Friday, March 24, 2017

The art of being feminine






After the release of my latest book… I crashed.  I realised I’d been so focused on everything I needed to do, reading and re-reading the manuscript as I edited, that once it was all over, my body felt free to relax.  I felt like I could sleep for a week; I wasn’t motivated to do anything and I felt burnt out.

It wasn’t that I was particularly stressed before the book was released; burning the midnight oil or anything like that, but it must be a natural response to a time of intense concentration.  I’m sure students feel the same after exams are over, or a project manager after they’ve completed a big project.

In the past I might have eaten my favourite sugar-chocolate-icecream treats to feel more normal, but I don’t do that anymore.  I recognised the strange feeling for what it was and was gentle with myself.

I still had quite a few tasks to complete, so I wrote them all down and ticked off one by one over the following days.  I had normal bedtimes but it might have been better to go to bed earlier than usual.  I did relax one evening with a few episodes of The Hills on dvd, that was fun.

But apart from that, I focused on my femininity.  I recognised that the flattened feeling I was experiencing was from being in my masculine for several weeks as I concentrated on completing my book.  Before that I had a nice blend of feminine (being) and masculine (doing), but at some stage I just had to put my foot on the accelerator otherwise the book still might not be out!

But now, I am welcoming the feminine back in with:

Reading books on my Kindle – I am currently reading The Riviera Express as recommended by the lovely Margaret in Devon, England (do check out her blog, it’s delightful).

(just an aside: my husband thought it was so funny that I would be at my computer reading my manuscript back and forth all day, then come out into the living room to relax with a drink in the late afternoon and… read a book on my Kindle – like a busman’s holiday!)

Focusing on my grooming – blow-drying my hair, using lots of lovely scented moisturiser, putting on perfume, painting my toenails.

Boudoir time – which I have mentioned a million times before but when I get busy it is forgotten.  Here is a post detailing my beloved boudoir time, and another here.

Spending time with my husband – of course, writing my book is a good thing, but I do feel like a neglectful wife when I am glued to the computer.  We went out for lunch or coffee together, a few times in a week.  Plus a movie at the theatre – we saw T2 Trainspotting which I didn’t think I would enjoy as much as I did.  It was certainly a cinematic experience!

Enjoying my wardrobe – playing around with my outfits, wearing my pretty things and accessorising more with necklaces and makeup colours – which are still very neutral :)

I know it won’t be long before I am my old self again, and one day in the future I might even not upset my equilibrium so much when completing new projects.  I think that’s a good goal to have: achieve what I want to achieve without knocking myself out of kilter along the way.

Something I am very proud of though, is that I did not self-medicate or boost my energy with food.  Yay for that!  I’m so happy that all my mindset work is paying off and I am proving to myself that I really can change.

Do you do this too?  Get yourself out of balance doing too much at once?  Please tell me it’s not just me.  I’d love to hear strategies that have worked for you as well.  Thank you in advance for all the wonderful ideas you have to share!

Fiona

PS.  If you haven’t seen my latest book ‘Thirty Slim Days’, you can read a sample at Amazon (click ‘Look Inside’).  I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The drama-free way to lose weight

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I have had slimming and weight loss on my mind a lot as I completed my latest book, so it is no surprise to me that this week’s post is on that very topic.

If you have ordered my new book Thirty Slim Days, thank you so much and I hope you get loads of useful information, inspiration and ideas from it.  When I wrote this post it was number 8 on the Amazon charts and I am crossing my fingers that it gets to number 1, because that would be so exciting!

If you would like to read a sample, you can see it on Amazon here (click on 'Look Inside').

What I have spent a lot of time thinking about is why diets don’t work and what are we meant to do instead?  Can we incorporate a structured eating plan without setting off alarm bells in our head?

Diets only address the food aspect, and they completely ignore all the stuff that’s going on in our mind.  Beyond the initial excitement phase of starting a new eating plan (if you have one), you rely on willpower to keep you going and after a while it just gets too hard.  You feel worn down and before you know it you are sinking back into the pleasure of your former favourite escapist foods.

I am not against structured eating plans to reset but you have to work on your mindset at the same time, otherwise it’s only ever going to be temporary.  I have decided that temporary isn’t going to do it for me anymore.  I am looking for a lifelong way to be slim, elegant, happy, well-fed and healthy.  I know it is possible.

