Gratitude Journal Day 5 – I am grateful I can hear…

Gratitude Journal Day 5 – I am grateful I can hear…

Music

The sound of the Australian bush

The intro to my favourite tv shows

My little Niece and Nephew saying my name

The boarding announcements prior to an adventure

Campfires

The sound of an excited pet when you come home

The popping of champagne bottles

The perfectly executed high-five

The silence at the top of a mountain

The ‘I love you’s’

 

What are you thankful you can hear?

x Courtney x

 

 

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Gratitude Journal Day 3 – Hometown

Gratitude Journal Day 3 – Hometown

I actually don’t have one? I would say that Brisbane is home, but there certainly is not a suburb or town that I would equate with ‘hometown’.

By the time I was ten we had moved ten times and I was already up to my fifth school. To define a home ‘town’ is too tricky. So instead, I will write about home.

Home was always where Mum was. We had learned from a young age never to have too much attachment to a place, a room, a tree or a house. Our home was our family, wherever our roots were at any one time.

Home was where the sounds of music blasted when Mum was cleaning or cooking. Home was where the smell of Dad’s work shirts and Mum’s perfume was. Home was where the three kids fought tooth and nail for the first/last/longest shower. Home was where after dinner the three of us would battle over who was doing the washing up, the wiping up and the cleaning of the table and chairs and benches (washing up was the best because you were in and then OUT – I hated drying up).

Home is where our good mornings, goodnights, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas’ were said. It is where our dogs, Lucy and Gina were. It is where the five of us built our lives, and more importantly, lived our lives.

Home is where we would steam our faces over Tupperware bowls with Eucalyptus oils when we were sick, or fight to the death over finishing the cake batter from these same bowls. Home is where the house phone cord would be dragged from one room to another, the curly curd under a closed door – teenage conversations ongoing throughout the night.

Home is where I dragged my suitcases of saved magazines from residence to residence throughout all of those years. It is where I would rearrange my bedroom as many times as possible. Where I would adorn every wall/ceiling and cupboard with posters. Where there was always a huntsman to find before it found you.

It was where the air conditioner was only used on Christmas Day. Where caramel sliced was sneaked from the fridge at all hours of the night. Where coffees were zapped in the microwave and corned beef was only made outside. It was where there was a mad dash to the spinach quiches

Home was where Chrismas carols were blasted from the TV and Christmas presents brought out to be placed under the tree. Where little hands would reach in the dark to Christmas sacks to try and work out if Santa had made it, and what had he left.

Where Sunday pikelet mix was made, Monopoly games were played and loud, happy and mental laughing occurred.

Home was and is where my family is. Always.

x Courtney x

Gratitude Journal Day 1 – Family

About my family – who they are and why I am grateful for them.

I have a very small immediate family, there are four of us and we are fiercely protective of one another. There used to be five of us, but things change and disease can get in the way. It was a phenomenally rocky time. If I am honest, we all still struggle with it in our own individual ways each and every day.

I am thankful for my four. I have two siblings who would set this world on fire for one another and a Mother who has no idea how incredibly strong and amazing she is.

My family taught me to work for what I wanted. To be aware of how lucky we are to live where we do. To appreciate time with those you love, and to never expect anything. A sense of entitlement was not something which was bestowed amongst us. We valued each and every treat we ever received, we never complained about our parents being out of sight, because we knew that they were working hard to provide for us.

We all went through something uniquely traumatic and devastating, we came out the other side and met each other there, though our journeys were all different – we may have all entered the abyss together, but we all emerged from separate tunnels. Kicking, screaming, shocked. I have to tell you, for anyone who ever mutters the sentence ‘touched by cancer’ – take yourself away, rethink your sentence and have another go. There is no light touching involved. It is a demolition derby, created by fear and doubt and terror, wrapped up in an all-consuming and suffocating blanket of sadness. Followed by years and years of grief.

My family is kick-arse and I am thankful for all of them.

