Are you a social media supporter or stalker?

I’m not asking if you support social media, I’m asking if you support those you choose to ‘follow’ or ‘friend’? Be honest. Do you support them? Do you ‘like’ their posts, do you write a little comment here and there? Do you take a second of your time of day to support them and what they’re promoting because surely you are following them for a reason?!?…. Perhaps they’re a friend, they’re family, you find them interesting or inspirational, you like what they’re selling, they’re actually a cute animal or kid, they’re travelling the world, they’re living #vanlife, they post the ultimate #foodporn.

Or, perhaps you just scroll, look OR you even judge them or compare yourself to them?!?! If that was the case though surely you’d just unfollow or unfriend them? What has brought me to writing this post is that I have been reflecting on my own social media etiquette, actions and boundaries recently.

I try to abide my own boundaries. For example, I don’t like to be on social media or even have my phone on the table whilst eating a meal with my husband or with others, I turn my phone on aeroplane mode for a few hours each Sunday and I’m working on leaving my phone alone an hour or 2 before going to bed each night. I was doing this for a little while and noticed I slept so much better… No 3am wake-ups!

For me, etiquette and actions go hand in hand. I’m not one to scroll and scroll without showing a bit of love and support. I follow people for a reason and I like to acknowledge that and them with a quick little ‘like’ or comment. My scrolling goes a little like this:

Ohh that country/landscape looks beautiful…. *Like

Those pancakes look mouthwatering… *Like

Oh my goshhh, I want a tiger…. *Like and Comment, “Amazing animals” *heart emoji (Black Jaguar White Tiger often gets some love from me. 🙂 )

Wow FRIEND is talented. I love that bag… *Like

Dammnn, she looks strong/fit/like she appreciates her body… *Like & Comment, “You look incredible (muscle emoji and pink hearts)

Ohh they’re engaged…. *Like and Comment, “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you both! (flowers, ring, champagne, kiss face emojis)

And so it goes on….

How is your etiquette when asking other people questions online? If you ask someone their favourite clothing line, the ingredients to a recipe, what their workout involved, what country they’re in, do you actually say ‘Hello’ first and use your manners? Constantly, I see people asking others questions with NO politeness. Basically, I think you should talk to people on social media the same way you would if you were face to face. Just be nice people. Just. Be. nice.

I have also noticed myself, that there are a couple of people who follow me who are ALWAYS the first to watch my Instagram stories (which come up based on who YOU choose to watch) and are obviously seeing what I’m doing yet don’t do a single thing to show their support on any of the social avenues they follow me. I’ve also seen and heard people scrolling and judging people they follow… Like, really?!?! Just unfollow them! Why bother following people and becoming ‘friends’ with people if you don’t like them or what they have to share? Errggh #judgy #nosey #stalker #negativenancys

I recently went through my Instagram account and unfollowed any accounts that I no longer found interesting or that made me feel the need to compare myself to them. I was following a lot of accounts with people’s goal weights, current weights, meals counted out to the macro, and I realised they no longer served my interests. Subconsciously, I was thinking I needed to weigh XXkg to look fit, skinny or as good as ‘her’. I don’t think I’ve ever judged these people themselves, I had just judged myself against them with me always being weak, unworthy, fatter and thinking I would think I would have to eat exactly what they ate to get there. Not healthy, at all! Honestly, go through your following accounts and unfollow any that don’t make you feel great.

I love this Spirit Junkie post because I have some truly incredible friends in Australia and now the UK and we genuinely are each other’s cheerleaders wanting each other to succeed. It’s amazing having friends who believe in your ambitions, support you and are genuinely happy for your successes but are there for you if things don’t work out, which can happen often when you take risks. I have been applying this to my social media accounts too. My Instagram friends are people who inspire me, and I now follow many more people with similar mindsets and lifestyles.

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Please, choose to be a supporter and not a stalker. Or, unfollow.

Sincerely,

Supporter of beautiful destinations, family, friends, fitness, kids, animals, delicious looking food, makeup, skincare, clothing, sunsets, sunrises and all things health and wellness. xx

Rachael x

Annemarie Borlind; Natural Beauty from The Black Forest, Germany.

