My 7 year journey

Facebook threw up the photo on the left the other day and I had to take several moments to breathe in the journey I have been on. The photos are almost exactly 7 years apart and what a journey it has been.

7 years ago, at age 22, as ‘confident’ and ‘headed places’ as I was (I had a big group of friends around me and was already in politics working full time + in my final year at uni) I wasn’t sincerely happy.

I had a body that was getting abused with bad food, binge drinking and recreational drugs (ecstasy every other weekend), and a mind that was completely devoid of self worth and emotional strength.

And one day I woke up, and decided to change, just like that. It was a night I was on pills and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror – and LITERALLY didn’t recognise the woman staring back at me. Body, mind & spirit. So I changed. Morgan and I transformed our lives S.L.O.W.L.E.Y – changed our whole diet, I stopped saying yes to music festivals & parties I knew I’d be tempted to take drugs, and swapped out tv for books. In 2010 I had my major jaw reconstruction surgery (life changing surgery to fix my severe underbite). I dropped 17kgs – 6kg from the surgery, 11kg on my own, (Morgan dropped 23kg) and started to change literally from the inside (mind) out (body). 2 years in to that journey, I found nutritional cleansing yes – and have maintained my weight and results with those life changing products ever since, but that isn’t where this initial transformation ever came from.

This came from knowing who I was with conviction- and making drastic changes towards becoming that woman. It was knowing NO ONE defined my worth but me. It was being sick of thinking my power was external to me – when I had the keys all along.

There isn’t an excuse in the WORLD I will hear from someone, especially a woman (one day I will share my ENTIRE story) as to why you are so stuck in fear to change. Not one.

You are not what you weigh, how you have or haven’t looked, who you have slept with, you aren’t your dark past, or a fucked up childhood, you are not your mother or fathers or families expectations. You are not your scars or your feelings of unworthiness. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MISTAKES.

YOU are the one who gets to decide how your story will go.

YOU are the one who gets to feel, determine & KNOW your worth.

YOU are the one who gets to find your voice. No matter how long it’s been lost.

YOU are the one who gets to find the fire & the fight from within and share THAT journey.

No one, not your past, not your old stories, not men (or women) who have taken sexual rights from you, not any abuse, not a dark history, not A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G or ANYONE gets to tell you who you are. Only you get to do that.

YOU are a walking piece of art crafted for THIS lifetime not here to waste one second letting others define you.

You are the author of your life. And you need to understand that you get to claim all of your power & potency back in any given moment and write how the rest of your story will go.

Because I assure you – if I can do it, then you CERTAINLY can. Your time is now, the year has never been more perfect and the calling is officially on your life.

G.O and be the woman you were always born to be, and I will always be here – cheering you on the loudest <3

p.s I have to shout out to the main man in my life Morgan too who was there for every tiny step OF this journey and has supported me in ways that I can’t even explain

What sincere authenticity is to me – and why I am obsessed with it.

Sitting on the ground yesterday in the beautiful Perth sunshine, I got chatting to one of Morgan and I’s friends on the street who’s clothes we are honoured to wash weekly. For the purposes of her privacy I am going to call her Sarah.

Sarah and I were catching up on each other’s week and she told me that she had just started to read 50 shades of Grey, and I was interested to hear what book she was up to as I too had read the series I told her. We started snorting with hysteria though as I went on to explain…

“Isn’t it funny though how you totally need your man around when you read it as they are absolute turn on books (*note, Sarah is in a loving relationship). Except you have just read about how wild and hot and steamy Christian and Anastasia are and then when you go to do it you’re still just Starfish”.

Cue tears streaming down our faces kind of laughing because we both knew it was true.

The conversation continued on just talking about the normal things of life, kids, family, relationships, you know – the usual kind of conversation you’d have with anyone.

Mid shift I walked over to the toilets laughing quietly to myself again about our conversation about the 50 shades of Grey books, which made me think about the countless other times I have had that conversation with so many women since reading the book in 2012 – women in parliament, good girlfriends over a wine, strangers when I used to see them reading it in parks.

And walking back over to where our friends and Morgan were sitting that sunny afternoon, it dawned on me that THAT is sincere authenticity.

Not the fact that I can talk about sex or ‘risky’ books with anyone – that’s not the point. But the fact that no matter who I am with, no matter what I am doing, no matter where I am – I can just show up as who I am and say the same thing in front of a friend on the street or a member of parliament.

Now – do not get me wrong. I am acutely aware that some conversations aren’t appropriate in front of a Priest (for respect) or a 4-year-old (due to age appropriateness) or a Prime Minister (for, well, I suppose for respect although I personally think they’re just normal human beings) – so I am not talking about that. I know that sometimes, sure what we say or how we can act does have to differ slightly person to person – but there is a huge distinction between managing respect and being sincerely authentic.

