Why Counselling Can Help

Answering the question “Is counselling for me?”

 

There are all manner of stigmas in this country attached to seeing a counsellor. Everyone in the US it seems has their own ‘shrink’ so why such an aversion in the UK? Surely talking through your problems with a non-judgemental expert before they overwhelm you can only be a good thing?

We’ve got Judith Franklin from Good Life Therapy back on the blog today. Judith specialises in helping with issues like ill-health, redundancy, caring for close relatives, bereavement, menopause and relationship breakdown.

 

Over to you Judith ……

Judith Franklin Good Life Therapy

 

Counselling can be a bit like going to the Dentist

You’ve had this niggle for a while, but you keep hoping that it will go away of its own accord.

At the same time, you’re aware that it’s not getting any better. The thought of going through something which you’re worried might be quite painful and uncomfortable, probably means you will keep putting it off.

 

After all, you’re already feeling pretty anxious about all sorts of things, at work and home. Why add another cause for anxiety to your long list?

And when you think of all the people in the world with really serious issues, yours seem trivial in comparison. Do you really want to pay a complete stranger to sit and listen to all your worries and neuroses?

 

So, you put up with your issues

 

For another day, week, month you put up with it – and all the while, the issue is still not going away.

Stressed looking womanOn the good days, it’s easier to compartmentalize and ‘put it in a box’ – pretend it’s not really there. You are coping after all. It’s not as if you’re going to pieces; having a nervous breakdown.

However, on the bad days, it really does feel like an uphill struggle. You know you’re being irritable and snappy and your energy levels are pretty low. You feel like you’re constantly trying to please everyone and end up pleasing no one including yourself.

I think you would probably agree, that fear of the unknown can get in the way of us doing things which could really benefit us in the long term, if only we could pluck up the courage.

 

Is Counselling For Me?

 

A lot of people think that if they go to see a therapist, the therapist will analyse them and will be able to read their mind. The thought that someone might know what you’re thinking can be quite scary.  Well, let me put your mind at rest, a therapist can’t literally read your thoughts.

I think it’s important to say here, that counselling is not like going to the Doctor.

Therapy

 

When you get an infection or unexplained symptoms – you expect the Doctor to make a diagnosis and then hopefully give you a prescription which will make you feel better.

A counsellor’s role is quite different, in that we are not there to tell you what is wrong with you and then offer a solution to all your problems.

We are there to work alongside you, accepting you as you are and to help you to explore your issues and raise your self -awareness.

Counselling is also about making choices. You can choose which counsellor you want to see and choose the type of therapy which suits you best. You can choose to change the way you live your life or you can choose to stay the way you are.

 

 

Types of Counselling

 

If you go to see a counsellor, there are several models of therapy to choose from. I’m going to focus on two of the most well known ones:

  • CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Person Centred Therapy

 

A CBT therapist will work in a structured way, inviting you to take a pro-active role in the therapy. They will ask you to explore your negative thought processes and how they affect your ability to cope with issues. You will also be given ‘homework’ tasks and sessions will be used to reflect on these. From the start, the therapist will encourage you to focus on practical goal-setting.

 A Person-Centred counsellor will focus on the here and now in client sessions, inviting the client to choose what they want to talk about each week. The sessions are focused on the client’s frame of reference and the counsellor will work at the client’s pace. They don’t plan or structure the session, or offer practical strategies to enable the client to change their thinking and behaviour. However, the counsellor will share information which may be helpful to the client.

Ultimately, the aim is to enable you to find a solution that feels right for you.

Person Centred Counselling is about helping clients to discover/identify their strengths and make use of the resources which they already have. Fundamentally, the counsellor’s role is to help you find out who you are and learn to take responsibility for yourself and the decisions you make.

 

So, when should you go to see a counsellor?

 

If you have a problem or issue, which you have been struggling with for some time and:

  • It’s not going away
  • You feel you’ve reached a crisis point
  • It’s impacting on your ability to cope on an everyday level
  • You’ve reached a cross roads in your life, but you don’t know which way to turn
  • You don’t want to burden family or friends

 

Then, talking to a Counsellor can help you to explore what’s going on inside your head. Sometimes, simply having the opportunity to say things out loud will help to clear all those confusing thoughts and feelings which can overwhelm you at times.

Also, being in a room with someone who isn’t going to judge or criticize you, or offer their point of view, is truly liberating, once you build up a trusting relationship with them. It takes courage to ask for help, but once you’ve taken that first step, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

 

It’s important to choose a counsellor who is fully qualified and experienced. If you find someone on the web, or they are recommended to you, always check them out on professional websites such as the ones I’ve listed below:

 

Useful websites

 

www.bacp.co.uk  (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

www.babcp.co.uk (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies)

www.counsellingdirectory.co.uk

 

Judith x

 

 

Good Life Therapy

 

Good Life Therapy supports you through Counselling and Personal Development.