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Annemarie Borlind is an innovative clean skincare and makeup brand you need to keep your eyes on. The brand was established in 1959 and has received more than 60 industry distinctions and awards and over 40 “excellent” ratings in tests. In 2014 in Latvia, they were awarded the Cosmopolitan Beauty Award for Anti-Aging Make-Up in the category, “Best Liquid Foundation”. They received the BSB Innovation Prize in 2015 for the “Most Innovative Natural Product”. These are just two of their many awards…

Annemarie Borlind is a family business which was established in the Black Forest in 1959. One thing that really appeals to me is the integrity of this business… It is still a family business and they STILL source ingredients from the Black Forest AND the products are still produced there, which I love. INTEGRITY.

The products are NATURAL, VEGAN AND FREE FROM (animal extracts, mineral derivatives, fragrances).

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying their ZZ Sensitive System Anti Stress skincare range and this is a review based purely on my experience.

First, to gain a thorough understanding of my experience, you should know a little about my skin. I have a skin condition, psoriasis, which I am under biological treatment however due to traveling and living in the U.K. and being away from my specialist in Australia I have not been able to keep my doses up and my psoriasis has flared; meaning I get dry, red patches which look like spots over my face and body. Thankfully it is mostly under control except for a few annoying spots right in the middle of my forehead. Being Winter and with the cold, dry air lately, it has been inflamed, sore and flaky. I have always struggled with finding skincare and makeup products that ‘fit’ with my skin. I have tried drug store brands, organic brands and high end products too. I find that I have to change it up sometimes depending on the season and how my psoriasis is responding. I would say generally, I have balanced skin but if my psoriasis is flaring it is sensitive and dry. This can be difficult as I near 30 because I want to ensure I am also benefiting in terms of anti-ageing.  To be honest, I also love some brands that aren’t necessarily completely natural BUT my skin feels best with more natural products so I try to use natural skincare and makeup more often than not.

Alongside Kora and Arbonne I now know that Annemarie Borlind is another soothing natural brand on my ‘safe’ list.

I was thrilled when my Annemarie Borlind products arrived. The packaging itself is sleek and luxurious yet simple. I received the Mild Cleansing Emulsion, Strengthening Facial Gel, Regenerative Day Cream, Fortifying Night Cream and the Regenerative Eye Cream. I love that they are in glass and not in tubs open to germs. For me, the pumps on the cleanser, gel and day cream are a huge plus for this same reason – I am not having to dip my fingers into product (or a spatula repeatedly) and you can control the quantity easily.

cleanserMild Cleansing Emulsion: If I could bathe my whole body in this I would. It is incredibly soothing, gentle and it feels somewhat milky. It feels amazing. When I wear makeup, I cleanse twice to thoroughly clean my skin. I was also given a cleansing sponge which I was using initially but when I washed my face in the morning, some makeup was still coming off so I then started using the sponge for the first cleanse and then my usual cotton pads for the 2nd cleanse so that I could see when there was nothing else coming off my skin. Cost £19.50

Strengthening Facial Gel: This gel is refreshing to apply after a shower. It is a gel consistency (obviously) but I didn’t find it gooey like other gels I previously tried. This gel prepares the skin for both the day and night creams. Cost £23.5

Regenerative Day Cream: This glides on very smoothly and it has a nice, light consistency. It feels really lovely on and it is very soothing. The natural ingredients promote cell renewal. I found it didn’t take much for it to settle into my skin. Cost £33.5

Fortifying Nighnight-creamt Cream: This is another product I really like! It has a slightly thicker consistency than the day cream but again, after massaging in, I can really feel my pores soaking it in. This cream has a prebiotic and probiotic complex which work to bring your flora and PH back into balance. Golden Orchid is one of the primary ingredients in this beauty… An ingredient which is in Guerlain’s Orchidee Imperiale range but sold at a fraction of the price! Cost£24.5eye-cream


Regenerative Eye cream
: I love this eye cream! I find it especially feels nice when applying in the morning because it’s not too thick and it really feels soothing. It also contains Golden Orchid which also works to strengthen the skin’s natural protection mechanisms. It does also assist with reducing wrinkles… Yes please! Cost £20.50

Overall, the ZZ Sensitive range is very soothing and I would recommend it to others who have sensitive skin. I did find that in Winter in the UK with my psoriasis being inflamed, and my skin feeling much drier that I would really benefit from a thicker day and night cream. The Annemarie Borlind team are amazing and initially we did discuss trying a different system which targets dry skin but because of my concern with my skin being sensitive and because I was trying this brand for the first time, I went with this range to be on the safe side. I know I will love using this range when it is Spring and Summer. I had absolutely no reactions or breakouts!

If you are wanting to order some products or explore their ranges, click here. If you’re unsure of the range for you, just contact their team and I’m sure they will be more than happy to help you with your concerns.

