5 Things That Have Helped Me Get my Energy Back

Fri 2nd, Aug, 2013

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Hellooooo!  Happy Friday.  It’s the lady who has ordered the new body from the internet for the summer…far out ladies these new bodies are quite expensive you know…

So I wanted to check in here to log how I am going with the mini-detox, get healthy and about what I’ve done to not feel so tired, be a little less exhausted and to get rid of that horrendous thing that happens at about 3pm…I don’t know if you remember but nearly six months ago I woke up feeling worse than wretched and decided enough was enough, things had to change…since then I’ve been on a mini mission and I’ve had some emails from readers to see how it’s going…

So I thought I’d blog it because with the blogs I log in with every single day and religiously read I LOVE to hear about what they are doing to improve things, whether it’s a found on the side of the road piece of furniture turned trendy yellow, a way to get more spiritual or the easiest way, in real life, to you know parent 3 children, work full time, renovate a house, clean the toilet and make it out for dinner on a Saturday night with one’s hair done…I LOVE to read real girls out there in real life and how, what and when they get their thing on, rather than yet another magazine article that proclaims on the front page ’65 Ways to Not Feel Your Age and Get Your Energy Back’ and then proceeds to tell me (while advertising on the other page a 16 year old in a designer gym cropped top) how if I ‘join a gym’, ‘eat organic frogs legs juice sourced from France’ and ‘practice Hyundai-grishie-grosha yoga in the afternoon for 3 hours followed by meditating in a forest’ then the energy I lost will come flooding back ..hardly going to happen anytime soon in this old cottage.

So here’s what’s been happening with me, I am feeling better, not hugely better, I still get tired, heck I’ve got three busy kiddos running around this old place and not many taxi drivers in my charge…but I am definitely not feeling like the world is about to end if I have to drag myself out of bed and do the school run or make a lunch box…


1. First of all the fitness – it’s much better and I’ve been back to every day walking and getting out in the fresh air.  There is also a woman called Jillian who has entered my life, by way of a mini-iPad on the coffee table.  Sheesh kebab.

Now I speak as a woman who, up until about 18 months ago, has played competitive sport all my life, through three babies and all sorts of things in life, until I retired recently I have always been unknowingly pretty fit…so becoming unfit like this has been quite odd all around actually…

Enter Jillian as in Michaels, who is helping me, though she doesn’t know it to get this new bod of mine on the way by Summer…Jillian is shredding me…with the ‘Jilllian Michaels 30 Day Shred’….now the first day I shredded, oh hahah, how clever I thought I was, twenty minutes of exercise with no break, a few sit-ups and squats, no worries, do me a favour, like what will that do, I can do that easily ..but after a bit of researching and seeing shred before and afters I thought you know what, I’m adding Jillian and her twenty minutes of Shred to my life…

…now…oh my Lordy, here’s a little tip…if you haven’t done a workout for a while, best not that you decide 30 minutes before the school run to do a 20 minute Shred, and,  because you can’t be bothered to change into something more suitable, you just strip down to your undies and think that for 20 minutes you really don’t feel that runners are required…so you jump around your Family Room doing strange moves with cans of kidney beans as weights, you do your pathetic, version of push-ups and actually despite what you look like, you do quite well with the jumping jacks…

…you are, while you watch cooking programs on the tv with the sound down and three women with very good abs on the coffee table shout thingsat you like ‘feel the burn’, reminded of many moons ago where in the middle of the Garden of England you started a thing called ‘aeorobics’…with legwarmers…as the twenty minutes of the Shred goes on you think that alrighty the cardio bit isn’t too wobbly and you certainly don’t get out of breath, you are pretty pleased, you think you know what. actually I think I need to start on Level 2, all is good…and the sit-ups and squats, pretty ok too, yep definitely feeling it in the arms and tummy area which is what you want for that crochet bikini but nevertheless all is good…

You walk around super excited, oh you are shredding, by Summer you will be wearing  that bikini and will have been spray tanned to within an inch of your life, you will glide into the Australian ocean like a goddess.

And then the next day you wake up and say to your husband…errrrm there is something very weird going on with my calves…you aim to get out of bed and realise that your calves, somehow, overnight have turned from regular fairly normal calves into dirty great lumps of rock hard concrete….yup someone somewhere by the name of Jillian was laughing all the way to the bank when she saw you jumping around your living room without any runners on….she knew what would be happening to your forty-is-the-new-thirty calves the next day if on her 30 Minute Shred she did not properly stretch out your calves…

And so out of a bedroom with a white floor and a much layered bed you hobble, a woman whose calves did not want to greet the day….

