Blog

Redefining selfish

Adjective

  1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself:

Selfish motives.

The dictionary definition doesn’t really come across as a positive trait to have does it? But is it really all that bad to want to take some time to yourself and reflect on you as a person, how you dealt with a situation and could have maybe dealt with it slightly better?

I don’t think so! In fact it is essential for your own well being and personal development

How can you give your all to someone or something if you don’t believe in yourself? Do we not ask for the best from ourselves all the time, in every part of our lives? It is exhausting to keep up with the constant expectations of perfection. Be it on Facebook, at work, the school playground or with our inner circles. Why are you living your life to other people’s standards? Do you even know what yours are?

I hear it all the time when I am helping clients to write their bridge models or set their goals.

“I don’t have time to get to the gym because I work full time and I feel bad if I am not at home with my partner/children/cat/dog”

“I don’t have time to exercise because when the children are at school, that is when I get all the chores done”

“I feel guilty to go out with my friends after working all week and not seeing my partner very much, it’s hard to choose and make the right decision and split time for myself”

“I am too tired to go out to exercise after I have taken care of everyone else”

All I am hearing is pressure to do what everyone else thinks you need to do and you putting your wants and needs to the side so that other people get what they want from you. When was the last time anyone asked you what you wanted to do, or asked if they can help you, or if you are ok? We live in a society of takers and as the mum/dad/adult in your situation, the expectation is that you will be ok with this and will just accept that you simply don’t matter enough to be a priority.

I call bullshit!!

What would actually happen if you were to say no to some of the daily demands put on you, what if you decided to go out with your friends for coffee and have a giggle rather than do the laundry?

Nothing, that’s what! You might feel guilty because it hasn’t been done but it doesn’t change the fact. It is perfectly ok for you to be appreciated, to be among equals, to have fun and laugh and you certainly don’t have to feel guilty about doing it. What has changed in your life to make you think it is acceptable to be treated like a second-class citizen? It is your life, so go and live it to the best you can.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? – Bob was great, he always made sure the clothes were washed and ironed, didn’t take the promotion at work because he thought that his mate Jim deserved it more, his house was always clean and in perfect order

Or

Bob, WOW, this guy was an inspiration. He always listened and offered advise because he knew what he believed in and was always respectful to himself and others. He always made time for you with no expectation in return and made you feel better. He always knew where he was going and had an element of calm about him. He really lived his life the best way

The differences between these 2 are the thought process of Bob. In scenario 1 he is allowing people to take from him with out giving back, he lost himself to everyone else and accepted his lot. The second one Bob is a much stronger and seemingly focused yet caring soul. Which would you rather be?

It is about time that you stop. Yes stop.

Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or another way of making notes.

Page 1: Current situation – write down everything you do for other people, on a daily basis, over the course of a week. Examples could be, make breakfast, help with homework ………..

And then in a different colour pen, write all the things that people do for you.

Be honest and spend some time observing. Really pay attention to your behaviours and the tasks you are doing. Are they to benefit you and only you or does someone else get the benefit of what you are doing? Scary isn’t it.

(it is ok if this take some time, it is hard to pay attention to everything you do)

Page 2: Ideal situation – Write down everything YOU want to do in a week. If work, children, family weren’t included, and you could have a week to yourself. Examples could be not setting an alarm, eating the food I enjoy, catching up with my pals, training, watching a tv show without interruptions. Everything in this list should be about you, your wants and needs to feel good.

So, page 2 looks amazing right? I can already hear you screaming at me that it will never happen because ……………………(fill in the blanks appropriately)

But, my point is this. You have just spent time thinking about what you need to feel better and written it down and it looks great, but you are already making excuses as to why it can’t happen. But the reflection time you spent deciding on what to write was essential to you being able to make changes. I know that your ideal week with only you to think about is not a realistic goal, but can you not choose a couple of the points to bring forwards into your current situation? Wouldn’t it be nice to not feel guilty about having time to yourself?

This brings me back to the reason for this rant. You are not selfish if you want to have some time to yourself when you are always doing things for others. It is important for your mental health to feel loved and wanted but there is a very fine line between being taken for granted and being appreciated. You juggle so many different parts of your life and we are all on different journeys but we all regard being selfish as a bad thing. Hopefully, I can help you to see that having time to yourself and putting your health and goals first will make you a stronger better person for those you love and care for.