Tel: 07961 488491

Web site: goodlifetherapy.co.uk

Facebook: facebook.com/goodlifetherapy

Email: judith@goodlifetherapy.co.uk

 

 

Photographs: Good Life Therapy, Free Digital Photos

Disclosure

 

Other articles by Judith:

 

 

 

 

 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Katy’s story and fundraising fashion event

 

We’ve got Katy joining us on the blog today, with her story of cervical cancer, how she used exercise to help her recovery and a special friendship which has been the catalyst for a fantastic fundraising event.

 

Over to you Katy ……

I was 12 weeks post hysterectomy when, at the start of the year, I had my first personal training session.

 

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust

 

Last August I was diagnosed with stage 1b1 cervical cancer.

After an MRI scan and meeting with the doctors, they offered me an operation to remove my cervix but leave my womb. It means you can still conceive but cannot naturally give birth – I was so relieved and positive. They also needed to remove all my pelvic lymph nodes to check if the cancer had spread.

Two weeks after my operation, I received my results.

All my lymph nodes were clear but the operation had been unsuccessful and there was a possibility that there were cancer cells remaining. I was devastated.

The next step for me was a radical hysterectomy. My final results were clear and I am now cancer free.

After 10 weeks off work and 4 months with no exercise I decided I needed to get back into the swing of things but I had no idea what I could do or how I should be doing it.

 

Katy & Esther

 

I chose Esther from Transform after reading on her website that she specialised in post natal exercise, which I thought was probably a similar situation to the one I was in. It hasn’t been easy but I quickly learnt my limits and Esther pushed just enough to get the results and progress I wanted.

One day before my session, Esther told me she was going to organise a fashion show and that she wanted to donate all the money raised to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, I was truly touched.

 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

 

Jo’s Trust are the only UK charity dedicated to supporting women, their friends and family affected by cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer.

I relied a lot on Jo’s Trust throughout my diagnosis and treatment, they have a website full of information including an online forum where you can ask questions and share experiences with other members.

I’ve also joined a local Jo’s Trust support group where I can meet up with other ladies in a similar position for a cup of coffee and a chat. We meet at The Alexandra Hospital every month. Jo’s Trust are constantly working towards a future where cervical cancer is a thing of the past which means a lot to everyone affected by this awful disease.

 

The Fashion Show

 

The fashion show in aid of Jo’s Trust will take place at 7pm on Thursday 15th May at The Moor Suite, Heaton Moor. We will be holding a raffle with some amazing prizes and there will be goody bags for everyone attending.

We’ve some gorgeous clothes from Eternal Envy and Modiste, all of which will be modelled by Transform Personal Training clients. We are aiming to sell 200 tickets and have no costs associated with the event so every penny made will go directly to the charity.

 

Jo's Trust Fashion Event.

For tickets to the fashion show please contact Katy – 07812 119 642 or Esther – 07703 569 645. Tickets also available from Ryan Jake in Bramhall.

For more information on Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust see: www.jostrust.org.uk

 

Katy x

 

Photographs: Katy Rawlinson

 

 

 

 

The Menopause

Celebrate or Endure?

.

“The menopause” is a whispered word, with enormous significance for a woman.

Not one to shrink away from a difficult subject, we’re welcoming Judith Franklin from Good Life Therapy onto the blog with news of an exciting new workshop. Judith specialises in helping people through mid-life and beyond. She helps with issues like ill-health, redundancy, caring for close relatives, bereavement, menopause and relationship breakdown.

 

Over to you Judith ……

Judith Franklin Good Life Therapy

 

I heard a discussion about the Menopause on Woman’s Hour recently. I was disappointed, but not surprised to hear that many women find it difficult to talk about with friends, work colleagues and family.

Those of us who have already gone through it, or who are maybe right in the middle of it, know that the physical symptoms can be distressing or just downright inconvenient.

 

Symptoms

 

Of course they vary from woman to woman; they can range from night sweats, hot flushes, tiredness and forgetfulness, to breast pain, loss of libido, vaginal discomfort, weight gain and osteoporosis.

These may be only short-lived, or could continue for up to ten years and in some cases longer.

Many women experience anxiety and low self esteem, as well as depression, as a result of trying to cope with multiple symptoms.

Sleep disturbance, mood swings and weight gain alone are enough to make you feel pretty miserable.