Managing Respect comes down to just knowing what volume to be at I believe, but still always living in to who you authentically. And by volume, I don’t mean that literally.

I’ll give you an example.

Back when I worked in Federal Politics, I used to always have to go in to what I called ‘the big boy meetings’ – with Ministers of portfolio’s, or CEO’s of big corporations (i.e Alan Joyce), you were constantly also meeting ex Prime Ministers (my favourite one being the time I got to have a chat with the Hon John Howard) and current Prime Ministers (who at the time was Opposition Leader – Tony Abbott).

Now. If you know me well, (or not even well, if you just follow me on social media recently or over the years), you know that I am a pretty crazy, cheeky, fun human who has an affinity for the word fuck, being silly and champagne, unicorns (yes, even at the age of 28) and hot chips– just to name a tiny aspect of me.

So when I would go in to these ‘big boy meeting’s’ I would always manage my respect, BUT I would show up sincerely authentically as myself.

What does that look like?

It means knowing that in some moments, sure, the word fuck is not the best option so to not use it. It’s listening more than talking sometimes, it’s showing the more mature side of you whilst ALL the while being wildly authentic.

So what does wild authenticity look like in a situation like that (parliament) whilst managing respect.

It looked like dressing up as a love heart on valentine’s day and handing out chocolates to all the federal members – because who doesn’t want a chocolate from a love heart on valentine’s day.

It looked like never ever taking myself too seriously at any and all ‘party’ functions and almost creating the loudest most fun, hilarious group situation where we could actually let our hair down, laugh and all show up with our sillier sides.

It meant having a drink with all the serious Shadow Ministers at the end of the sitting week and starting a “peaks and pits” of their week – going around in a circle sharing what we could do better, and what we did well that week (and for grown men & women who run our country to look forward to that session we used to do in the chairman’s lounge all waiting to fly home – was such a fun thing for me).

It meant telling Alan Joyce to his face that although I loved his airline, if we didn’t get chocolates back on the Thursday flight home I’d start a revolt (tongue in cheek) and get us all to start flying Virgin instead. (side note: guess who had chocolates back on the flight home by that Thursday night….. me.

You see – you can be respectful when you need to be – all huge examples above – but you can still ALWAYS, ALWAYS show up sincerely as yourself.

We are moving in to a world where authenticity is the new currency.

We are seeking authenticity over perfection.

We are asking for everyone around us to throw down their masks – and bare their souls.

We are obsessed with compassionate acts and unconditional love (well I am) – which is birthed from humanity stepping away from who they were told to be and stepping in to who they were born to be – authentic powerful beings.

We are hungry for freedom – authentic, delicious freedom.

The universe is calling forth a rebellion of a new kind – and more and more are listening to the call, not being able to resist the pull to put down their masks, light their own fire and step more in to their sincerely authentic selves.

And it’s beautiful and inspiring and extraordinary to watch.

Sincere authenticity IS the black and its here to stay, so don’t be afraid to step in to your own true divine self more and more.

It’s speaking up when your soul says to.

It’s owning who you are in front of a priest, a member of parliament or a homeless person.

It’s saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

It’s being exactly the same person as to who you are in ‘real life’ as to the person who you are showing up as online (side note; I always feel like I shouldn’t even need to say this one, but in 2017 I still do think that reminder needs to be in there).

It’s taking off every single last mask you have been holding on to, throwing it in to the fire and burning them once and for all.

It’s owning the bad ass extrovert parts of you along with the graceful and introvert parts.

It’s having the balls to live your boldest, grandest, most TRUE life – and if that means being the quietest librarian the world has ever seen or the most impactful world leader the world has ever known – BEAUTIFUL – just make sure you are showing up exactly as you are every.damn.day.

My only wish for you today though, is that you start somewhere – and I suggest that somewhere is in the next instance you go to crack a joke but don’t because you think it’s not ‘cool’ or you don’t speak up on a topic you’re actually red-hot passionate about – you actually DO instead, because THAT is who you are.

 

 

 

 

 

Images: here,

How to (sustainably) change your life

Waking up to the alarm sound on a cold Monday morning, the first thought I had was “you know what Anna, you don’t NEED to be up at 5am, just give yourself this one morning of sleep in…”, and almost as soon as I thought it, I caught myself with that negative mind-set and reminded myself I am not here to live mediocrely and be defined by average, I am here to live extraordinarily – so off the covers went and up I got.

The session was like most others, most mornings. I felt good, I had energy, I smashed a PB (personal best) on at least one of the reps on at least one of the exercises, I laughed, I said hello to some of the other regular 5am gym go’ers and I pressed ‘end’ on my workout app by 6:20am.

