Why is integrity undervalued?

I deal with people everyday. In my personal and professional life. Like everyone I guess.

In the last few months integrity has crossed my mind numerous times. It still completely and utterly astounds me when I come across people with a low moral compass. People who don’t choose to do the right thing. I understand sometimes that choice is difficult, but what about when it is an easy choice? Or what about when the outcome wouldn’t change, regardless of whether you are doing the right thing?

One situation comes to mind in my workplace where someone in a senior position treated me badly. The way they treated me, did not change the outcome. In fact, it had absolutely no impact on the outcome. However, they truly showed their true colours by treating me badly. Their treatment could be seen as subjective and you could say that in their eyes their actions were fine. I really don’t see it like that. That person choose to make things tough for me, they used intimidation and pressure.

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In another situation (one that I wasn’t involved in) and not in the working environment, a person treated someone I know badly. They used intimidation to come out ahead financially. Their tactics didn’t work, but the effort was there to ‘one up’ another person for a financial benefit.

It’s no use getting frustrated about things that are entirely outside of your control. But man, is it frustrating to be forced to deal with someone who doesn’t have good integrity.

I value people who have good integrity, even when the situation is uncomfortable and there is pressure or temptation to do the wrong thing.

I wish integrity came up in conversation more often.

We should talk more about the value of having a good character and good morals, and talk less about superficial things.

I’m going to try.

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Does my mood affect my eating or does my eating affect my mood?

I’ve been feeling really good this last week or so.

Exercising regularly, eating well without crazy restriction and very minimal sugar. Whenever I’m on the high road I always wonder how long it is going to last. Work has been going really well, compared to my last job from a few months ago it is awesome.

I am also just in a really good mood. All the time. Which is great, but how long will it last?

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I know this isn’t going to last and I’ve previously posted, I think, about maintaining all these positive things when things stop going well.

I don’t even know how to break down or identify when things start to go down, or even why.

Sometimes I think it’s because I stop exercising, which affects my endorphins which affects my sleep and it starts the downward cycle.

Other times I think it has something to do with my eating. Either eating a lot of processed food or sugar that affects my mood, or maybe it’s more biological than that and affects my gut. I’ve read about the link between gut health and depression. Not that I’m depressed but there is clearly a link there and I wish I knew what came first.

Does my mood affect my eating or does my eating affect my mood?

In all likelihood it is both.

So continuing this path of acceptance and self-love that I talked about in my previous post, I guess all I can do is recognise that I will go up and down. Things are never always going to be great and accepting that is a good thing. I’ve struggled a lot with quite extreme black and white thinking in the past and it’s a tough thought pattern to break.

Onward and upward xx

 

All you need is…

I need to lose weight.

I hate saying that but if I am completely honest with myself it is true.

It feels uncomfortable saying that for so many reasons.

A big reason is that I have spent so much of my adult life beating myself up over everything and body image is huge for me. I have struggled with binge eating which started because of an isolated traumatic experience and a habit formed that I couldn’t let go. It was compounded further by feelings of inadequacy, striving for perfectionism and black and white thinking.

Saying that I need to lose weight also feels uncomfortable because I am so very very supportive of the body positive movement. I am very aware of the pressure being placed on people – it used to be women, but I think now it’s everyone – to have the perfect body.

But I don’t want to write about the body positive movement, this is my blog and today I’m writing about me. I know I need to lose weight because I have slowly but steadily been putting on weight throughout my adult life. I have just crossed in to dangerous territory where regular shop clothes are starting to not fit. Not every where, but there’s a lot of places that I used to shop in and now I avoid those stores because it’s been so long since anything has fit.

I have just crossed in to dangerous territory where regular shop clothes are starting to not fit.

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I also have a lot of clothes in my wardrobe that I want to fit into again.

Another reason that I want to lose weight is my health. I don’t have the energy I used to – I still do everything I want but I know my general health will be improved if I lighten up a bit.

