloody good 60 Minute journo [cough… interrogator].

I like to use flight time to write, or to read, interrupted intermittently by toddler requests and snoring from ‘fly catching’ husband. Of course, with the exception of short flights, because the minute I open my laptop, I’m told by the hostess that, “It’s now time to prepare for landing”… total laptop time… two point five minutes [insert sarcasm].

So all in all, I would say I’m a polite talker for a limited time only, I then like to ‘do’ [read or write] and on the odd occasion sleep. Or in the case of this flight, I listened and was both mortified and intrigued at the gusto and persistence of the passenger behind me. She was really lovely and she was genuinely interested in her side-seated passenger… but for this flight, I happily dodged a bullet and sat in the comfort of my family cocoon.

The only exception… the jackpot! What do I mean by this? Sometimes, on very rare occasions, you have flight opportunity. Meaning that you make a worthwhile business contact, gain a new friend, or expand personal development from a person that has something to offer. Sometimes the reverse, a passenger can gain something from you in which you’re prepared to share. It has to feel right though; it calls for the right disposition. You must feel open and likewise for your fellow passenger to be open. I guess the ‘talker’ in this instance thought perhaps that she’d hit her own jackpot on this flight, hence, incessant talking. Nevertheless, interrogating is never quite my style!

What’s your flight style?

 

BB x

Do You Struggle to Stay on Track?

 

Do you need a little girl power?  A little inspiration to get you moving?  Keep you moving?  Or, do you need someone who is cooking a deliciously nutritious meal to post a picture so at that very moment, you decide that you might hit the kitchen and reach for the fresh ingredients instead of ordering pizza?

I realised that I was relying on myself to get me going!  Promising myself things that I was not delivering on… Starting the week brilliantly and then failing miserably – with NO accountability.  Sure I get disappointed in myself, but then I might pat myself on the back, say “It’s ok, there’s always next week” [as I eat my second mint slice and a cup of coffee before bed]… coffee before bed… #notsmart

What if instead of hitting the choccy biscuits, I reach out and chat to my ‘Accountability Club’ so that I can find some inspiration and strength to have another go instead of wallowing in self defeat.  You never know, there might be someone else sitting with a choccy biscuit and then you decide that you’ll meet up and walk the lake tomorrow??  

 

I must stress that needing accountability for myself is not focused on weight loss – it’s because I want to feel amazing, energised and strong.  I want to feel confident and proud of myself because I choose to look after myself on a consistent basis.

After I posted this blog and also published the same article a few weeks ago in Enlighten E-Magazine here, I had other like minded woman contact me with interest about this ‘Accountability Group’.

The group has now launched and here is the description:

“This group came about when I personally felt like I needed some accountability. So that I could stop breaking promises to myself. I got sick of going in circles to find constant motivation and support (because right now, I don’t attend any form of group fitness – it’s just me working out with me, to fit into our busy life). Oh except yoga, I do group yoga classes.

In writing my blog www.becbraid.com and my e-magazine ‘Enlighten’ I suggested an accountability forum which would ultimately be a supportive community of like-minded woman.

I personally want a little team of people so that we can all gently guide one another to stay on track for a healthier lifestyle.

Why? The ultimate goal for me when it comes to exercise and nutrition is because I want to feel strong, energised, healthy and confident.

It IS NOT simply to lose weight – it’s a life choice and a ‘feeling’ of good health.

It’s important to note that it is not an advisory group. It’s a place where we can share, encourage and motivate each other to keep moving and keep fuelling our bodies with nurturing goodness.

Each day, feel free to share what exercise you managed to get done, or a beautiful recipe that you loved… whatever relates to a healthy lifestyle.

Think… links to youtube at home training sessions, a great book, recipes, a great local yoga studio, a guided meditation or a group fitness class that you enjoyed.

It’s a place to support, encourage and inspire one another.

For me, I’m constantly inspired by other woman doing amazing things, so I’m hoping this supportive community can help us all embrace our inner beauty and power to be exactly who we are – confidently.