My Brother is a rock at all times, he may have intentionally moved as far away as he possibly could, prefers animals to people and is the only 27-year old I know who has no social media, but he is absolutely everything any and all of us need.

My Sister is the chalk to my cheese. We could not be any more different, and yet our similarities define us. We know what is and what is not important. We don’t hide anything under any rug. We rip that rug from the ground and expose all of the hurts and annoyances. We all speak a different language, have our own standing point and our own battles to fight, but if the battle comes from outside of our circle – then you will get all four of us defending who we are.

We are funny. We are arseholes. Our sense of humour is unique. Our Mum has barely been able to follow a conversation between her three children for twenty years. Nobody can quote a movie the way we can. We all have our Mother’s chin, tenacity, humour and resilience. We have our father’s approach to life (go now, look later), his looks and his confidence where it is rarely deserved. We love like both of them loved each other. We are the product of our parents and their love for us – our Grandparents had nothing to do with it. Our Mum and Dad made the choice every day to mark their own path, create new roles and display how they felt love should be displayed.

My family is small, but there is more love that could possibly be understood. We may be less one, but together we are five. Our spirit is unique, we are at the end of our family name, we all have different goals and adventures, but our love is the same.

Always.

x Courtney x

30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Life happens. Life gets in the way.

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Work.

Family.

Friends.

Bills.

Relationships.

Mental Health.

Physical Health.

Self-Worth.

The world.

Life happens, and life gets in the way.

How blessed we are to live it, to wake up each day and know that we get another chance, another 24 hours.

I have been having some pretty shocking struggles in the last six or so months. So rather than sitting here struggling to think of topics to write about, working out what rabbit hole to send my mind down instead of circling the drain – where to go intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Instead of uncertainty, confusion and the back and forth nonsense, I am going to focus on a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge.

Wish me luck, and please tag me in your comments or share my posts and let me know what you think.

x Courtney Gaye x

Hypoxi – my honest review

Do you remember the first time you didn’t like your body? When you first started to pick apart all the parts and pieces which make you, you? I do. I was 14, I guess I need to be thankful that it was not before this, which I am positive our next generation are acutely aware of at a much earlier age.

At 32, I think I have given most methods a try. In terms of diets I have tried Atkins, Ketogenic, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean, BodyTrim, Lite & Easy, Clever Guts, calorie counting and weighing my food to the gram. With exercise I have had the gym memberships, gone to classes, been involved in boot-camp, bought the heart-rate monitor, running, swimming, HIIT, fat-burning cardio – the lot.

Not in an obsessive way of course, just little lifestyle changes from time to time. Sometimes I successfully kept the weight off for a while and then due to bad practice would put it all back on again (my fault).

I am finding the weight harder to shift, it is more stubborn, it is dense and with a risk for intracranial hypertension – I need to be both mindful and aware of my BMI. Around 4 months ago I was so sick of going to the gym, that I stopped going. My bike tyres kept blowing out, so I stopped riding to work and quite frankly the mornings were cool and dark, so early morning exercise was out of the question (again, this is all my own doing).

My girl friend in Sydney runs her own Hypoxi clinic and for a few years she has told me about the benefits. My best friend and MOH two years ago went through a Hypoxi program prior to my wedding and had great results. I am coming up to the completion of my eight week program and with many of my girl friends asking for a blog post and an update, here it is!

What is Hypoxi?

Hypoxi is a low-impact exercise that promotes quick and targeted results (fat + cellulite)sessions. With advanced vacuum and compression technology (and nutrition) Hypoxi activates your body’s natural system to burn specific areas of fat and cellulite.

Who is Hypoxi?

Hypoxi was developed by a sports scientist, Dr Norbert Egger and his interest in shifting the problem areas for women resulted in the development of Hypoxi, which made it’s way to Australia in 2005.

How do I Hypoxi?