I also – and I hate to admit this – but I found a fucking stretch mark! The horror! All you women out there – especially you mums, this is not a pregnancy stretch mark. This is a, I’ve put weight on and now it’s affecting my body in ways that I don’t want to admit, stretch mark. And no, I’m not a teenager so this is not about my body just growing up. Insert a big long sigh here.

So I’m short, I’m getting older (late thirties) and I know that it will just get harder for me to lose weight.

I see so many friends just set their mind to losing weight, and they do it. 10kgs – sure no problem! 20kgs – yep, I’ve got this! But me, with my not so distant history of binge eating struggles a bit more to lose weight. I’m sure it’s a combination of what’s going on in my head and what I’ve done to my body slash metabolism means that I find it very hard to lose weight.

So getting back to the point of this blog entry. I do have one.

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All you need is love.

This is a fairly new thing for me. I’m not in love, I’m as single as they come. I’m pretty happy too, although the self love thing is what I don’t have much of. But I’m trying to hold on to it. It’s working. I recently read an article about this lovely woman who lost like 100kgs who realised that you can’t create something positive from a place of negativity.

you can’t create something positive from a place of negativity

I’ve been trying to practice some self love and when I do, when I have compassion and kindness and all things nice, it works. I don’t struggle with my eating. I don’t struggle with procrastination. I’m more likely to see the good in other people and in myself.

Looking after myself and eating healthy food and exercising comes a lot easier when I am doing it from a place of kindness and not because I feel like shit. You know what I used to say to myself. I used to say that I sucked at life. That is so harsh. If ever I heard a friend talking like that I would be shocked and tell them how wonderful they are if only they could see themselves how others did.

I used to say that I sucked at life.

I wonder why it’s so hard for some people and not for others? I imagine some people would read this and think I was completely stating the obvious.

So there you go, all you need is love. Love. Love is all you need.

I am more than my social media profile

As you can tell by my last post social media has been on my mind lately. Something I have observed about people in general is that we try to impart our true selves on social media. Not necessarily on one outlet, but across all of them.

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For example, facebook is for friends and family, instagram is for travel and beauty, snapchat is for for quick fun snaps of my life. I haven’t put too much thought in that. It’s what first popped in to my mind. I guess I can add more layers by thinking about other social media outlets.

I am thinking about what people have assumed about me. A friend asked me recently if I wanted to join her on an ab challenge. One of those 30 day things where you do the same exercise every day to focus on a particular part of your body. I said no. But the way she asked me, it was like she thought I had never done one. I didn’t correct her, and that’s ok that she assumed that. But she made a big deal about putting it on social media and offered to share it with others that were interested.

On the one hand that is what social media is for. But I don’t tend to put that kind of thing on social media. Because I have a thing about dieting and people pushing health and fitness in unhealthy ways, I don’t do it myself.

However on the other hand, it’s almost as if because I have never put that out there in social media land it never existed.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to here it, does it make a sound?

If I go to the gym and I don’t post it on social media, did I go?

I have felt that people make assumptions about me because I don’t put deep and meaningful stuff on social media. I keep it to photos about holidays, my dog and things I like or am interested in, and sometimes causes I am passionate about. But I try not to be preachy – because that annoys me when I see others posting ‘should’ posts. You should or shouldn’t do this…..blah.

Do I make assumptions about people because of their social media presence? Maybe.

Maybe it is a vicious cycle. We feel someone make an assumption about us. To correct it we adjust what and how we post.

We all want to seem like well rounded and well adjusted individuals with fulfilling and healthy lives. But the fact is that social media masks our true lives and our true self. I catch myself posting cute and perfect snaps, or I try to make witty observations about the world around me. But the truth is I am just following the formula of social media.

People often post things about mental health or suicide awareness, and encourage their friends to copy a post. When I have had some tough times a post like that has made zero difference. I wanted to be heard. It was up to me to reach out and I did. But sometimes reaching out and offering a sympathetic ear to a friend is less impressive and a missed opportunity to check in to an awesome venue and show that we’re all having such an awesome time at some awesome event drinking awesome cocktails.