Although there is a lot of information out there, on the NHS, internet and in book stores, there still seems to be conflicting evidence about the risks of HRT and the benefits of alternative medicine. As a result, women often end up feeling confused and scared and will put with debilitating symptoms for years.

 

Something to be endured?

 

When I have talked to other women about their experiences, the predominant message I have picked up is that “you just have to get on with it”. i.e. it’s something which has to be endured and then forgotten.

However, I’m not so sure about that.

After all, the menopause can last quite a few years, anything from three to 10. It signals the end of our fertile years and is a significant stage in the ageing process.

Why are we so keen to gloss over it?

Is it something to do with modern western society being obsessed with youth and looking as young as possible for as long as possible?

Ageing isn’t fashionable in the 21st century.

The media is not very complimentary about older women on the whole and everywhere you look, it’s always about the lengths women will go to, to stay looking young, fit and slim.

 

menopause flower

 

Something to celebrate

 

So, do we celebrate our bodies’ transition to another phase, or do we accept it as a normal part of the female ageing process?

In the United States, there is a new craze – The Hot Flash Mob  where women and men get together to celebrate the Menopause by dancing in the streets.

If that doesn’t catch your fancy, then perhaps spending some quiet time in a retreat might appeal? Maybe you’ve always wanted a tattoo, but never had the courage to have one done – here’s your chance to mark the menopause in a symbolic way.

One thing I am certain of is that our attitude towards the menopause influences how we experience it.

 

Signalling a rise in status

 

In Asian cultures, women look forward to it, because it signals a rise in status and respect within their community. In Japan, the word for menopause is “konenki”, meaning “renewal years” and “energy”. That really resonates with me and so maybe the next time you’re feeling low and thinking the best years are behind you, remember that you don’t have to feel like that, it’s up to you to choose how you respond to it.

 

Life begins at 40 workshop

 

If you are struggling with symptoms of the menopause and would like some tips and strategies which could enhance your physical and mental health, why not join our Workshop next month (Saturday 31st May 2014) in Didsbury, South Manchester – ‘Life Begins at Forty’.

I’ll be co-hosting the workshop with exercise and nutrition expert Sara Perry from Renaissance4Women.

  • Are you dreading the menopause and growing older
  • Have you lost sight of who you are?
  • Is your body doing strange things and changing shape against your wishes?
  • Is your mojo a no go?

Our Life Begins at Forty Workshop can help you to understand the changes happening in your mind and body and give you strategies and resources to help you:

  • Manage your mood, boost your energy & better cope with what your body’s throwing at you.
  • Eat to alleviate symptoms and balance your hormones.
  • Exercise in a way that lessens stress, boosts weight loss and doesn’t take all day.
  •  Change your negative self talk.
  •  Make the peri menopause and beyond a life transition of celebration not endurance

You can book online at Eventbrite (click on this link).

 

l’ll look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Judith x

 

 

Good Life Therapy

 

Good Life Therapy supports you through Counselling and Personal Development.

Tel: 07961 488491

Web site: goodlifetherapy.co.uk

Facebook: facebook.com/goodlifetherapy

Email: judith@goodlifetherapy.co.uk

 

 

Photographs: Good Life Therapy

Disclosure

 

Other articles by Judith:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday healthy eating – Venice

You don’t have to abandon healthy eating just because you’re on holiday!

 

I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to eat healthily while I’m on holiday. The lure of lard, larger and lounger in the past have been too much to resist. Let’s face it, it’s just to hard to eat healthily on holiday.

Or so it seemed!

 

 

Iconic Venice

 

Sara Perry from Renaissance (Fitness, Health & Happiness) has just been on her jollies to Venice. But you’ll be delighted to know that despite the place being awash with temptation – she didn’t let herself go, and is reporting back to tell us just how she did it!

 

Over to you Sara ……

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my man to bits but when he informed me that he’d made five pages of ‘History Notes’ for our upcoming trip to Venice to say my heart sank is probably the understatement of the century.

 

Map of Venice

 

We came to a compromise whereby he would feed me ‘snippets’ of said history notes and I would pretend to be interested, and with that sorted we set off from Manchester on yet another rainy morning for our Venetian adventure.

 

fegining interest in the history notes

 

Amazingly, we found our hotel relatively easily despite the ramshackle lay out of narrow alleyways that make up Venice, and so we showered and changed and headed out to eat.

 

Venice bridge shot

 

Anyone who knows me will know that eating well is very important to me and in that respect Venice (or in fact anywhere in Italy) offers something of a double edged sword.  Yes the food is fabulous, but a diet full of bread, pasta and creamy sauces tend to leave me lethargic, a bit windy and with a belly to rival the Jade Buddha.

