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    LM Wellbeing

    Make Hormones Work for You not Against You!

    Make Hormones Work for You not Against You!

    Are hormones really to blame for our poor health, not being able to cope with that time of the month, going crazy through menopause or just our general irritability?

    The simple answer in most cases is YES. However are you aware that we have full control over our hormone balance, how our bodies react and how fast we age?

    Take me for example I understand how my body works and as a result breezed through menopause, have turned back the ageing clock and am fitter and more agile than ever. In this article I'll explain why that is so...

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    Live your dreams - as featured in Oxygen Magazine

    Live your dreams - as featured in Oxygen Magazine

    Visualisation is the use of mental imagery to imagine and create visions of how we want our lives to be, and it's a fantastic tool for achieving your best life. But it's the action we take that brings these visions into reality.

    My own story began with having an interest in fitness and health and a thirst for knowledge, training hard, and then going on to compete in bodybuilding contests. After seeing our own Lindy Olsen in a TV documentary, I knew immediately that that was what I wanted to do — and so I did. I was 49 years old when I started competing.

    It wasn't long before I realised that you need more than muscle on your body — you need muscle in your mind!

    It's challenging in many ways to step on stage and put yourself out there. There will always be naysayers and sometimes self-doubt, but overcoming these thoughts and believing in yourself and pushing through the barriers will get you there. It's called mental toughness — believing in yourself above all else.

    How use visualisalion:
    GOLDEN RULES FOR SUCCESS

    1. Set your goals, bearing in mind that others may discourage you without even meaning to. Sometimes even those dear to us won't give us the support we need. So it's good-old mental toughness and determination that gets us over the line.

    2. Use visualisation in your training. See yourself in your mind's eye performing the exercises, being consistent with your training, and completing all your training days without missing a single session for a week — and then another week. Before you know it, a whole month will have passed and you'll be feeling very pleased with yourself. Every day counts and leads to achieving your goals.

    3. See yourself eating clean, delicious meals every day. Preparation is the key when it comes to clean eating. Cook once and eat twice — or thrice! You'll notice that if you keep your body fuelled with nourishing food you'll find it easy to stick to the plan.

    4. Practise your posing on a regular basis. Visualise yourself on stage or in front of the camera. Work out your best angles and practise poses in front of a mirror and with your eyes closed as you hold the pose. Getting a mental feeling for your poses really helps, as there is no mirror on stage or in front of a photographer.

    I call this my 'mental toughness muscle'. Like the physical muscles of your body, it can also be developed over time through the small daily wins such as doing your 'extras' at the gym and working on your weak areas after your regular training routine.

    We often associate mental toughness with how we will respond to extreme situations, such as on competition days. Surprisingly, though, it's all the days leading up to the competition — or Oxygen magazine photoshoot day — that require the mental toughness. Mental toughness is part of your everyday journey to achieve your dreams!

    You need to see yourself how you want to be — after all, the power of visualisation is available to everybody. Visualisation is the first step, the idea, and then you need to make a plan and work toward your goal.

    Get into a routine with your training and never miss a session. When you do this every day it becomes part of your life. Of course, on some days you'll train really strongly at 100 per cent and feel on top of the world. It feels easy.

    On other days, though, you might have only 75 per cent to give — but it's still your best on the day, and that's okay too. This is still your 100 per cent on that day. Give yourself a pat on the back when you have these days and still train.

    Your friends and family will accept (or learn to if you stay strong) you turning up with your container of comp food and having your coffee black with coconut oil (or however you like it). A true friend will always accept you no matter what. And you'll develop new friendships along the way with like-minded people.

    Take it all a day at a time with your training and super-clean eating. Plan your meals every day. One day leads into another day, which leads into a week. Well done! And, yes, you can work around family and social occasions. I always find it easier not to make a formal announcement that I'm competing as for some reason even the most well-meaning friends or family members may try to tempt you or throw you off course.

    If you ever fall off the wagon with your training or super-clean eating, just get straight back on and don't dwell on it. Guilt has no place in your dreams and will throw you off course.

    'IF YOU EVER FALL OFF THE WAGON WITH YOUR TRAINING OR SUPER CLEAN EATING, JUST GET STRAIGHT BACK ON AND DON'T DWELL ON IT.'

    Feeling unmotivated to train? Just turn up at the gym and start your first set and you'll be on your way. This will ensure you stick to your plan and strengthen your mental toughness muscle.