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Discipline.

img_8076Discipline. It is my new favourite word. To heck with motivation. What is that anyway? If you’re like me you will feel like you are constantly on this mouse wheel going round and round waiting for this motivation. Motivation to go to the gym. Motivation to go for a walk. Motivation to do our meal prep. Motivation to work. We set these goals for ourselves like, “I want to lose x kilos.” “I want to tone up my arms/legs/back/whatever.” But to get to those goals, some of us, not all, are constantly in this cycle of waiting for motivation. We catch ourselves saying things such as, “I’m not motivated at the moment. I’ll do it later.” Or, ” I’ll work up the motivation to do it tomorrow.” Sound familiar?!? I call bulls*#t on motivation; waiting for motivation!

If you want to achieve something. It requires discipline. Make yourself do it! Make the time. Make yourself get going. Make the most of TODAY. Please, don’t get me wrong. I am no pro and it is something I’ve just started to figure out myself and I am in the process of learning and more importantly, DOING. I feel like I’ve suddenly had something switch on in my brain. An ‘aha’ moment.

Each morning and evening, I am sure you are disciplined to brush your teeth, shower and get to work. We are not necesarily motivated to do these things but we know they just need to be done. If you have a health or fitness related goal to achieve, just do it. Do what is required to get you there. Don’t think about it. Don’t let thoughts of motivation creep in… I actually feel like I have been tricked by this word, ‘motivation‘ for a long time. Discipline is my new motivation. It is going to get me closer to my goals. It will get you closer to yours too.

Only you are responsible for your own choices, no-one else. Eat out often? Make healthy choices – salads, wraps, fish and veggies. Busy? Workout at home. Kayla’s workouts are 28 minutes plus there are so many workouts these days on Youtube. Another biggie – LIMIT ALCOHOL.. Empty calories. We hardly drink these days and when we do, I usually drink Gin and tonic… I’m still getting used to the taste. Set some rules and be disciplined to stick to them. E..g., I will workout 4 times this week, I will track what I eat and eat 80% healthy nutritious meals.

I have started following Kayla Itsines BBG program (again). I am someone who gets caught up and feels ‘lost’ if I miss a workout on the ‘right’ day or if I go on holidays for a week, I NEED to start again and then because these things constantly come up (holidays, sick…), I feel disheartened, quit, move on to something else and it is a never ending cycle. This time, my goal is to just complete the 12 weeks, when I can. I am not getting hung on on days. I have a monthly calendar printed out with my BBG workouts on it and I tick each workout once it is done, no matter what day I actually do it! It requires discipline. So far, so good. I’ve also started tracking my nutrition on paper. At the end of every day, I write down ALL meals and snacks. At the end of the week, I am counting up how many meals altogether and how many of those were poor choices. In the first week, there were A LOT of poor choices. I know this may seem obsessive and extreme… I don’t want to label food as ‘good/bad’ but I do feel for me, at this stage, it is what I need to do to really see what I’m eating. img_2788

My goal is certainly not to eat less overall or cut ‘bad’ foods out but I definitely am working on decreasing the number of ‘poor choices’. Trust me, the number was HIGH!! TOO HIGH! Before doing this though, my mind would constantly justify things by thinking, “it’s only 1-2 chocolates and every other meal today has been clean/healthy. You would be 80% clean overall”. WRONG! I was definitely not eating 80% nutritious food. Eating healthy requires discipline too. I have a major sweet tooth. I L O V E ice-cream and chocolate but I’m learning to say no. I am starting to be disciplined. I am reaching for healthier options more often because I need to stay disciplined to reach my goals. I am ensuring some meal prep is done each weekend ready for the week ahead. I am making myself go to the gym or workout at home, even when I don’t feel motivated because it is what I need to do to achieve my goals.

Go on, try it! Replace ‘motivation’ with discipline! As NIKE quotes, “Just Do It!”

#discipline #moveovermotivation

 

xx

 

Note: top photo-

Emma – jandelifeblog.wordpress.com

Paola – paolasbodybarre.com

Ashley – Ashleyyeater.com

and me xo

 

 

Body Confidence Squad Goals

SQUAD GOALS!

There is a dark side to social media. As much as I love it, this is the reality. FEMPOWER however, challenge this and are the ultimate #girlsquad.