But I needn’t have worried.  Over the course of the weekend we ate some of the most amazing fish and seafood, all freshly caught and simply prepared.

 

fresh fish at the market

 

Catch of the day

 

Char grilled calamari with herbs

 

We sampled liver, prepared in the Venetian style and a fillet steak to die for and with every meal was offered a fresh salad or char grilled vegetables to accompany it – perfect!

 

fresh griddled vegetables

 

We did a lot of walking and spent 90% of the time lost.  But to be honest, that’s the joy of Venice – wandering around, approaching a corner with no idea what will greet you around it.

Heading out to visit Academia and finding yourself at Ferrovia with absolutely no idea how it happened.

Discovering a great little wine bar that you just have to try because you know you’ll never find it again in a million years.

Coming across a cute little deli and buying a picnic lunch of fresh meats, olives and stuffed peppers and supplementing it with fresh fruit and veg from the fabulous Rialto Market (and washing it all down with a cheeky glass of Soave to make the history notes more palatable).

 

Fresh fruit and veg

 

Fresh meats

 

 

Soave

 

Venice really is a city for the senses: the smells; the sights; the sounds all match expectations and what was great for me is that I could choose to eat healthily and still enjoy the fantastic tastes that make Italy a food lovers dream.

 

My top tips for eating healthily in Italy:

 

  1. At the coast go for the fish (you very rarely go wrong with the catch of the day)
  2. Ask for olives rather than bread to start your meal
  3. If you do choose a sauce, make sure it’s tomato based rather than cream and cheese
  4. Fill up on freshly prepared salads and vegetables drizzled with good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Ciao

 

Sara x

 

Photographs: Sara Perry, Venice online

This is a sponsored blog post

 

Other articles by Sara:

Personal training for 40+ women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health & Fitness Workshop

Intelligent Health & Fitness for Busy Women, including the chance to win a workshop place

 

I like the sound of this intelligent health and fitness for busy women. Tick, tick and tick! But more to the point what does it actually mean? Does such a thing exist?

Well apparently it does – and personal trainer Sara Perry from Renaissance4Women has the key to the door, which she’ll gladly share in her forthcoming workshop. Even better, she’s giving a place away to one lucky winner – so you too can be party to her wisdom!

 

Over to you Sara ……

Sara Perry Renaissance

 

I was going to start this blog with the following question:

Did you, like me, shed a tear or two when you watched Davina complete that gruelling 500 mile challenge for Sport Relief 2014?

But then I realised I wasn’t being entirely truthful. Really what I needed to ask was:

Did you, like me blub uncontrollably like a baby when you watched Davina complete that gruelling 500 mile challenge for Sport Relief 2014?

I hold my hands up – I was totally and utterly in awe. Gobsmacked, amazed, blown away – pick your own superlative, I can guarantee I experienced it.

 

What physical challenges tell you about yourself

 

Sporty woman with yoga matAnd then I got to thinking how much more a physical challenge like that tells you about yourself than your levels of stamina and fitness.

When I first started training with weights I spent a lot of time telling myself “I can’t”. As time went on I realised that this wasn’t true and at the pinnacle of my training I was lifting 16kg kettlebells up over my head with one arm.

As a result, not only did I become stronger in my body, but my mind became stronger too. If I could lift all that weight and achieve all those physical challenges I could do anything.

I could face up to my bullying boss, and I could start retraining to build a career I love. The possibilities were endless (and still are) and the same goes for you.

 

You don’t have to ‘do a Davina’

 

It doesn’t have to be a commitment to an ultra-challenge like Davina’s or revolve around traditional physical activities like running or cycling.

It might involve trying out a new sport you’ve never attempted before, going on a holiday that involves daily physical challenge or aiming for a personal best in something that you already enjoy. The key is to push yourself to discover what you can do as opposed to assuming you can’t.

 

Women riding bicycles

 

 

Then, next time you’re facing a difficult task at work, or have to tackle a difficult subject with someone just remember what you achieved when you pushed yourself and that chore will suddenly become so much easier to deal with.

 

Workshop

 

In my Intelligent Health & Fitness for Busy Women workshop I’m going to be helping attendees discover how to choose exercise that plays to their personality type turning it from a chore into a pleasure along with giving you lots of nutrition and mindset advice to help them start living a fitter, healthier and happier life.

You can find out more about the workshop here.

 

 

Competition time

Win

I’m offering one lucky 4Manchester Woman reader the chance to win a place on my workshop (value £97.00).

Saturday 12th April 2014 from 9.30am to 4.30pm at the Manchester YHA Conference Centre on Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4NB.