Lucky for all of us, Hypoxi provides a free initial session for anyone and everyone, during this session your local Coach will assess your requirements and objectives and explain Hypoxi. There are many studios, find your closest one here.

When do I HYPOXI?

There are some independent studies to read, which you best believe I poured over before I decided to try it out – link is here.

Hypoxi is a low-impact exercise that promotes quick and targeted results in just 30 minute sessions. Science is backing this one and being the ever-cautious research nut that I am, it took me a few months before I decided to try it out.

Thankfully there is a free session available to all, which gives you the chance to speak with your local franchised, discuss your wants, needs and expectations and also try it out.

I approached the Bulimba clinic pretty nervously, I feel most vulnerable talking about and showing my body to others. I prefer to hide in the corner of the gym, or go for walks in the dark. It’s just how I am. So it took courage for me to claim my free session and head in.

I could not have been welcomed more warmly than I was by Bec, Although I was suspicious of being presented with unachievable projected goals or a price-list that would make me cry, it could not have ben any different.

Bec is personable, friendly and logical. Having Bec be a part of my journey was wonderful addition to what would turn out to be an incredibly effective and enjoyable experience.

I purchased the eight week program, rolled my ankle pretty severely after week three and then needed a month off. So sadly my results were altered I would imagine because of this. Despite this, I couldn’t be happier with the results! So, my measurements after the eight week program!

I have lost 1.5cm from my waist (which is the smallest part of me, so pretty impressive!)

I have lost 9.5cm from my stomach.

From my hips I have dropped 6.5cm and from my bottom I have lost 5cm!

Safe to say I adore Hypoxi, I love my early morning sessions with Bec at the Bulimba clinic and I have one more week to go in my pre-purchased pack. Unfortunately I rolled my ankle half way through and needed three weeks off, however I still saw results I am beyond happy with.

nd I felt as though I was supported and encouraged in a totally judgement-free zone. Having my measurements taken was pretty daunting and distressing to a point. Have you ever just thought “How did I get here?”. Anyways, the trick is to not get too hung up on that and keep on moving forward.

Things to remember and to abide to, honestly I trialled following and not following these and the differences week-to-week were really noticeable!

  • do NOT consume food for two hours after your session and avoid carbs for a further 4-6 hours. Failing to follow this will result in burning your food, rather than your stubborn food.
  • no alcohol after your session and overall try to limit your alcohol consumption
  • no caffeine for two hours after your session
  • keep your water up – 2L per day if you can
  • avoid fruit immediately after your session also
  • in general try to stick to foods with less then 10mg per 100mg of carbs

The machines I used included the L250 trainer and the HypoxDermology (HD) suit, otherwise known as my sleep-time. This contraption rejuvenates the skin, improving its tone and texture and is modeled on the ancient Chinese practice of cupping. There are some complexities when getting into the suit. First of all, I am 5″9, so everything is long and I am tall, I also pack a bun on-top of my head that nearly requires its own separate hat – I am now at a stage where I can manoeuvre that bad-boy into the suit expertly (although I still forget to bring my arms down to a height which is appropriate for Bec to help me, sorry Bec). I go in this for half an hour before my thirty minute L250 session.So, if you are thinking of it giving it a go, you won’t be disappointed. Here are my before and after pictures. Which I’m not super comfortable sharing but for anyone like me who was searching high and low for independent reviews, then I hope this helps!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

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x C x

The Dangers of Distorted Thinking

a9896298605b6d3eebd418fe51c62fe7It has been a long while since I posted on here – I must admit, I went to ground for a while and I have to say, I certainly took the time to reflect and work on my own perception not only of myself, but of others.

I hope you all enjoyed the remainder of 2017 and had a lovely Christmas and New Years period. I avoided making new year resolutions and instead have settled on a few agreements – no strict cut-off dates to achieve, but rather rolling commitments.