It is ok to ask for help and say no to the things you don’t want to do. That feeling of empowerment the first time you say no will open your eyes to the power and control you actually have in your life and that these changes can happen now.

The reason I chose to write this comes back to the first poll I did on my group, I asked what people try to put first : family and friends, food prep, training plan, work.

Unsurprisingly, most people put family and friends.

I could like to dig deeper as to why, but I will save it for another day.

Was it social conformity, not wanting to pick the other options because they are selfish or was it a genuine choice, I will let you be the judge of that.

Is it selfish, or is it self-improvement?

I challenge you to write your current situation and ideal situation down.

Share it with someone, it can be me, it can be your partner, it can be a friend, doesn’t matter. The point is, that by sharing it, you now need to do it.

 

The ways in which we love, and why we are set up to fail

I have been thinking about writing this for some time but haven’t had the words or the language suitable to try and explain what goes on in my head when it comes to talking about love.

It is complicated thing, to love someone and to be loved in return, or so we are led to believe. I really don’t think it has to be complicated, not in the slightest.

In my understanding, limited as it is, loving someone is the most wonderfully painful thing you can experience. It isn’t complicated at all.

You are going about your business minding your own and….

BOOM – LEVEL UP –  Life as you knew it……..CHANGED…….FOREVER

This person that was a stranger to you, now becomes the one you want to talk to all the time, spend all your time with, make sure you do all the shit that makes you feel good so you can help them to feel better and do fun stuff with them, like ride all the rides at Thorpe Park or sit and talk to them while they take a bath, and bring you dinner because you have worked a long day and they were thinking about you. It is a whole lot of fucked up really. And that is just the person you choose, or in fact the universe chooses for you.

What about the other ways we can love?

Well, in my humble opinion there are lots of different ways to feel love and be loved and all of them are brilliant and I am going to try and put it into words;

  1. FAMILY – The people that raise you and give you a start in life. They are the ingredients to what make you who you are. Most people feel strong bonds of loyalty to their blood relations and stay close, others keep their distance but feel the connection all the same
  2. FRIENDS – The fellow weirdos we find along the way that speak the same language, dance like us, like the same things, laugh at your jokes – you know, the family we choose. Personally I feel a deeper connection to these guys than my actual family
  3. WORK COLLEAGUES / CUSTOMERS / CLIENTS – Believe it or not, you love these people too. You spend a lot of your day with these people, are working towards a common goal, are in close proximity to them and get along because you have things in common
  4. ANIMALS – I don’t really need to explain this one do I
  5. OBJECTS – We all have little things that we treasure and use to make our lives just that little bit more special. Don’t be afraid to show off your quirks and things that make you unique, after all, these are the reasons people love you.
  6. CELEBRITIES – This one I think is shallower, because you are very unlikely to ever meet these people yet they take up a vast majority of your time and the concept of having all that they do, or being who they are is more what you are attaching to rather than them in person.

I am no expert!

Openly and honestly, I am pretty bad at relationships. I find them over whelming and scary. Expectations that people have for me and from me are just unfathomable sometimes. It is as though we speak entirely different languages but totally understand one another at the same time so it is frustrating for all that are involved. Some people love you by somothering you in cuddles, kisses and give you all their time. Others want to help fix and solve problems. And there are million other ways that I just can’t think of because it makes my brain want to explode.

This brings me back to the title of my blog; The ways in which we love and why we are set up to fail. None of these ways is better than the other, or more right than any other because it is the way that YOU do it. I hate that we feel the need to chase this unbelievable belief that there is one person that is born to complete us and we must search our lives to find them and without them we will never be whole, and that the way we feel is the same as the next person.

This is why we are set up to fail. You only need to watch a Disney Princess film to see this being hammered into the brains of our young ones.