After a time of plenty, it is a welcome breather to have a period of elegant austerity.  It feels refreshing.  Naturally slim ladies do this as a matter of course, but the rest of us have to learn how.  I don’t mind saying that it does not come naturally for me.

The naturally slim lady if, after the Christmas break, for example (when she probably did not overindulge to the same extent as everyone else, but still had more treats than she normally would), will have a January of simple and healthy foods.  What she likely won’t do is set far-reaching new year’s resolutions or join a punishing bootcamp – she doesn’t need to.

Just like the naturally slim woman, I decided to take the drama out of food, eating and my weight.  There really was no need for it.  And common sense comes into it too.  When you sit back and look at the big picture, or look at it as if you are designing a menu for someone else, it’s not so hard at all.  Deep down we all know what is healthy and what is less so.

If you’re like me, you just hoped for many years – decades – that the crappy junk foods that tickled your palette would magically become good for you.  No, it will never happen.  To get past that, I let myself feel sad that I couldn’t eat my ‘favourite’ foods and look nice and feel good.  I was fighting a losing battle and it was one I would never win.

The only way I was going to win was by changing what I considered to be my favourite foods.  If you are like me, and have mini-obsessions, you will know what it feels like to think that if your current favourite food is taken from you, you don’t know how you will survive.

Thinking back to years ago, there are food items I was obsessed with that now I don’t even think about anymore because I have moved on.  This sort of thinking is similar a two-year-old and their toys.  If you asked them to give up the toy they were holding right now, they wouldn’t want to give it to you.  But if you let them leave it of their own accord, they wouldn’t even notice.

I was like that with food – like a two-year-old having a tantrum.

Once I let go of the drama and introduced myself to a structured eating plan which allowed me to reset how I ate and lower my weight because I wasn’t eating so much junky snack food, all was well. And by structured eating plan I'm not talking about anything fancy - just good real food.  Fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, good carbs, limited or no processed junk and sugar.  Writing down what looks like a good plan and then following it.

I think some of us need that sharp jolt when we go from free-for-all to a strict menu plan.  Then, in the ensuing weeks we can happily add back in some of the non-triggering extras and we are happy.

If I try to take things away gradually, I get bratty about it and feel deprived.  If I have a period of resetting things every so often when I feel called to, it’s a shock to the system but I’m ready for it.  Then, when I add items back in it feels like a bonus!

If you are one of those normal people, you are probably wondering why all the fuss.  But if you’re like me… you probably know exactly what I’m talking about!  So… which one are you?  And do you find it easy to reset your eating… or not?

 All the best for your week and I can't wait to hear what you think of Thirty Slim Days!

Fiona

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THIRTY SLIM DAYS is here




I am so excited to let you know that ‘Thirty Slim Days: Create your slender and healthy life in a fun and enjoyable way’ is now available, in paperback and on Kindle.

You can view it on Amazon here.

If you would prefer the paperback but want to start reading straight away, Thirty Slim Days (as well as all my other books) is enrolled in the Kindle Matchbook promotion where you can receive the Kindle version at a 70% discount when you order the paperback. If you choose this option, you will be offered the Kindle version for $2.99 instead of $9.99 after you have gone through the checkout.

So what is the book Thirty Slim Days all about?

Diets address the outside world – what we are eating – but they do nothing to change the inside world – our mindset. Changing the outside world brings the novelty of something new, plus willpower works for a while; but then our mind will snap us back to what we were doing before, because the changes we made were superficial.

Sometimes one trick that had worked for a while stopped working so well for me and I found myself slipping back into old habits. So I started devising a chic toolkit of sorts that I could dip into whenever I needed the motivation.

I have so many techniques in my toolkit now, that if I fall off the wagon I can pick myself up so much quicker than I used to. As a result, my eating (and my weight) is much more stable and therefore healthier. I also have a wonderful peace of mind around food that I did not have before.

This book isn’t a typical diet book with a list of rules, to-dos and meal plans. I hope that it won’t be dry or bossy or prescriptive. My goal for this book is to be happy, inspiring, encouraging and a little bit silly at times; because when we get too serious, we stop listening.

If we can put a little bit of frivolity and inspiration into the process of becoming our ideal weight, we are more likely to follow up and get there. Why would we want to do something if it isn’t fun?

I am so excited for you, just as I am excited for myself continuing this journey. Today is a new day, a fresh new start; perfect for you to start living a life of freedom, happiness and good health.

You can read a sample on Amazon here (click on the book cover to 'Look Inside'). I can't wait for you to read it!

With all my best, Fiona
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