 

 

All you need to do is leave a comment in the box below telling us which sport you’d like to try and why to be in with a chance of winning.

Me – I’d love to have a go at belly dancing!

Good luck!

 

Sara x

 

 

renaissance-logo

 

Web site: renaissance4women.co.uk

Contact: renaissance4women.co.uk/contact

Twitter: @Renaissance_4W

 

Photographs: Free Digital Photos, British Cycling

Disclosure

 

 

Other articles by Sara:

TV Workout

Healthy intermittent fasting

Get in shape in the new year

Personal training for 40+ women

Holiday healthy eating

Countdown to Christmas

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Wednesday 9th April 2014.

Please include a * in your answer if you don’t want to receive updates from Renaissance4Women.

 

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Wednesday 9th April 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

 

The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February 2014). Winner Laura Vitty.

Ethical African Bags – win a BagsandMore demi lune bag and scarf (3rd March 2014). Winners Sandy Hendry and Jenny Miller.

Manchester Fashion Bee – win an Essential Burt’s Bees Kit (11th March 2014). Winner Angela Norton-Kelly.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – win a Mum’s Mumisms typography print (19th March 2014). Winner Natalie Gillham.

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Toni W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Situs Inversus with Dextrocadia

A Manchester mum’s story of her child, born with her organs and heart on the wrong side

 

I met Manchester mum Kate Wilde recently and was so taken by her story that I promised to share it.

 

Over to you Kate ……

Life’s obstacles – heart’s in the right place

Kate & Chloe

 

As I’m getting older, I’ve come to realise that everybody has a story to tell.

It could be inspiring, funny, informative but I’m finding out that most people seem to have stories about ‘life’s obstacles’.

Well, I can pinpoint exactly the time and date when mine and my husband’s world in an instant seemed to come crashing down.

 

 

 

Tuesday November 6th 2012 at 11.30am – Tameside General Hospital, this was the day of our antenatal 20 weeks scan of our unborn second child.

 

The sonographer went quiet

 

As a parent at these antenatal appointments, you have mixed emotions anyway. The sonographer at our scan seemed to be extremely quiet, a few moments later we were told that our baby’s heart was on the right hand side of the body instead of the left.

Obviously things quickly whizz around in your head, and then the feeling turns to being numb.

That period was hard for both of us, lots and lots of tests were done over a few weeks. Results started to come in, a few things were ruled out but we still didn’t know what to expect or what was wrong with our child.

 

At 33 weeks

 

Eventually we found out at 33 weeks pregnant that the baby had a condition called Situs Inversus with Dextrocadia, this basically means all organs and the heart are flipped over as a mirror image inside the body.

There are varying degrees of this condition and they all have there own definitions. At this point nothing more could be done and we didn’t know what the outcome would be. We had to just wait until our baby was born. We had great support from our family, friends and they know who they are.

 

Chloe Isabella was born

 

On Monday March 18th at 10.35am Chloe Isabelle was born. She was in neonatal for a few days and we found out she definitely has complete Situs Inversus with Dextrocadia. Along with this she has an ASD and a VSD – holes in the heart.

Chloe is currently being monitored at various departments at The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. We are still not sure of the long term prognosis, but she’s here and seems to be doing fantastically!

 

Kate & Chloe

 

Researching Chloe’s condition

 

We tried hard to research the condition before Chloe was born and the consequences of this condition, but we couldn’t really find anything. The information that was about seemed to be extremely scientific. (See the scientific links below).

As a family we needed support and information from an outside source. Eventually we found a Facebook Support group called Total Situs Inversus with Dextrcardia, however this was after Chloe was born. The guys on there are amazing, and the lady that has set this page up has now made me one of the admin managers.

 

Chloe

 

Heart’s in the right place

 

We are now ready to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Firstly by starting to help raise awareness about Situs Inversus with Dextrocardia as a rare condition. I’m currently working on an awareness website called heartsintherightplace.org.

This will be a place to find basic information within the UK about Situs Inversus with Dextrocardia without being patronising, along with stories and a support network for people living with the condition or who care for somebody that has the condition.

We’re hoping that figures of authority will have more knowledge about the condition once more awareness is put into action. This will be launched mid 2014.

 

My special little monkey

 

For now, we’re reflecting a lot! But we truly are thankful that Chloe is here and doing the usual cheeky things babies do. She’s just about to turn one, and even to this day I call her my special little monkey.

 

Chloe

 

 

Kate x

 

Further sources of information:

Situs Inversus on Wikipedia

rarediseases.info.nih.gov/dextrocardiawithsitusinversus

 

Photographs: Kate Wilde

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV Workout!

How to combine exercise and telly!