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@whatroseyate and I being ‘FEMPOWERED’ 💪

It is so important to remember that most of the time, people like to portray the best parts of their lives on social media… The best images (#guilty), the best angles (you know, take 50 selfies, keep and post the ‘best’ one) and the best experiences. You scroll through Instagram and see picture after picture of model-type women (and men) with ‘perfect’ physiques. This is something I can appreciate because I like to follow a number of #strong and ‘fitspo’ women who work hard for their physiques but it is also concerning for myself and other women, teenagers and girls because I know there are times when I compare myself to them. I feel concerned for my younger, impressionable sisters and nieces that they too will face it and believe they must look a certain way instead of loving themselves for who they are, what they look like and importantly, what they can achieve.

 

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Yesterday I attended an Empowering Women’s event at the beautiful Lorna Jane Active Living Room in Covent Garden, London. Melissa Weldon, founder of FEMPOWER, led the panel which included Philippa Lewis from the Be Real Campaign. Five courageous women shared their personal experiences and growth stories, all in relation to abolishing negative body image beliefs and empowering women to believe that they are in fact, ‘enough’. These ladies had unique stories and looking around the room (and reading Instagram posts), you could see that the remaining 4o women in the audience were touched and inspired in some way by the panelists.

Melissa Weldon then led a killer HIIT workout in Saint Martin’s Courtyard… The tunes were pumping, the FEMPOWER squad were joining in, dancing and cheering us all on. My legs feel like jelly today! It was SO.MUCH.FUN and an incredibly supportive atmosphere. After some alcoholic beverages the night before, it was a great way to help shake off a hangover too. 😉

Everyone left with goodie bags, FITTY boxes, a Protein Haus smoothie and some with a Bol salad. Ahhhmaaazing! The goodie bags were incredible! Take a look… I am set for a while!

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The best thing was that all proceeds went to the Be Real Campaign charity. One of the areas Be Real focuses on is educating people from a young age; their aim is for children to have a “body confident start to life”. As a teacher, a big sister, an aunty and hopefully a future mum, this made my heart sing.

Job well done to Lorna Jane UK for walking the talk with your move, nourish, believe philosophy, to FEMPOWER & Be Real for inspiring women like myself to accept that we are enough.

Links:

FEMPOWER: http://www.fempoweruk.com

Be Real: http://www.berealcampaign.co.uk

Lorna Jane UK: https://www.lornajane.co.uk

Lorna Jane Aus: https://www.lornajane.com.au

 

 

Do it for You

A letter to myself… thumb_DSC_0553_1024

Dear Rachael

You are allowed and deserve to be completely happy.

Everything is going well for you except the fact that you are really are self-sabotaging your happiness. You put a lot of pressure on yourself based on how you look. You want to look slimmer, toned, tanned, sexier. This is OK.  You want to FEEL healthier, slimmer and more beautiful… You want to wear outfits – pretty dresses and shorts. This is OK too. You want to feel at peace with yourself and not constantly like you’re on a roller-coaster with your emotions due to hormones, too much sugar and lack of sleep. You can do this! You KNOW what to do. It can be easy. Healthy eating and exercising. Start saying no to foods that make you FEEL like crap. You don’t need the ice-cream or the chocolate. They make you feel bloated, tired, miserable, fat, they inflame your IBS, IBD & psoriasis. Just don’t!

Stay on track.

You’ve got this. You have amazing support from Kurt and you’re in the perfect industry to do this NOW!

It’s up to you though… Dot it for the gut health, stable moods, glowing, healthy skin, your emotions, your loved ones.

Do it for you.

Sophie Guideline is an amazing woman,wife and mum, You respect that, She respects herself. Respect yourself. You want to be a happy, healthy woman, wife, (future) mum…. You will be IF you act now, Change habits. Create your way of life. Create your own rules.

Food is fuel. Eat to move. Don’t move to eat. Move because you enjoy it. Have fun. Never give up. Be consistent. Be determined. Be grateful. Be happy. Be healthy. Love healthy. Love healthy food. Be the person you want to be. Be the woman you want to see. Be the better you.

Be the stronger you.

Don’t let the unhealthy, self-sabbotaging girl who is dealing with her own issues stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. Own your goals and dreams. Own this. Own her. Own yourself. Own your choices. Own your actions. Believe in yourself. Believe in your vision.

Believe in the life you’re creating.

Love, You. xo

This is a letter I wrote to myself in June 2016. This is a stream of MY thoughts in a vulnerable moment. They are no-one else’s and therefore naturally, yours would be different to mine and please, remember, everybody’s ‘body’ is different. I am not saying that everyone or people of a certain shape or size should want to be slimmer etc. That is far from my intention! It is about FEELING healthier from the inside-out. Of course there are things on the outside I’d like to change for myself but that’s based on what I know I can look like when I FEEL I am in my healthiest state, not suffering from IBS and IBD symptoms. I mention Sophie Guidolin because obviously, I respect her. I follow her on social media and she promotes feeling healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. She is such an inspirational woman, to me.