I am on a journey of self discovery and my eyes are being opened almost on a daily basis to the huge potential to just be happy with who you are and welcome all that come into your life with open arms and acceptance that they are different to you. No one has walked the same path, in the same shoes as you and this is something you should be proud of. I know that I am walking along my path and it is being intersected all the time and there are a lot of people that are walking along beside me right now, but they may drift off to form their own and then come back to join me in a little while, but it doesn’t make either of us love each other less. We have walked together for a while, some might take a few steps and then you wont see them again, others will be there for the long haul. Each one of them make the journey much more beautiful and memorable and it really isn’t complicated to let people walk along beside you sharing the journey together.

Love is awesome, it feels great to both give and receive it.

Let’s try not to judge the way people do things and get them to only see it from your view, why not try it from theirs, or even better, find a way to see it together that is beautiful for all that are involved.

LOTS OF LOVE

Resilience, how do I get some of that?

Life can be tough, if you let it.

I guess that is my point. If you let it. Why wouldn’t you want to be happy, healthy and free to do all the things that make you feel good? Living in a house that is only a building where you keep your stuff, being in a relationship that has lost the ‘thing’ that got you together in the first place, having a job that sucks the life from your veins, having regrets of missed adventures and opportunities to be happy again, are all reasons to just stop and take a breath.

………

What are you doing? Look around. Look in the mirror. How are you feeling? Be honest

If you can’t stand there beaming at yourself in the mirror because you have all that you need and feel completely at peace and happy then you are amongst the vast majority of human beings that walk this earth. Some of the happiest people I have ever met in my life are the ones that we deem to have nothing. Just because you have a big house filled with so many objects they are just oozing out of every surface, this doesn’t mean you have what you need to make you happy. You are just scratching an itch rather than actually looking at what it is that will cure the itch. Going with the flow and buying stuff because everyone else has it or because you saw an advert telling you it is the route to the cure for all your woes, will only keep you spinning in the wrong direction.

The year of 2018 has been my year of change. I was tired of feeling like a failure, looking in the mirror and being disappointed with the way my life was panning out, so I decided to be the change that I needed to make myself feel better. I made the decision that I was important enough to invest some time in and booked myself in for some things that I have always found challenging, scary or made excuses to not make the time. Enough misery, on to bigger, brighter and more beautiful things.

Life has thrown me a few curve balls along the way; illness, homelessness, jobless, abusive relationships, loss of loved ones and that is just in the last 12 months. I have never been one to lay down and accept that the bad stuff is all that is going to happen, I have always stood my ground and fought for what I believe in. It is tough to keep fighting when the shit keeps coming. You sort one issue and another creeps up on you and sometimes a whole load comes at you when you don’t expect it and BOOM you are on your own, everything you thought that was secure in your life is gone in a blink of an eye. What do you do?

Option 1) accept what has happened and do nothing because everything is shit and someone else’s fault and it will get better eventually

Option 2) take control and make it right. You can’t change other people’s opinions or what has happened, but you can make sure it will never happen to you again. You haven’t lost, you have just learnt a really valuable lesson.

Option 2, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Everything that happens to you, is because of the actions or reactions you have chosen. It happened because you made it so. That is a fact. If you feel that someone has treated you unfairly, it is because you let them. If you failed to take action on something that upset you, there is now a new expectation. Only you can make that better or reset it to where you want it to be. No one else is responsible for the shit that happens to you, it all falls at your feet. How you cope with it all, that is what builds resilience.

Life is about learning to survive the storms that come your way, dancing in the rain rather than trying to avoid it or complaining about the fact that you got a bit wet. I have been through some ridiculous things, more than I can begin to describe and I am still here. Laughing, dancing, seeing the sunshine through the clouds. Sure it is hard sometimes, most times in-fact every time, but I know that I will be ok. The ability to recognise the pain, be ok with it, know it can’t really get much worse and carrying on has become my super power. Physically I can handle anything, from 100km walks across the Cotswolds way in 30 degrees to competing in strength events where I can be lifting twice my body weight at times. This isn’t just because I have trained my body to be strong, it is because I have trained my mind to be ok with the pain, because it is only temporary and the sense of accomplishment I will feel last so much longer than the pain I felt at the time.

Women are remarkable creatures, we are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for and should be praising one another and lifting each other rather than trying to compete.

resilience

[rɪˈzɪlɪəns]

NOUN

  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

“the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions”

 

We all have the ability, we just need to believe.