Strength.
Clarity.
Energy.
Self Love.

Welcome aboard. Whilst I’ve created this group, it is an all inclusive setting where anyone and everyone is encouraged to contribute and lead any posts you think are relevant.”

So if you think you’d like to join a support group to keep you on track, accepting the human element of imperfection and embrace the fact that we are simply trying to get the best out of ourselves whilst simultaneously bringing out the best in one another – then jump on board, I’d love to have you.

 

Here’s the link: Accountability Club or simply comment below (or on the FB thread) and I will add you.

BB x

Packing Away the Silly Season

[Originally published in ENLIGHTEN – ISSUE NO. 2]

You know when you realise enough is enough… when you’ve felt it for a long time, yet you seem to grant yourself permission to continue to defy what is important. You talk yourself around to avoid guilt, and you inevitably continue to sabotage yourself… Why? Because, “Heck, you deserve to have fun.” Right? [… well at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself… just one more drink, just one more piece of cheese].

When the ‘fun’, the ‘silly season’ and the ‘summer lovin’ indulgence flows well and truly into the New Year, you begin to feel sluggish. Let me tell you what I’m talkin’ about (my mum and I had some fun and made a poem)…

‘ tis the season

To be jolly

French champagne  

And Christmas holly

Chocolate and cocktails

Celebrating with friends…

No time for thoughts  

As the BELLY DISTENDS

Festivities continue…

With delicious food,

This keeps us all In a festive mood!  

Perhaps it’s because I’ve not yet packed down my Christmas tree… all the other decorations are packed back into boxes, yet, the Christmas tree remains… I need to get my act together (in more ways than one).  [AFTER NOTE: MY XMAS TREE IS NOW AWAY – THANK GOODNESS]

I’ve lost all motivation, every single shred.  If I start the week right, it’s wrong by Thursday.  If it’s wrong by Tuesday, it can wait until next Monday.  Exercise crazy one week, then nothing for the next three weeks.  Consistency is key, and it’s the one thing I’m lacking…

MISSING SINCE LATE NOVEMBER

Motivation. Commitment. Discipline. Strength.

THE PRIME SUSPECT

Silly Season

REWARD IF FOUND

Energy. Self Love. Endorphins. Happiness. Routine. Balance.

_________________________

Now… I don’t believe in exercising purely to look great. No, that philosophy went out the window when my 20’s did.

Yet… I do believe regular exercise combined with nurturing and cleansing food can create a better feeling and love for oneself and it is felt deeply within. I exercise for mental health; I eat well because I respect my life and my body.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love the silly season as much as the next person, however, when you start to reap the ‘rewards’ (the bulge) of the said silly season, you begin to feel a little blah…

I want vitality back in my life, I want to feel alive and strong and motivated. I want to bounce out of bed in the morning and I DO NOT want to feel sluggish anymore.

Do you feel the same? Has your silly season taken you from late November to March???

Do you want to regain your zest, your fire and start operating on all cylinders once more? Firing cylinders that make you feel strong and empowered?

I know I do… but who is going to keep me accountable? And… Who is going to keep YOU accountable?

What if there was an accountability club? A Support System?

I like to mix it up (exercise routine) whilst simultaneously having a structure that is achievable.

I’ve never been a morning exerciser, yet, this year, I want that to change.  I want to exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Who would like to join my accountability club?

Perhaps we have a FB page where we can log our workouts, simply by commenting about what we did. Others logging their workouts/exercise will ultimately serve as encouragement and motivation for ourselves to do the same thing. We can offer each other support and share experiences of a great yoga studio, gym class or a walking trail they enjoyed.

If you’re in… if you like the sound of having support and more importantly, the feeling of accountability then shoot me an email (or comment below or on FB), and I’ll get something up and running.

We owe it to ourselves to move it or lose it – and remember I’m not talking about weight loss or image (that is simply a by-product), I’m talking about feeling great from the inside out, respecting and loving ourselves… giving to ourselves.

BB x