    Preparation gives me confidence on the day. If I know I have given it my best with my training and eating, there's nothing else I can ask for. I put my blinkers on, run my own race, and try not to be distracted by others.

    Can you be a cover girl at 50 or even 60? I say 'yes'! Have no regrets and make the changes you need to now. Don't be afraid to break the barriers — that's what they're there for!

    A handful of rules I like to live by - not just New Years resolutions!

    A handful of rules I like to live by - not just New Years resolutions!

    There's something about a new year that reminds me of a brand new, blank canvas, ready to fill with colour and excitement, ready to fulfil my ambitions and dreams. It's all going to happen in 'the new year'.

    Many people make New Year's resolutions with grand ideas at the beginning that fall away later in the year – or never even launch.

    As I live in a high-rise apartment, I often bump into my neighbour while waiting for the lift. When we talk about her fitness goals, without fail, she always says, 'I'll start next week' or 'when the kids are back at school' or 'first week in June'you get the picture.

    Something can always sabotage our goals despite our best intentions, but whether it's a fitness and health goal, an upcoming competition, or writing a book, we need to set ourselves targets and good habits so that we can realistically achieve our dreams. I want to share the rules I set for myself to keep my progress on track.

    Rule one

    My number one rule for whatever I want to achieve is to invest in my health first.

    'Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live'. Jim Rohn.

    Purchase the best quality food you can afford (you know I always like organic). This goes much deeper than being on a health kick or a detox, as without our health we have nothing.

    As busy people, we need to look after our bodies to keep up with the pace of our lives. It follows that you'll feel sharper mentally plus have more energy when you train by eating clean, therefore getting more out of life.

    Organisation is the key when it comes to eating clean. Get into a routine – cook once, eat thrice. This is fuel for your body and mind.

    Make time to train and stick to it like you would any important appointment.

    Rule two

    Stop spreading yourself too thinly.

    I could really become unpopular for saying this, but I believe we try to take on too many things and do too much at once. Or, as I like to say, 'spread ourselves too thinly'.

    Sometimes it's ok to say no to an invitation, or if someone asks you for a favour when you are well and truly busy already. In order to accomplish goals, we often have to politely decline as there are only so many hours in a day.

    For example, a woman I train cancelled her session, as she had to do the ironing for her daughter-in-law. No disrespect here, but I'd have to say no to that one.

    As women, we do suffer from 'women's guilt' and often put everyone and everything before our-selves. It's time to set that right and start putting ourselves first. If we look after ourselves, we can then look after everyone else better.

    Rule three

    Understand that not everyone will like us.

    'The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important'. Oliver Emberton.

    I love this quote as it's so true.

    If you really want to fit in with the regular crowd then it's much easier for everyone else if you're not doing too much – or being too successful. Sure, we all have our true friends (and partners) but most people would like you to stay in your box. It's safer that way...then they don't have to do anything either.

    Stay strong and stick to your dreams and goals regardless what others might think.

    My mother always says, 'You can't please everyone, so you may as well please yourself'.

    Rule four

    Write down your inspirational moments.

    Have you ever noticed your best ideas often come to mind when you're in the middle of a mindless task, such as washing the dishes, taking a shower, or out on a relaxing walk?

    These are special moments when motivational ideas come to us when we least expect them. Seize those moments – write them down so you can build on them later.

    An exciting idea pops into your mind out of the blue, but when you set aside specific time to be crea-tive, the idea may have disappeared. Having a word or two jotted down will inspire you and summon up the feelings and inspiration you had earlier.

    Remember how you feel right now when these dreams and goals are fresh in your mind. Now's the time to get going with your project!

    Rule five

    Don't wait for 'permission' to reach your full potential.

    When examining the roots of female brain development, Dr Brizendine revealed more telling information.

    She says, 'Baby girls are born interested in emotional expression. They take meaning about them-selves from a look, a touch, every reaction from the people they come into contact with. From these cues they decide whether they are worthy, loveable or annoying.'

    This could explain why often we feel we need the approval from friends and family before moving ahead with an idea for business or a personal challenge, as we are always seeking consent. So choose the friends that have your best interests at heart. Believe in yourself and make it happen.

    Incidentally, as I write this article it's December, and my lovely neighbour met me near the lift this morning. 'In the school holidays I'll start,' she said.

    There will always be things that need our time and attention, but always make time for yourself.