• Val

Day 1 - We All Start Somewhere

Updated: Apr 4


Welcome!

Welcome to day 1! For info on how this journal started please see the Day 0 blog. I am reporting on yesterday’s activities.


This journal will be made up of different sections. In terms of health and wellbeing the body is far more complex than we often assume. The notion that to be healthy all we ned to do is eat less and move more trivialises the complexities of the physical and mental workings of the human being.


Therefore, both mind and body will be considered in order to help work towards a healthier lifestyle.


You are more than welcome to join me and join the Facebook Group for accountability if you would like.


The Reflection Section

I think reflection is a key aspect of life but is often overlooked. Reflective practice was the bread and butter of my youth & community work training and it is a skill I am grateful to have been taught and coached through. When we reflect, we allow ourselves to engage with our emotional mind.


The term homo-sapien means ‘wise man’. Unfortunately, I think this has given far too much credence to our rational mind and less importance to the emotional mind. The emotional parts of the brain are the strongest parts of our working mind. They are involved in many of the unconscious processes that keep us alive. However, we live in a society which does not give credit to the workings of the emotional mind, except in the realm of commercialism where successful marketing strategies play on our emotions in order to get us to buy things! Outside of that we are often directed to ignore the workings of the emotional mind and cover over emotional experiences. This is often what leads to negative behaviours and displays of emotion that have poor consequences. From seeking comfort in food, TV, sex or drugs in order to pacify emotions to lashing out in aggressive acts of violence towards others.


What I have learned and am still learning is the importance of looking after the emotional mind and ensuring that we address our emotions rather than supress them or let the fester unresolved.


Reflective practice is a great tool in helping to work with our emotional mind. Self-awareness is a key component of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Without self-awareness we can behave and act out in ways that upset others without us realising. I don’t believe that people are inherently bad. I believe that bad things happen to us all and it is when we are unaware of the emotions surrounding these bad experiences that lead us to act in ways that can hurt others whether we are aware of the upset we cause or not. Developing self-awareness is a key life skill to begin to overcome this.


Becoming more self-aware means that we can become more in tune with ourselves as well as with those around us. It can help cultivate and develop a strong sense of positive wellbeing in the mind as well as a child-like joy of life.

Reflections


Monday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I am super stoked with my idea to journal online. I think it will give me the accountability I am looking for in my own life whilst also sharing with others a live and personal journey of self-development as I seek to live a life as healthy as possible in as many ways as possible.


Things I could have done better today:

I need to learn how to deal with conflicts and how to better be an activist about the things that I think are important and worthy of activism without upsetting others in the process.


Tuesday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

😀The meditation last night which helped me have a very peaceful sleep and to my astonishment has relieved the PTSD feeling – I tried a new guided mediation which I found online that gave me a very warm sense of inner peace.


😀I am grateful for my mum and her loving and kind nature.


😀I am grateful for feeling the warmth of the sun on my face as I sat in mediation this morning.

Healthy Living Dashboard

This is where I will update on my main health metrics.


Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol-Free Beverages

I want to remain alcohol, alcohol-free drinks and caffeine free. Both alcohol and caffeine are addictive drugs and hence I would rather not actively seek either in my life. Generally, when people reach for caffeine it is because they are feeling tired or sluggish. The thing is that feelings of fatigue are not a sign that we are deficient in caffeine… although I am sure many hardcore caffeine consumers would disagree! Usually, feelings of tiredness are a sign that we are deficient in sleep or rest. I believe wholeheartedly in aiming for a lifestyle which includes enough sleep and rest time in order to not need caffeine to cope. Hence, I do not wish to have either in my life.


Fitness

I have always been active so being active isn’t something I find hard because I enjoy it! Inactivity is one of the leading causes of ill-health in the Western World. Since life has become so comfortable, we are moving less and less due to the convenience of technological advances. This means it is even more important to seek active pursuits we enjoy to ensure we look after our body since we were designed to move and be active.


I am learning more and more about the benefits of working the aerobic system which means training at low intensities. Contrary to the popular myth in the world of fitness, this is the best form of cardiovascular exercise for heart health and longevity. Too much time spent training at high intensities can work against us health and fitness wise. I will write more about this over the coming year.


So the three areas I will record on are low intensity training, high intensity training and strength & mobility. I usually do my mobility work within my strength sessions. Sometimes I foam roll outside of this but generally my mobility work comes with my strength sessions. I believe that all of these types of exercise are important for the body.


Nutrition

I am an advocate for eating as much wholefood as possible in your diet for health and wellbeing. Although I have a fairly decent body composition, that’s not what I focus on. I focus on eating wholefoods and training daily. The physique is a by-product of the lifestyle. I think much of the fitness industry has always been more focused on looks rather than real health hence I mention this point.


Most fat-loss programmes are about cutting calories to lose weight but then miss the point about genuine health and wellbeing for each individual person.


Research suggests that 800grams of veggies and fruit per day give the optimum return on investment in respect of health. In the 5-a-day initiative, 1 portion = 80grams. Therefore, 5-a-day is 400grams. As most people in the UK were so far away from meeting even 5-a-day, the government went with encouraging people to get 400grams in daily. Despite this initiative being in existence since 2003 in the UK, it is reported that most people still don’t meet 3 portions per day let alone 5!


If we aim for 10 portions a day then we know we are filling our body with plenty of good stuff, reducing the space for bad stuff and giving ourselves the best chance of fighting off lifestyle induced illness and disease.


I will record the different veggies and fruits I eat each day.



Mindset

As mentioned in the reflection section, I think mindset is really important to the overall health and wellbeing of humans. I use mindfulness and meditation to help with my mindset and I find them incredibly beneficial. Hence, they form part of my daily dashboard. I will talk more about mindset and the importance of it over the coming year.






Have an awesome day tomorrow! I will be back to update again then!


I ask all readers to be respectful. This is an honest and heart-felt account of the struggle I incurred.


I thank you in advance for your respect and kindness and I encourage you to sign up to my mailing list so I can notify you about new blog updates.

If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in my blogs please get in touch. Your conversations with me will remain confidential. Please note that I am not a therapist but I can support you to find a way to address any issues you may be experiencing.




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