Being able to recover from times of hardship should be worn as a badge of honour, not a hidden secret. Remember those times, with fondness, because they are the times that we grow the most and learn the most about ourselves.

My most recent race, at the 64km mark I was having a really hard time in my head. I was hot, it was starting to get dark, I had been alone for 54km, I hadn’t been able to eat very much, I was starting to hurt and feel my body complaining, I was entering into a really technical part of the course that was narrow, through woods so littered with obstacles, dark and lonely. I was feeling myself slip into the place I had been before where the temptation to call it a day and just rest was almost too much to bare, but I had a had a flash back of the time I did stop to rest and ended up being medically retired because I had given up. Dealing with the disappointment of that and the shame I felt for failing was far stronger than the temptation to rest. I carried on walking, one foot in front of the other, just concentrate on that one action. The next thing I remember, I am coming into the 75km checkpoint feeling recharged, realised I was one of the front runners and I was doing a great job. That feeling carried me all the way to the finish line, where I am not afraid to admit, I sobbed like a baby. The sense of achievement, pride, self – belief, pure happiness I felt knowing that I had just accomplished something that not many others could do.

The pure determination I had buzzing along in the back ground for the entire length of that race is now stronger in my day to day life. I want to help more people, I want to be a better version of myself, I want to shout from the roof tops that it is possible, you can do it and bring all the people that are down, feeling like I did at 64km, it is ok, you just need to get to 75km and then it will be easy.

 

Shhhhhh, no one wants to talk about it.

Hi

I’m Amy. I am 34. I love training, working, hanging out with my friends, learning, I am a great big feminist boob loving lesbian – are you offended yet, because it is about to get a whole lot worse

I AM A VEGAN – AAAARRRGGGGHHHHHHHH RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!

I can literally hear you cringing, please bare with me.

I am not here to judge or preach to you about trying to convert you and call you names if you choose to eat rotting animal bodies – oh too real for you – NOT SORRY!

I have been living this life style a little while now, just about a decade, I forget the specific day that I started but I know that it has been a long while. I will hold my hands up and tell you straight that I am not the strictest Vegan out there, I do eat cake and tried to bring eggs back in to my life a little while ago, but the rest I am totally animal free when it comes to my food.

BTW – eggs are still off the menu – It is a NO from me

Most people kick their shit about Protein and worry that I am getting enough. People that I have never met, cooked for, trained with or anything. Yet they seem to think that their opinion on where I source my Protein matters to me. I have got bored with trying to take the moral high ground these days so I try to be as sarcastic or witty as possible with my answers, but sometimes I just shake my head and walk away. Ignorance is bliss for most and Lord forgive you if you dare to walk a different path.

Once I was told to stop attention seeking and just have some bacon – Literally have no words. I wanted to slap the bacon right out of his mouth, but what is the point?

So, here we are, half way through and I haven’t actually given you any data on what it is like or the reasons why or anything.

Like I said earlier, I am not going to preach to you or give you science or any data, just my opinion and experience on what it is like to live as a Vegan. Recently, I would say in the last 5 years, it has become a lot more main stream and therefore easier and more accessible to eat cruelty free and be more aware of your choices. Restaurants and super markets seem to be embracing it and actually competing on vegan selections and availability, like vegan days of the week or specific menus to choose from. This makes life so much easier and less time spent reading labels, which is handy as I know I am getting to the point where my arms don’t seem to be long enough to read the labels.

I am getting off track. What is it like being Vegan? Honestly, I have been doing it for so long that I don’t have to think about it. It can get a bit tedious at times because you need to think, prepare and plan your day all of the time. I have learnt to always carry some kind of snack that will get me through to the next meal, and be a little willing to bend on food selection. Avocados and nuts are always in my bag and probably a few other bits that I have grabbed. I have food in the fridge at work and home is filled with stuff I can just grab.

What kind of things, I hear you ask? Well, mostly what you would imagine. Take the death out of your fridge and probably the same as you. Fruits, veggies, salad take up the most room, some kind of dip, like guacamole, humus, or salsa, there will undoubtedly be tofu of some kind and all the nuts and nut butters. Did I mention Avocado, all of those. And then there are the little secret things that I have learnt to hunt for over time, like fermented yeast, roasted pine nuts, good quality dark chocolate, fat bombs and all the spices. Yes, you have to think outside the box for a while and it does take a little longer to prep food sometimes, like soaking lentils over night blah blah. But to me it is totally worth it.