 

Personal trainer Sara Perry from Renaissance 4 Women is a genius when it comes to fitting exercise into your daily routine. So when I challenged her to combine a spot of fitness with a guilty pleasure we both share (watching The Real Housewives of Orange County), she was more than up to it!

 

Over to you Sara ……

Sara Perry Renaissance

 

It’s true to say that the way we move and act affects the way we think and feel.

A while back I was really struggling to get off the sofa (especially when Real Housewives was on).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still addicted to Real Housewives (please don’t judge me too harshly) but I no longer curl up under a blanket to watch it (well only occasionally).

Now, when the familiar music starts I use it as a cue get off my bum and start squatting.

Yep – you read that right, for the first 10 minutes of Real Housewives I squat like a loon.

The Real Housewives of Orange County

During the adverts (I know the timings to a tee) I get myself a drink and then in the next 10 minute block I lunge.

I do as many as I can, forward, backward and laterally, resting when I need to but making sure I get my heart rate up and my muscles burning.

More adverts and a loo break and then it’s push up time.

 

Now, while I admit this does mean I end up listening more than watching, it’s ok because the best drama usually happens after this 10 minute block.

And that’s when I finally sit down on the sofa with a brew (made during the last ad break) and relax while the scandal unfolds on screen.

This change in my actions has made a massive difference to my mood and positively impacts on my productivity and emotion in the period before, during and after the programme.

It also means I make sure I get a workout in without feeling like it’s intruding on my day. And that is one of the keys to making fitness a part of your life. Unless you’re a gym bunny who loves exercise you need to find ways of incorporating it in your day.

I look at some simple ways to do this on my Intelligent Fitness For Busy Women workshop.  Signup to receive priority notification of the details along with an amazing EXCLUSIVE early bird offer here.

For more information about The Real Housewives of Orange County click here.

 

Sara x

Photographs: Renaissance 4 Women, Wikipedia

 

Other articles by Sara:

Healthy intermittent fasting

Get in shape in the new year

Personal training for 40+ women

Holiday healthy eating

Countdown to Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmhouse Breakfast Week

Fancy a hearty brekkie on the house? Creamline makes it happen for Farmhouse Breakfast Week

 

Healthy Breakfast

 

Last week we had Blue Monday to wake up to – the most depressing day of the year apparently – but this week, you’ll be pleased to know, things are looking up!

Farmhouse Breakfast Week runs from 26th January – 1st February 2014.

 

It’s an annual celebration championing the importance of breakfast – and a ‘Week’ we’re definitely happy to have on our radar.

We have to admit we’re often guilty of contributing to the statistic that 47% of people regularly skip breakfast during the week. A combination of an empty fridge, marshalling the kids to finish off their homework, and a ‘no clean tights crisis’ can put paid to a calm and nutritious family breakfast.

So anything that makes getting a good brekkie down you and the brood a bit easier is heaven-sent.

Family run dairy Creamline’s online delivery service www.creamline.co.uk is one of the tricks up our sleeve to help banish breakfast stress. You can order store cupboard essentials – from milk, yoghurt and eggs, to juices, bread and jam and many other morning must-haves – by 9pm in the evening for delivery the next morning.

To celebrate Farmhouse Breakfast week, our friends at Creamline are giving us their hints and tips for a blissful breakfast, sharing their favourite weekend frittata recipe and offering you the chance to win a fabulous farmhouse breakfast hamper, so you’ll have no excuse not to fuel the family for the day!

 

So what is a Farmhouse Breakfast

 

Anyone still wondering what exactly a farmhouse breakfast is? At 4Manchester Women, we see it as anything more than a cursory slice of toast. Think a hearty English breakfast, a bacon buttie, or traditional porridge loaded with honey…Mmm.  Still, maybe not practical for the daily grind – so what’s the answer to everyday breakfast conundrum?

 

Top tips for making time for a healthy breakfast

 

Creamline Dairies MD's Chris Swallow and Rob Purvis.

Rob Purvis, joint MD at Creamline and father of five, shares his top three tips on making time for a healthy breakfast to kick-start the day:

  • Topping up your weekly shop with an online order of convenience essentials will stop that sinking feeling when you open the fridge only to find no milk – Creamline also offers a great range of juices, cereals, bread and conserves.
  • Porridge is one of the very best starts you can get to the day – why not soak your oats in milk the evening before? By morning most of the milk’s already been absorbed, making cooking time far quicker.
  • Be as organised as possible the night before – laying out school clothes, setting the breakfast table and packing school bags – even a minute saved in the morning can be precious!