I’m getting a bit sick of the awesome.

I want real.

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The last couple of weeks in dot points

  • Feeling positive, feeling negative, repeat
  • Good mood, sad mood, repeat
  • Two binges and generally I haven’t been eating healthy
  • Work stress isn’t helping
  • Finally feeling like I’m on top of things in the last couple of days
  • Trying to do more meal preparation (usually I prepare lunch for the next day, this week I have prepped a few days worth of food)
  • Today I’m feeling good. I’m feeling less stressed. I slept well last night, which helps my eating in such a big way.

Will try for another update soon when not so busy

xx

Happy, but nothing to do with Pharrell

Hi!

Health and mood are funny things.

I don’t know what it is, but for the last couple of weeks I have been in an incredibly good mood. I am cheerful all the time (seriously, I am). It’s not that I am not usually happy, I am usually in a good mood. But, I have my ups and downs. And when I’m down I have my binges and etc, I’ve talked about that before so won’t go into it again. And I also have days where I struggle with motivation and procrastination.

I don’t know what’s with me lately but I’m feeling very positive, energetic and happy.

Nothing much has changed. I have had a holiday recently so that could have put pep in my step (sorry that was corny, I don’t usually use the term ‘pep’).

So just to analyse what I have been doing differently over the past few weeks since my holiday:

  • I’ve been trying to get more out of my days, particularly now that it’s winter and the days are shorter (reminder I live in Australia) so I have been starting work earlier so that I can finish earlier. Luckily I have that flexibility. It means that I get some daylight at the end of the day rather than getting home in the dark, usually that gets me down towards the end of winter. I’m doing it mostly for my dog, so I can take him for a walk at the end of the day.
  • Because I’m starting early I’m also trying to make sure I get enough sleep so that I can get up earlier. I’m naturally a night person so on weekends and holidays I stay up later and get up later. But also the older I get the earlier I get up in the morning. How clichéd, haha.
  • I haven’t been stressing so much about diet, weight, blah. I should be. I probably put on a kilo or two over my holiday plus Easter. But I’m just not. I’m eating healthy, most of the time, but I’m also not stressing about eating perfectly. It’s not possible for me, I get too obsessive then I crave things and then the bad binge cycle starts. If I want something, I eat it. Then I make up for it.

Reflecting on this, I guess it’s the combination of being stress-free because of my holiday, feeling well rested and not having anxiety over weight and diet, that has resulted in me feeling good.

I am going to embrace this feeling of wellbeing and happiness! Bring it on, if only every day could be like this!

It’s been awhile, trying to get back into the swing of it

This will just be a short update.

I’ve been away on holidays and although I’ve been back for a while it’s been hard getting back into my routine. In the couple of weeks before I left the slow carb thing was going well. But I couldn’t maintain it while on holiday and on the move. So I put it on hold with the intent of going back to it as soon as I got back. But a few weeks later and I still haven’t.

And Easter. The dreaded Easter. Too much chocolate and no willpower to say no. I eat it straight away!

If I was an alcoholic people wouldn’t buy me bottles of wine! So frustrating! But how do you say no to people that are trying to do something nice. They don’t know what’s going on in my head.

Although I have eaten so much chocolate over the last week or so, it has almost run out thank goodness. So my goal for this weekend is to get back onto the wagon, not worry about the past and just move forward. Return to my routine, stock up the pantry and fridge with good, healthy food (which I really miss).

Celebrating my wins!

Win #1 19 days of eating no added sugar…no chocolates, candies or baddies!

Win #2 I’m 2 kilos down and feeling good

Win #3 The less added sugar I have, the less I seem to want it. Some very minor, “I could go some chocolate about now”, but not too bad in the scheme of things

Win #4 I can’t even remember the last time I binged, or thought about bingeing. It was probably around Christmas when people gave me so much chocolate.

