So I decided to start a blog! I guess it’s a lockdown kinda thing as I’m a very social person and I love interacting with other people. Not being able to see my friends and travel can get a girl down every now and again. I’m not complaining as there are thousands of people in Australia and in fact, worldwide, doing way tougher than me and my family but my point is that it has forced me to think outside the box and come up with some new things to do during lockdown.
Apart from the usual mundane things like, cooking/baking, shopping, cleaning the house and home schooling my 12 year old son Jules like the rest of the country, I realise that I cannot rely on my livelihood solely from my hotel ‘Bloomfield’ in Bali so I’m getting creative with what I have here in Australia! This time has also forced me to look at my finances and make some changes. Along with the negative, in a lot of ways it’s proving to be a somewhat positive experience.
My first decision was to go on a health kick! The first lockdown my gorgeous mum Julia (who lives with myself and my boys Nico, Jules) and I spent most evenings drinking wine, eating copious amounts of cheese and living a fairly sedentary lifestyle. I stopped exercising altogether. It seemed fun and a little naughty at the time, but I always felt tired, suffered brain fog and put on about 3kg! I was already a little over my perfect weight, so all in all not ideal. So I thought, against every fiber of my being, in TWO POINT OH, I’m going to do something about it!!
I’ve never really struggled much with my weight and always pretty much at and drank whatever and whenever I liked, but that is not something I like in myself. I truly wish I’d taken more care of myself when I was younger but exercise has never been my friend. On top of this, over time I kind of noticed that I couldn’t wear certain things anymore!!
My friend and fabulous artist Deb McKenzie told me about Isagenix. I had heard of it before but didn’t know much about it. She put me in touch with the lovely Sheridan Goodall who helped me through the whole easy process and explained everything to me beautifully. I told her what I was trying to achieve and she recommended what she thought I needed.
Isagenix consist of having two meal replacement shakes a day, along with some supplements and snacks followed by a normal dinner. Alternatively you can swap the shake for dinner if you want to each lunch. I normally have a smoothie for breakfast anyway and I always struggle with what to make for lunch so I found this really easy! They recommend you have a snack around mid-morning and afternoon and that was easy, a piece of fruit and some nuts in the morning and carrot and hummus in the afternoon. There are also 4 cleanse/fast days each month and you can one a week or two every fortnight or all in one go.
The cleanse days involve a berry or mango powder mixed with water x 4 per day. I also make my own bone broth and sip this whenever I feel hungry and herbal teas or coffee, lots of water and there are also some Isagenix snacks you can have which keep you satisfied. I was nervous in the beginning thinking there is no way I could not eat for 2 whole days but to be honest it was really easy and now I look forward to them!
Just a heads up, I tried the whey protein powder first and it did not agree with me at all, so I did lose around three weeks of hard yakka, but they did refund me for all the protein powder and now I use only the plant based products and found the weight really started to fall off.
So then I decided to stop drinking (60 days and counting at time of writing) and totally removed sugar (single handedly the most toxic thing we can put in our bodies); gluten (meaning no bread/pasta/grains); dairy and red meat from my diet! I felt like if I was going to invest in something like Isagenix I might as well do it properly. I know it sounds hard, but it actually wasn’t. The only thing I missed was cheese, my Kryptonite. A beautiful triple cream Brie is my cheese of choice and apart from my kids, my greatest weakness. But even a few weeks in, I don’t even miss cheese.
Next I created a little home gym for myself and mum, basic but effective. It includes a mat, some ankle and wrist weights and a mid-strength band, simple!! I put on my son’s music mix which takes my mind of it and keeps the rhythm going. If you want to check him out, he is DJ Nico Bloom and the mix is on Soundcloud. The ‘Live at Two Wrongs’ is the best one for a workout. In addition Nico loves to play music for us about 3-4 nights a week and occasionally does live streams, so we all get up and dance for him, another great way to get moving. If you don’t have a son who happens to be a DJ, just put some music on REAL LOUD and shake your booty!!!
My mum, Julesy and I (ok mainly mum and Jules) also spent hours on our vegetable garden putting in Bok Choy, Zucchini, tomatoes, Kale, Snow Peas, Spinach and anything we could think of that would be easy, quick to grow and healthy. It was great for Jules to be involved and each day we pick our veggies and make stir fries or zucchini fritters together. It is hard trying to think up things for younger kids to do during this time, but he really enjoys watching things grow and picking them and then seeing them on the plate.
So after all of the above, it took a few weeks to see any results, which was a little discouraging, but finally in week five things started to move. I have cellulite – there I said it out loud!! This is a fairly recent thing (ok maybe a few years) and I absolutely hate it and was a big factor in motivating me to do this. Normally I spend a lot of time in Bali overseeing the running of my hotel Bloomfield and I’m always in shorts, skirts and bathers and the thought of breaking out into Spring when this is all over and having to start a health kick then, well that was enough to get my arse into gear! They always say (whoever they are) that a summer body is made in winter and once I would scoff and probably roll my eyes but it’s true! ‘They’ might actually be onto something!!! My goal is to be in a pair of shorts in mid-October. The incentive, a group of us have organized a beautiful weekend in Nagambie at my friend’s Hide and Seek Retreat and Winery. It’s always great to have something to work towards, even if it has to be changed but I find that we always need an end goal, which in turn will help motivate you.
Secondly, because I can’t control what happens in Bali and who knows when we will be back up and running as we were pre-Covid, I realized that I must do something workwise locally. Pre Lockdown 2, I was in the process of recording my new podcast ‘Do you know who I used to be” with my good pal Laura Kininmonth and had some booked out speaking engagements but of course everything has had to go on the back burner. Time for a rethink… What to do??
Being clearer in the head has made me come up with some ideas, with minimal cost, to get it started.
So what do I have? I have 26k followers on Instagram and I love interacting with them all. I have a website sitting there not doing much at all. How can I reach out and connect with my followers more? How can I engage more in these challenging times? First things first I need a minor overhaul to my website, there wasn’t much to do but change a few things around. I also needed to spice up my social media so I made a list of who I could engage to help me. I decided to reach out to my pal Effie Young who owns a marketing/PR company Effie&Co who in turn and put me in touch with Amanda, in her office, who could gave me some tips and advice on how to make my Instagram more appealing and my stories more engaging. Together we set some goals of what I want to achieve. It’s great to make a list of people who you think can give you some advice on how to move forward on your ideas. I have found that everyone is very helpful and kind at the moment and all have to do is ask.
I did some research on what people respond to the most and one of them was my funny quotes, because I am naturally hilarious, as you know haha!! I can’t help it, I love to make people laugh! I think people see that I am real and relatable. Every day I try to respond to my messages personally. I love to talk and engage with people, which is especially important at a time like this. Fashion was another thing people love to know about, what I am wearing. I always feel slightly embarrassed posting photos of myself but what the heck, I can use this time to hone my selfie skills, thanks to Amanda’s advice.
You would have seen a change in my social media in the last few weeks and I hope you like what you see. I get sent a lot of lovely things, which I appreciate so much and I am using this time to make it fun and plan.
Also I have a little bit of fab news during the latest lockdown, I have recently been signed to Bella Talent Management and am now part of their team as an influencer which is hugely exciting and I can’t wait to get going and see what is in store for me there!!
The final thing I am doing is writing this blog and it is amazing how it all just flowed onto the page, I guess being locked up for nearly 5 months will do that to a girl.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed my first blog. If you did please feel free to subscribe so you can receive it automatically each month. Also feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything you would like me to talk about and I’ll give you a shout-out and I would love to hear any feedback you may have!
Love and laughs, sincerely Sally x