The usual high-five from the app happened telling me the PB I hit that day and the count of how many workouts I had completed occurred.

Only today, when the number landed on its final count, I smiled ear to ear.

200 work outs with my amazing trainer Lochie who uploads my food plans and work outs in to an app that I use daily.

I went home feeling fulfilled and sore – and that particular morning doing my gratitude’s, I put “my health and commitment to having health & vitality as my #1 value”.

Jumping on FB for the first time that day, I celebrated my 200th work out with a status and checking my notifications I saw the memories notification Facebook has now – something I actually LOVE checking daily to see what I was doing on this day 1, 2, 3, 4 even 5 or 6 years ago.

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Except this time, a status made me stop dead in my tracks, and another smile ear to ear broke out.

It was the exact same day, July 25th 2010 – 6 years ago.

It read….

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From celebrating having such a strong value around health and vitality, around moving my body every day and then honouring it with clean food and natural supplements – to this. Completely not honouring my body, and neglecting it for WEEKS with no exercise or clean / health / nourishing eating only a mere 6 years ago.

6 years to the day and I honestly don’t think I could be a more different woman.

Here is the thing though, something has been swirling in my heart for a while and this was just the slap in the face I needed to put hand to keyboard to write it for you.

That jump, from binge drinking, sleeping in, recreational drug use, no exercise (ever), choosing to skip meals and / or eat crap majority of the week to … rising at 5am daily, moving my body 7 days of the week, eating clean nourishing whole foods, complementing my food plan with natural wholesome incredible supplements …. DID NOT HAPPEN OVER NIGHT.

The other day, I was talking to my girlfriend in the kitchen about the life we get to live now and the advice or statuses that I write coming from that place of health and happiness now, and I said…. “you know what babe, I actually get that some of the stuff I say or write would piss people off, I bet they do sometimes sit there and say ‘what-the fuck-ever” … because they don’t know the story behind the work and sweat and blood and tears and sacrifice its taken for me to get to the place I can write and share like I do.

Point is…. I get it.

That was the moment I knew I wanted to write this piece. Then as fate and my life would have it Facebook put two of the most opposing statuses I have written next to each other on the same day, 6 years apart.

And here I am.

So back to the story of my journey not happening over night.

LONG before I started nutritional cleansing, back when I was the girl who’d sleep in, have a big glass of coke and a packet of kettle salt and vinegar chips in bed (yep, I uhhhh, I really did that) and never ever respected her body with exercise and in turn, getting my body to its heaviest… I knew that I had to change, and so I did.

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Morgan and I went to a food information night 6 years ago, where we started to educate ourselves on food. We learnt how to read the back of packets, we learned the difference between good and bad sugars and good and bad carbs, we learned about portion sizes (hardest lesson of all to learn!) and learned about good wholesome foods.

And oh SO slowly, but most definitely surely …. We started to change our diets and way of life.

I went from eating white carbs (your rice, bread, pasta, white potatoes) from 7 nights of the week, to 5, then to 4 when we felt ready, then to 2…..then to none. That process alone took MONTHS and we never once felt like we were depriving ourselves. All the while dropping grams or kg’s as I went.

Whilst switching out the white carbs (andddd things like packet sauces and gravy of course) we were completely over hauling our diet to a clean healthy one. So lots of fresh veggies, smaller sizes of meat, 2 nights of no meat a week and good carbs like sweet potato or quinoa – so the cutting of food was also replaced by new healthy eating.

Then went the coke (a cola) addiction. I never tried to quit over night. WHY? Because I KNEW if I was going to change my health, I needed to make SUSTAINABLE changes and cutting everything I had been so used to wasn’t going to give me lasting sustainable change.

So with the coke, I went from drinking 600ml – 1L of coke a day, to just ONE 600ml coke zero a day (still bad I know, but less sugar). Then I cut down to 5 days, then 3 days .. then just one over the weekend to …. None.

I never felt deprived and I didn’t struggle as I allowed the change of habit to happen gradually.

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Then came the exercise. If you had of told the Anna & Morgan back then they’d end up LOVING the gym and be in it daily in the years to come, they would have laughed you to another continent.

Instead, we woke up just a LITTLE earlier than 7am – 7:30am and went for a small walk around the block. Pretty soon, we loved doing it, and wanted to wake up even earlier, and increase our exercise .. so we got up just a little earlier again, and went for 2 – 3 blocks now. It got to the point we were up at 6am every morning going for a 5-7km walk before work and loving it. It THEN got to the stage we had both dropped just over 5kg from me, 7-8kg from Morgan, from this new way of life that we felt ready to join a gym … which we did, really close to our house and went and started running on the treadmill with a few little weights.