 

Weekend frittata recipe

 

For the weekend, however, when breakfast can easily turn into a lovely, lazy brunch, why not try this hearty, delicious and nutritious frittata recipe created by celebrity chef Nigel Brown, especially for Creamline:

 

frittata

 

Ingredients

  • 500 g potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 cm (½ in) circles
  • 225 g baby spinach leaves, destalked
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 red pepper, quartered lengthways, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 5–6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated mature cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

 

Method

  • Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 5–6 minutes or until almost tender.
  • Put the spinach in a steamer or colander over the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the spinach has wilted.
  • Drain the potatoes.
  • Press the spinach with the back of a spoon to extract excess moisture, then chop.
  • Heat the rapeseed oil in a non-stick frying pan that is about 25 cm (10 in) in diameter.
  • Add the pepper slices and sauté over a moderate heat for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the potatoes and spring onions and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix in the spinach.
  • With a draining spoon, remove about half of the vegetables from the pan and add to the egg mixture, leaving the oil in the pan.
  • Stir the egg and vegetables briefly to mix, then pour into the frying pan.
  • Cover and cook, without stirring, for about 6 minutes or until the omelette is almost set but still a little soft on top.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the grill.
  • Dust the top of the frittata with the mature cheddar cheese and place under the grill. Cook for 2- 3 minutes or until browned and puffed around the edges.
  • Cut into quarters or wedges and serve.

 

Competition time

 

We’ve got a fabulous farmhouse breakfast hamper to give away from Creamline Dairies!

 

Creamline breakfast hamper

 

There’ll be no excuses not to make an event out of your weekend breakfast if you’re the lucky winner of Creamline’s brilliant breakfast hamper.

Packed with goodies including eggs, bacon, fresh orange juice, cereal variety packs, jams and treats for the kids like flavoured milks, you’ll be treating yourselves to a veritable feast, worthy of any farmhouse!

All we want to know is what and where would your dream breakfast be?

Pop it in the comments box below – but only one comment per person please.

So don’t be shy – whether it’s smoked haddock on Loch Lomond or apple danish in Copenhagen, we’d love to know?

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: Free Digital Photos, Creamline, JeffreyW on Flickr

To see if Creamline delivers to your area, just type your postcode into www.creamline.co.uk

Disclosure

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Friday 7th February 2014.

Please include a * in your answer if you don’t want to receive updates from Creamline Dairies. Please note that the prize does not include travel or accommodation. Prize redeemable until July 2014.

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Friday 7th February 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

Cocktails & Dreams – win a cocktail making masterclass at Lock 91 (29th August 2013). Winner Nicola Robinson.

Creative Stitches & Hobbycraft Show – win tickets (1st September 2013). Winners Claire Jackson, Pauline Rendell, Joanna Arthur, Fran Morgan, Liz Ferguson, Michelle Smith, Dil Price, Pam Gregory, Linda Weatherley.

The Independent Interiors Show – win a house hamper (3rd September 2013). Winner Nichola Gill.

Indulge Fragrance Boutique – win bottles of perfume (8th September 2013). Winners Gillian Shiels, Leanne Williams, Julie Ward.

Creamline Dairies / Getting Kids to Eat Breakfast – win a Saturday Cookshop course with a celebrity chef (18th September 2013). Winner Sara Perry.

The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th Novemberr 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

 

 

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Janet Rumley.

 

 

 

Healthy Intermittent Fasting

A FAST way to lose weight?

 

Intermittent fasting seems to be all the rage for weight loss at the moment. But what’s it all about? We asked our regular health and fitness blogger Sara Perry from Renaissance4Women for a bit of advice …… and in the process she’s offering an exclusive deal to 4Manchester Women readers. Blue Monday – what Blue Monday!

 

Over to you Sara ……

Sara Perry Renaissance

 

It became big news this time last year and we’re still as keen on it today.

Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about intermittent fasting (IF).

If you haven’t heard of it (and goodness knows how you’ve managed that), IF is the process of minimising or cutting out your food intake for a number of days (usually 2 or 3) every week.

Now, I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of the 5:2 or 4:3 diet or other Fasting diets, there’s enough stuff out there on those already.

 

What I am going to share with you is how I use fasting to help my weight loss / maintenance efforts.

Because the truth is, I fast every single day.

Between the hours of about 7.30 at night (when I have my dinner) and 8.00 the next morning I don’t eat a thing, therefore I fast.

Because that’s exactly what a fast is – a break from food.

 

Combining fasting with sleep

 

And what’s so good about my daily fast is that I combine it with sleep which not only makes it a lot flipping easier, but also means I get all of the fat loss benefits of sleep too.