Win #5 My skin is really clear at the moment. I guess it’s the Slow Carb Diet. But for the last five or so days, I’ve eaten no nasties at all. No dairy and no wheat. I usually have a couple of small pimples along my jawline, I’ve read that they are hormonal pimples, and they are totally gone. I wonder if it’s the dairy or the wheat.

Quick update on going Slow

Today is my third day on the Slow Carb D*&^, here’s a quick update on how I’m going:

I weighed myself this morning and I’m a kilo down from 2 days ago. I know I know what the response will be – in 2 days weight can fluctuate in a big way. But, for me, fluctuations only go up. Then they come back down to what I’m always at. That’s it. They never, ever go down and them come up. So a kilo down is a big thing for me.

I’m finding the protein at every meal a bit of a challenge. I’m not used to eating this much meat.

Since I’ve started here’s what I’ve been eating:

Day 1:

Roast chicken, salad and red kidney beans (I started at dinner)

Day 2:

2 small egg and vegetable muffins with red kidney beans

Roast chicken, salad and red kidney beans

Afternoon snack: Can tuna and beans, handful of snowpeas

Steak, salad and red kidney beans

Evening snack: 1 small egg and vegetable muffin

Day 3:

2 small egg and vegetable muffins, with lentils

(Note: I made a batch of egg and vegetable muffins in advance for breakfasts)

I had the snacks because I was hungry a few hours after my meal, but the eating plan advises to have 4 meals a day (a small lunch late afternoon).

Past the halfway mark!

I’ve just passed two weeks with no added sugar.

I’m feeling so proud of myself because I am a self-proclaimed chocolate addict. And I can’t believe how many things have sugar in them. Some are obvious – condiments and the like, others like canned salmon are not obvious! I’m feeling very positive about the next couple of weeks and I know that I can get through.

As an aside, it’s surprising how many people like to point out obvious things to create a negative spin. I’ve probably done it in the past, but my goodness I am so aware of it now. I have had so many people say “fruit has sugar”, “alcohol has sugar”, “carrots have sugar”. I KNOW! Everything has sugar! But it’s natural sugar. I am cutting out added sugar, which I have said over and over.

Sigh.

Going back to the point of this entry though, I wanted to share that I was a little frustrated that I hadn’t lost more weight.

But I need to remind myself that:

  • I eat lots of nuts, in fact too many I think
  • I wasn’t really “watching” my diet, I just tried to eat normally which is usually healthy

So, I hate to be one of those people (actually I don’t really know who those people are) that try different diets all the time. But I was listening to a podcast the other day and Tim Ferriss was interviewed and talked about his Slow Carb Diet.

Without going on about the interview, I thought it sounded good, healthy and like something I could stick to. Even though I know what is good for me, I feel like I can rationalise anything!

In my head:

  • I can eat nuts, nuts are healthy and contain good fats
  • I can eat this dark chocolate (before the no sugar thing) it has lots of antioxidants
  • I can have a bit of this, because it will prevent a binge later if I have a small amount now

And the list goes on.

So the basics of the Slow Carb Diet are:

  1. Avoid white carbs
  2. Eat the same meals over and over (protein source, legumes and vegetables)
  3. Don’t drink calories
  4. Don’t eat fruit
  5. Take one ‘cheat’ day off per week

1 to 4 are followed for 6 days, and there are no rules for number 5. Although there are some guidelines like eating a healthy breakfast, increasing exercise and only buying enough food for the one day so cheat foods are not around the house for the rest of the week.

It is very early days; I only started last night for dinner and had breakfast this morning following the eating plan (let’s not use that awful D-word). After dinner, I thought there is no way this is going to keep me full, but it did. I would usually have a snack later in the night too, but I didn’t last night and sometimes if I have had a light or early dinner I’ll wake up hungry. But this morning I was fine.

Wish me luck xxx