The benefits I have felt over the years far out weigh the limited inconvenience of having to think a little bit more;

  1. Great skin – people think I am 10 years younger than I actually am
  2. I am leaner than ever – ABS!!!
  3. Stronger than ever – Boom, wonder woman. 152.5 kg deadlift – just saying
  4. I recover really well from training and injuries – brought on by me being a clumsy oaf not training
  5. Energy levels are higher – they need to be so I can change the world and work 15 hour days
  6. Body works more efficiently – digestion and blood stream are impeccable and have a metabolic age of 17 – oh yeah
  7. I don’t catch colds or muggle illness
  8. No animals suffer in my day to day living – double win
  9. Shopping is cheaper by rather a lot – about half price actually
  10. Moral high ground – WIN!!

Is it for everyone – no

Is it hard – no

Should you try it – yes, even if you set aside 1 day a week. The benefits are huge and you get to save the life of 1 animal for each day you choose not to eat meat.

I promised not to preach so I wont, but at least try living without Milk. You really don’t need it. A baby cow needs it’s mothers milk – you really really don’t. You were taken off your own mothers breast at a very young age, and fed solid food – just think about that for a moment. How many adult horses do you see drinking milk from a sheep?? Amy Jayne – don’t be disgusting. Well, aren’t you drinking baby juice from a different species when you have milk? Oh, I see, It is only gross if you have to stop and think about it. Right then.

Thank you for getting this far, I really love you for taking the time to not judge and get this far.

I know that you are curious so I challenge you to try 1 vegan day a week for a month – report back to me, I want to know.

Day 5 of 5 – blogging challenge

For once I am dumbstruck about what to write about.

I am pacing around my lounge, in my wonder woman dressing gown, I mean why would you wear anything else? Hey, maybe that can be my inspiration for my writing, no not my wonder woman dressing grown but the fact that I am in my own space and moving forwards with my life, finally.

BORING!

Of course I am going to write about Wonder Woman, that is far more interesting.

Did you know that she was the brain child of a middle aged professor in psychology, that had a wife and a mistress that all lived together as one family, with all their children? She was brought to life in 1941 under the original title of  “suprema, the Wonder woman”. Dr William Moulton Marston was the inventor of my super heroine and also an advocate / potential inventor of the lie detector – which is how her lasso came to be one of her greatest assets.

Anyway…… enough of the geek. We all know that I am a super fan but I kind of want to explain why and also why I think it is important to have role models, even if they are fictional.

I unashamedly love Wonder Woman.

She is kind, gave up her life of royalty and riches on and Island that would protect her to save the human race because she knew she could. She was raised in a place with only peace and women to love and teach her, but she chose to leave this safety and sanctuary to walk bravely into the unknown because someone she did not know asked her too and she followed her heart, and knew that she could make a difference.

Also, she isn’t stick thin or trying to please people by being a stereotypical woman that men want to ejaculate over, although they probably do because she is awesome, but I hope you get my point. She breaks the molds that we are brought up to believe we should fit into. She ends up saving herself just as much as the countless others she rescues along the way.

I know she isn’t a real person, I am no fool. I mean, come on, no one can be that beautiful, speak all the languages, be that strong, wear that uniform and get all the girls or guys to fall at her feet.

But the concept of her. The idea that a woman can be a leader, can be stronger than man, can change the world and do it while everyone else doubts her and says she can’t. That is what I like, I aspire to, I want to believe that this can be real life not just a comic.

I think having a role model, inspiration, what ever you want to call it, helps to give you something to aim for. Or at least some thing to believe in and hold your values up against to see if they are compatible. It doesn’t matter if other people think you are foolish or think it can’t be done, if it is what gets you out of bed in the morning and gives you warmth in your heart then it really is no business of any one else’s.

So, if you want to strut about in a cape and super hero mask because it makes you feel stronger and better, then you do that and screw the haters because who cares what they think, miserable bastards can’t bring you down.

LOTS OF LOVE