 

Woman sleeping

 

This natural way of fasting, coupled with good quality sleep  gives your body and brain a chance to rest, repair and restore which helps you function effectively both on a practical level i.e. at work or at home and on a cellular level i.e. having in-sync  hormones that give you energy, effectively burn fat and help you lose weight.

 

eat less CRAP

 

Combine this daily fast with eating less CR*P and more FOOD

This means I no longer “go on” or “fail at” a diet.

Instead I have a simple recipe for fitness, health and happiness all day every day.

I use simple principles like this in my Way of Life Online (click here) and Face to Face (click here) Coaching Plans.

 

 

 

Exclusive Offer

 

And at the moment  I’m offering 4Manchester Women readers a really great deal.

Sign up and start a 10 week Face to Face Plan before February 29th 2014 and you’ll receive a further PT session absolutely free!

What’s more you’ll get a free E Cookbook packed with simple to follow fat loss recipes.

Not got time to commit to face to face coaching? 

That’s cool. Sign up and start your 8 week Online Plan before February 29th 2014 you’ll receive £10.00 towards your first week’s shopping bill plus a free E Cookbook.

So what are you waiting for?

Give me a call on 07515 702500 or email info@renaissance4women quoting WOLP4MCRW to receive your bonuses and start your journey to a fitter, healthier and happier life today.

 

Sara x

 

 

renaissance-logo

 

Web site: renaissance4women.co.uk

Contact: renaissance4women.co.uk/contact

Twitter: @Renaissance_4W

 

Photographs: PlanetChopstick on Flickr

Disclosure

 

 

Other articles by Sara:

Get in shape in the new year

Personal training for 40+ women

Holiday healthy eating

Countdown to Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

Four celebrity fitness ideas

Something new to try this January

 

We’ve gone a touch OK Magazine today with a guest blog about some of the fitness ideas currently being championed by Hollywood’s celebrities and some ideas where you can try them out in Manchester for yourself …..

 

We always love to find out what the stars are doing to keep fit and in shape.

If you’re looking to lose those Christmas pounds the healthy way then read on – we’re bringing you fitness trends from the hottest celebrities to help you lose that extra pudding weight. We’ll also show you some of the best fitness facilities in Manchester to help you achieve your goal.

Grab your running shoes and your ballet slippers and let’s get going.

 

Taylor Swift: Ballet workout

 

Taylor Swift

 

Country pop superstar Taylor has recently been spotted taking adult ballet lessons on New Year’s Day when most people would be crawling into work with a hangover.

Taylor has apparently been taking ballet classes for about a month – perhaps she’s trying to incorporate some of the classical dance moves into her showstopping live performances.

It’s easier to get involved in adult ballet then you think – most local studios will offer classes at cheap rates. Pick up a pair of dance shoes at move dancewear to start training in classical dance just like Taylor and get in shape at KNT Danceworks.

 

 

Jessica Biel: Circuit training and climbing

 

Jessica BielThe actress who has kicked and punched her way through many action movie roles is not surprisingly, one of life’s natural fitness enthusiasts.

In 2010, Jessica climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

She is always seen hiking and climbing around southern California and has told press that she tries to make fitness a constant part of her lifestyle.

You can try out climbing for yourself at the Manchester Climbing Centre, the biggest climbing training facility in the north-west of England.

 

Miranda Kerr: Yoga

 

Miranda Kerr

 

The Australian model has practised yoga for over 10 years.

She frequently posts images of her healthy lifestyle to her social media accounts, and is always happy to talk about her love of yoga to press.

Miranda says that she practised yoga throughout her pregnancy and hopes to be a yoga practitioner for the rest of her life!

If you’ve never tried yoga before, then head had down to The Yoga Lounge in The Great Northern to get started. Be prepared to feel amazing!

 

 

Miley Cyrus: Pilates

Miley Cyrus

 

Miley has generated thousands of articles this year based on her extreme fitness regime.

She practices a high intensity pilates workout everyday with one of L.A.’s top pilates instructors. It’s no surprise that she likes to focus on the abdominal section of the workout and was reportedly extra dedicated to get in shape for her album release.

Check out Joe Murphy Pilates in Manchester to get started on your New Year body.

 

 

We hope you have fun on your 2014 fitness journey.

Remember that being fit is about what your body can do even more than how your body looks. Have a little of everything in moderation and you will be on the right track in no time.

Tell us which celebrities inspire you to try out new workouts, and whether you have any gym venue or fitness class recommendations in Manchester to share with other readers.

Here’s to a happy, healthy New Year!

 

 

Photographs: Taylor Swift, Jessica Biel, Miranda Kerr, Miley Cirus

Disclosure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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