Being Bulletproof!

Being Bulletproof!

Hi guys,

Wow the year has flown by so quickly hasn’t it? Well another week and another blog post on something I’ve been working on or observing.

Today I wanted to share the work we’ve been applying over the last 18 months in regards to our diet and general outlook on well being. It’s a bit of a buzz word at them moment but what does ‘well being’ mean? It varies from person to person but to me it means being happy and having energy to spend it on doing the things you enjoy.

To give you some idea on what I’m talking about – let’s change the framework.

Let’s imagine you’re 18yo and it’s Saturday night and you’re gearing up for a big night out in town with your friends. You have a great night and you drink more ‘happy drinks’ then you should and decide it’s a good idea to have fast food at 4am. Remember those days? The funny thing is when you’re a spring chicken and 18yo you recover almost instantly and can bounce back to your feet and attack the next day with the same energy and vigour.

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My sisters and I in 2013

Now imagine the same scenario as a 30yo+. Those of you who are around this age or older know exactly what I’m talking about. A big night in town enjoying yourself can almost put you down for the count for almost 3-5 days. If you have children and you have calibrated your days to be in bed by 9pm then staying up until 2am will cause you some damage it’s almost guaranteed 🙂 Add to that some nice cocktails and dancing in heels to your wounds the next morning!

Another example is to think about times when you were fit and healthy as a young 18yo – at the peak of your powers. You could almost eat anything you wanted and nothing would stick on you. (Of course this is not everyone’s experience?!) 

You’d eat poorly and not bear the consequences of it. Then, after high school finishes up and you start work or higher education and you notice the drive for regular exercises starts to drop down the list of priorities. Sound familiar? The thing is you continue to eat poorly thinking you have the magic powers of youth still but you’ve run out of the magic stuff. Next thing you know you’re in your mid-20s and you are overweight, feel overwhelmed because work is very busy and feeling unfulfilled because you don’t have as much free time available as you once did to enjoy yourself.

That was my experience. That was me.

To be honest – there are no shortcuts and if there were I wouldn’t recommend you take that path because you won’t learn the lessons that ‘failure’ teaches you.

I felt the pain of poor self image. Being unhappy by not spending time the way I wished I could.

Craniofacial erythema which is a fancy term for uncontrolled and often unprovoked blushing was a BIG stressor. Sounds pretty minor but it really affected me (and to some degree still does).

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The curse of blushing for no good reason!

I’d go pay for my grocery shopping – start blushing. Walk into a retail store to try on clothes I can feel my cheeks throb and turn a crimson red within seconds. Talking to friends and they would innocently ask if I’m ok because they can see my cheeks turn more red with every second during our great conversation – and what would you guess – more blushing because I’m feeling embarrassed! It was torture.

So I would like to share helpful solutions to curb or control my problems:

1. Food

I would suggest that 80% of my weight loss challenges were due to the type of food I was eating. My personal experience is that when I exercised regularly but ate poorly I didn’t lose weight but I put weight on. Sounds strange doesn’t it but it happened.

I’ve outlined what worked best for me previously here and here but I would reinforce the idea that quality food plays an integral part of how I feel and look healthy.

In terms of weight loss I detailed how I managed to track and lose weight here and it helped regain some lost confidence. I’d like to give a shout out to our mentor Dave Asprey and the guys at Bulletproof for all their educational material and sharing the awesome ideas of ‘biohacking’ which is becoming wildly popular with each day.

We’re glad we found Dave but to filter everything back to when we first started our journey we simply followed a ‘paleo’ diet otherwise known as the caveman diet. It’s all about eating things that are naturally occurring and not manufactured. A whole heap of vegetables, cooked meats and small amount of dairy.

2. Mindfulness

I sought medical opinion for my blushing problem. After a review with my local doctor he recommended some psychology sessions to help curb my anxiety and improve my coping strategies.

Psychology sessions helped with some of my long held and unhelpful beliefs but it didn’t do too much with my uncontrolled blushing episodes unfortunately. Medications were prescribed but I never took them as I felt it was too heavy handed without exploring all my conservative options.

So what helped? Working on being mindful and having a way to sort and process my feelings to unpack what is actually happening.

For example I used to repeat to myself that “it’s only redness there’s nothing wrong with you” whenever I felt the onset swelling rising in my cheeks. With the support of my hubby Leki I would share specific times during the day that I would go blush and go red. We were basically normalising the fact that blushing happens to everyone and that it’s more pronounced for me – that’s all. With constant self evaluation and reflection I was ‘de-regulating’ my anxiety associated with blushing.

I can now report that my blushing episodes still occur but less regularly and less intensely. I’ve been some similar ‘stressful’ situations which used to turn me into a red firecracker and now I barely register any signs of blushing 🙂 As always, it’s work in progress!

[DISCLAIMER: Please seek medical advice if you have trouble with anxiety.]

3. Sleep

Sleep can be a currency that measures your quality of life. If you are blessed to have great sleep then have a couple of poor night’s sleep you feel your quality of life drop away pretty quickly.

With attention to the small details we make it a priority to have adequate sleep. A typical weekday will have us preparing Eme for bed at 7:30pm and she’s tucked in at 8pm. She may self soothe for up to an hour but it usually takes her 20-30 mins to sleep.

Leki and I then aim to be in bed by 9pm and sleep within the hour. I have tried very hard to change my sleep routine at night and reduce my mobile phone use. The over stimulation on the phone at night can keep me awake and leave me with less energy and strength for the next day.

Something that I’m trying to improve on is spending less time on the phone at night and getting that solid 8 hour sleep to recharge the batteries. This can vary depending on how Eme sleeps overnight and visits to the bathroom can disrupt my sleep.

The last improvement I’ve made recently is trying to nap during the day. With this pregnancy I’ve tried to remain active and a quick 30-60 min nap can boost the energy reserves again. This is almost a skill as I had to learn ‘how to nap’ 😉 Historically if I did sleep during the day (which was rare) I would have to sleep for 4+ hours. I’ve now been able to re-calibrate my sleep to encourage a nap which usually marries up with Eme’s midday nap! The skill of napping should serve me well when our little bub arrives in January 2018 and sleep will become a priority 🙂


So what does being Bulletproof mean to me?

It’s about feeling good about myself. Don’t worry about what other people think – do what makes you happy.

Feel fat? Lose weight.

Feel tired? Have a nanna nap.

Feeling anxious? Do the things that make you feel good.

Sounds pretty simple and I don’t want to be preachy but if you’re not feeling good about something why put yourself under all that pressure and noise?

Be Happy & Be Bulletproof!

 

With love,

Belinda.

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