I love reading and researching all things health and wellness but I have struggled with my own journey of yo-yo dieting. I believe in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I feel I am now starting this life-long journey. I want to create a healthy lifestyle for myself and family before we have children so healthy habits are created. By all means, this does not mean I will be cutting out chocolate (haha- this would never happen) but I want more of a healthier balance; to create my own treats, and limit my treats because previously, they have outweighed the nutritious, clean energy fuelling foods. It really is a decision. To help my process, I wrote this letter for me to refer to every day as a reminder.

If you feel you’re in a similar situation, write a letter to yourself. Don’t analyse what you are saying while writing, just say it and then look deep and take action.

There are so many amazing recipe books and guides to follow when trying to get on track with living your best healthy life. Your goal may be to lose a few kilos, clear your skin, decrease symptoms of IBS and so on. Whatever it is, I feel it is essential to come up with our own goals and rules instead of just following someone else’s. Read them, read many but create your own rules and a small number so that you can stick to them.

When I wrote this letter I also wrote some rules for myself:

1). Write a weekly plan

2). Stick to it

3). Include protein, especially breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

4). Make healthy nutritious food tasty e.g., increase intake of salads with ingredients such as haloumi and home-made dressings (lemon, argan oil)

5). Include carbs but decrease them

6). Eat what you cook, don’t stray

I could write so much more in relation to IBS, IBD, psoriasis and nutrition but that can wait for some other time… 😉

Time to get my Sunday Meal Prep on… xo

 

What makes you feel ALIVE?

I find it so interesting when you see something in particular and then whatever it is, pops up all around you! This literally just happened… I posted a dancing video on Instagram and noted that it makes me feel alive. NEXT THING I see one of my favourite bloggers, Lottie Murphy using the word ‘alive’ in a brand new blog and the Lorna Jane Active Instagram posted about feeling ‘alive’ just minutes after my post?!?! I think it is pretty amazing. I’m about to get ‘airy-fairy’ (for some) BUT I really believe when you send messages out to the Universe, the Universe returns those thoughts and feelings, multiplied.

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Dancing has been one of those things, probably the number ONE activity and time when I feel COMPLETELY ALIVE. I let loose. I lose control of my feet. My legs are going. My hands are going (think spirit fingers). My hips don’t lie and, well, baby got back! My husband thinks I’m hard to dance with BUT I just can’t help it… When an upbeat song comes on, I have to get my wiggle on. I’m suddenly full of confidence and don’t have a care in the world. I’m probably hopeless but I don’t care because I’m having fun and swinging my hips to the rhythm of the night. I actually love pulling out the old school dance moves too… Filling up the shopping trolley, the sprinkler… You know the ones?

My most treasured childhood memories have included dancing… Dancing in the lounge room with my mum as a child, dancing with grandparents at New Year celebrations, dancing to Britney Spears with my primary school friends, learning the finale song from Dirty Dancing with a bestie, teaching my dance moves to my younger sisters and dancing around the kitchen with my husband.

I often wished I went to some type of dancing class as a child… I actually did a couple of times. I think I went to a ballet class OR I just had a new, yellow tutu… I have evidence of this tutu but unfortunately I fell into a pond one day and ruined it. We moved to Groote Eylandt not long after that when I was 7. The only dance class offered there was line dancing… Which I did. Of course. In high school I remember having to learn the Tango and we were assessed too. I was a fairly quiet girl yet you wouldn’t have known it when it was time for our assessment. We were paired up and filmed… I vividly recall our normally conservative English/ Drama teacher positively remarking on how ‘raunchy’ it was. I could tell she liked it. I think she was quite bemused. As I said, dancing just makes every part of me feel alive! I would say generally I’m quite reserved yet it’s like I’m a completely different person when dancing. I realise it IS very much me… Without inhibitions; without fear of judgement or failure. I don’t care if I make mistakes because it is SO much fun!!

You can feel alive in different ways though. Walking amongst nature also makes me feel alive as does swimming in the ocean and yoga (which I need to practice more often). These activities don’t have me openly and energetically sharing my love of a rhythm and a beat but they certainly make me feel present.

So, what makes YOU feel alive?

Hubby and I during our First Dance. Image by Figtree Pictures, Queensland