But again – see how it was gradual, it was slow, it was what was right for us.

I have ALWAYS been open and honest (of course) as well, and shared that amongst these years of change – I had a major jaw surgery which fundamentally changed my life. Top & bottom jaw broken and re aligned to fix a severe underbite. Whilst having my jaw wired shut for close to 4 weeks, I lost another 6kg’s.

Once I was cleared to exercise again, and was able to eat ‘normal food’ (aka not soup and mash potato) – our new habits were our new way of life and I knew I was NEVER going back to how we lived and ate before.

Upp’ing our training / exercise even more and REALLY living a life of clean eating, it’s when I lost my final 6kg taking my total weight loss over almost a 3 year period to 17kg. Which to this day I have maintained (which very long story cut short, the maintenance of that loss AND feeling a million dollars is thanks to nutritional cleansing – I am not going in to the last 3 years journey in this post though but if you want to read about that I have written about it here, here and here

So you see, when I share aspects of my life now, saying things like, you can either have results or excuses, but you can’t have both, or; it’s all just a choice, sleeping in and feeling like crap or getting up and showing up even if you don’t feel like it … understand that it comes from the deepest place of understanding, because I have lived and breathed both lifestyles.

And it has been a long and crazy journey to get to the place I own the advice I now give from a loving place.

The real point to this whole piece though is this ….

START TODAY AND START SMALL.

Change can be scary. I get it.

Change can be hard. I get it.

Change can be overwhelming. I get it.

Change can feel unsustainable. I get it.

But guess what?

It doesn’t have to be any of those things if you find your own rhythm and groove with it.

When I was trying to flip my life quite literally on it’s head I knew I couldn’t do it all at once. I knew the power was going to come from slower change, one step at a time, one day at a time kind of change.

And I am imparting the same wisdom on to you now .. with love.

Start Somewhere, start anywhere, start today … but don’t start it ALL at once.

You want to stop sleeping in so much, start eating healthier, move your body regularly and start an awesome morning routine??

AWESOME…

But where can you start small and start today?

Could it be that instead of skipping breakfast, you start to just get up even TEN minutes earlier and have a healthy smoothie? Does it mean not putting on tv at night until you have also made yourself a yummy / healthy lunch to take to work the next day? Could that just be the ONE first SMALL change you can make?

Could it be that instead of putting off exercise because you’re a bit timid of the gym, you go for a big walk every day instead? Walking is a powerful powerful exercise for the body and an excellent start in building the confidence to eventually get in the gym. Could that just be the ONE first SMALL change you can make?

Could it be that instead of getting out of bed with dread because you had another late night, you hit snooze 5 times, and will be rushed to get to work again, you commit to an earlier bed time NO MATTER WHAT for just one week – and a NO SNOOZE option for JUST one week, and see how that makes you feel? The answer is of course you can, it’s all just a choice and this alone could literally transform your days. So could THIS just be the one first SMALL change you can make?

There is a quote I love and adore by Robin Sharma that says:

“Don’t live the same life 75 times and call it a life”.

And I couldn’t agree more.

That extraordinary health, love, sex, health and happiness you seek (and is your birth right just by the way) is all on the other end of your own habits your cultivating in your life and how you’re creating your world.

I absolutely believe that a healthy body and a healthy mind are connected and to get one the other follows naturally. That was the way for me and I have seen in countless others. And once you have those two major, key, fundamental aspects of your life in order – the rest DOES fall in to place.

So start anywhere. Start somewhere. Start small. But PLEASE start today, and start with ONE THING.

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The coolest thing is, once you have that one thing nailed, the healthy nutritious smoothie for breakfast instead of skipping meals or the earlier bed time and no snoozing, or the walking every single day … you tackle the next area you are keen to change.

And slowly but surely, block by block, day by day, month by month – you start to design a body / mindset and LIFE you LOVE.

I’ll never say the road to making big changes in your life is easy, it’s not, if it was every body would be doing it – but I CAN say that it’s worth it.

The gap for you now, between the life you’re living currently, to the one you want to be living in terms of your health and fitness, is simply the action you choose to get in to from today onwards, or the action you choose NOT to get in to from this day onwards. And THAT is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful ones that stay stuck where they are blaming external influences and environments on where they’re stuck.

If you’re here though, reading this blog, and you have gotten this far – it tells me a lot about you, and it tells me you are one of those successful people wiling to put in the action to make the changes in your life you so desire.

So, start today – you don’t need to wait until Monday to start making incremental changes in your life nor wait for a new season to start a new life … you can start today, right now.

And as always, I will be cheering you on the loudest – and the proudest.

Anna xo