My first being to avoid alcohol and processed foods (bar one cheat meal per week – booze free) for at least six weeks. We are now into week three and I am feeling strong in this choice. I certainly am feeling better for it. Things got a little out of hand before/over Christmas and not only was alcohol being used in celebration, but also if I had a hard day, if I was bored, if it was there. Terrible behaviour! I am not unruly or aggressive but I just felt rubbish. Particularly for the next few days afterwards!

My next commitment to myself is to treat my body more respectfully. I want to exercise, not because I am ashamed or hate my body, but because at the wise-old age of (nearly) 32, I have realised that this is my body. These are my organs. This skeleton and brain and muscle and every hair, fiber and pore have gotten me where I am today. Every morning I wake up, get up and get moving. How amazing is that?

So – in the spirit of this – I am now going to be mindful of any ‘distorted thinking’ which I am prone to. Which, we are all prone to but may not be conscious of. As last year was a big year, and physical health issues aside – there were some pretty prevalent mental health struggles as well.

Filtering – this is when you take the negative details – make mountains out of molehills and ignore any positive aspects.

Overgeneralisation – this is when you come to a general (and often incorrect) conclusion based on one or no piece of evidence. You think ‘hey this bad thing happened, and it will happen again. Vicious cycle.

Personalisation – when you suspect that everything people say or do is a reaction to you, personally. You also get stuck in the awful habit of comparing yourself to others.

Emotional Reasoning – believing that what you believe must be automatically true. If you feel bored and uneducated then you must BE boring and uneducated. You cannot have this – this is toxic and terrible for you!

There are many other styles of thinking and associated actions which I would like to tackle, but for now – these are the ones I am going to be working on.

What are you working on? Have you any personal agreements with yourself?

Lucy

x

The clouds have cleared and the sun is shining.

Today marks one month since I changed my medication. I started Lovan on 17 August 2017, after a five day break of no medication between coming off of Mirtazapine cold-turkey.

When I first started Lovan, I caught a cold and was a little worried as I initially thought I was having some reaction (itchy throat and eyes) to the new medication. It turns out it was just a common cold though.

I took the pills for a week and a bit and had my next GP follow up on 25 August 2017. I was feeling more positive, more in control, less clouded by anger, anxiety, rage and paranoia. I understand this is not all medication, as it takes longer than that to kick in – I DO however believe there was an evidenced change from stopping the Mirtazapine, starting the Lovan and generally feeling as though I was in charge of my mental health.

For the two first weeks, whenever I would lose my concentration or feel out of sorts (forgetful or teary), I would remind myself that I was doing the best I could and that I was ‘taking charge of my mental health’, it became my little mantra.

By the third week I was really feeling better. I was less paranoid, I wasn’t suspicious, I was not crying as much. Not finding fault in the actions of others. I was looking at my Husband with clarity and love which I used to look at him with.

I knew the biggest test of all was coming, the anniversary of my Father passing, it was always a tough time of the year for me. Which I have now written extensively about in my previous few posts. Surprisingly, when the anniversary rolled around – I took the day off of work, looked through some old photos and cherished positive and nice memories of Dad. I did have a little cry in the morning but I was not distraught like I normally am.

We then headed off on a ten day holiday, which we returned from yesterday, Our holiday was so relaxing, I read books, ate good food, went swimming and re-connected with my Husband. It felt truly wonderful.

I head back to work tomorrow, which is always sad but I have to be honest – I have only cried once or twice in the past week and a half and it was once when I was thinking about our wedding anniversary coming up (happy tears) and once when we were listening to our wedding playlist whilst getting ready to go out on our holiday.

I have really decided to pay attention to my mental health, to listen to my feelings and to lend my ears to those who need help. The journey is not over, it will never be over, however I do feel as though the fog is clearing & I am going to do my very best to be more in tune with my loved ones.

I am forever grateful to those who have read along here and supported me along the way. Much love to you all x

And after the past 18 months of torment, it was truly magical to shed happy tears.

Lucy

x