So let’s just say that I literally hobbled around for a few days which doesn’t do much when one needs to be Shredding… but once my legs got better I got back on it and am finding that 20 mins of Shredding is making me feel better, strangely more energised, rather than the other way round and somehow not quite as pathetic generally in life as a whole…


2. On eating veggies and all that kinda thing I am still going strong with the smoothies, this morning was purple kale, one of the last oranges from the tree, lemon and watercress topped up with apple juice – this was hardcore or so I thought, it was actually pretty down able.  To be honest I haven’t been super amazingly life changingly different in energy with the smoothie partaking…the reason I am continuing with them is that I feel that if I stuff a blender full of green things like kale and the like, add in some garlic some days, throw in ginger on others and generally just lob in there things that I hear around town are good then it’s better than not doing it, right?  I like to tell myself that these smoothies are like health insurance in a glass.

3. On clean eating I’m doing ok.  I’ve seriously seriously knocked the alcohol in the week on the head and it’s making a big dent in my energy levels…I have to admit I haven’t found this particularly easy…I’ve always liked a drink and at the end of the day I love that calm down feeling of a drink and a bath…some weeks I’ve done really well with this and when you add it up over the month the difference in what I was drinking then to now is pretty substantial, ummm  I was hardly falling about the place drunk but how they add up when you do that ‘standard drinks’ thingie over a week…ahem, yes they add up and yes to waking up in the morning MUCH more energised after not drinking for a week…

4. The other thing that has worked for me is workout gear – sounds strange to include this in improving one’s life but this has definitely helped to get me out of my fugg – in the old days I was always a bit of a one for old sweats, you know like I’m training and I don’t do training in nice gear, I liked my shabby old stuff and it worked…nowadays, a bit older and a lot less easy to feel ok about oneself in saggy bottomed things…I’m finding I need a little help in this department…I need more than pulling on a pair of faded shorts and a tank or an old pair of yoga pants…so I have treated myself to a workout wardrobe with some very interesting finds…I’ve bought stuff from fancy labels, I’ve bought stuff from discount shops, a few things online and some from the place where I buy my (copious amounts of) fabric softener…I’ve been conducting a Beach Cottage survey on this workout gear…I think you might like the results…I’m judging them on quality, wear, how they wash, cut, skinny-ness / does this make my bum look big-ness and general ability to suck in muffin tops ..I put a post out on the Beach Cottage Facebook page a while ago to see what you all recommended and road-tested from there…results soon…one thing is for sure and that is that having decent workout gear to choose from in the morning is somehow motivating…

5. And finally on balance, fitting it all in and not doing it all…well I’ve changed quite a bit here…I’ve been taking time off just for me, and I mean just for me, hello Thai massage, hello sushi train alone, hello bush walks with friends, hello long baths, hello nature photography….I’m still really busy but while by doing all those things above I have definitely failed at things (I can’t even think about the state of my Inbox, I’ve blogged less and work on the book has halted) I do have more balance in zee life.

So, all of the above???  I feel all around more calm and there has been no bashing over the heads of one’s husband with a white-washed oar for a while (though I can’t say I haven’t been close)…and that my friends is worth jumping around one’s living room in undies, downing green stuff that looks like it could be nuclear and pulling on pants which suck you in so much you wonder if you may ever breathe normally again for…

Happy Friday, I’ll be back soon with Beach Cottage Perspective…the new series in Beach Cottage Land which has been very much brought to my attention this week…

Now, tell me, what have you done in your living room that you don’t tell anyone about?

Goodbye from me and my soon to be crochet bikini





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21 Responses to “5 Things That Have Helped Me Get my Energy Back”

  1. Melinda says:

    good for you !!

    loved reading this post for the very reason you outlined – its so great to see what real people are doing and how they are finding it all.

    Ive been thinking of doing The Shred too – Im pretty committed to my daily exercise but when you look at the results posted online it does seem to be a fast track to toning – love the concept so really I should just get on with it…. .

    I did try a product called Vital Greens – a green powder that’s nutrient rich for the time poor – teaspoon a day in bit of water ( or mix it in your smoothie) sort of pineappley taste ( nice) My skin started to be a bit glowy and I noticed a jump in energy after about a week – I must get some more actually…its good!

    anyway well done for taking the bull by the horns and reclaiming your energy, both physical and mental, its certainly inspiring to read xx

  2. kat says:

    Ha, you make me laugh, jumping around in your indies doing exercise. Well I can’t say I have done that, but I did join a gym this year now that my three oldest are at fulltime school & my baby is at kinder part time. I joined in Feb & have been going about four times a week (five if I am really enthusiastic & no one gets sick) I can relate to the muscle soreness & finding new parts that hurt, depending on what class I do. I love it though. It has given me more muscle tone, energy & strength. I am still working on the muffin top on this 41 year old body, but after four babies & previous bowel surgery I think it may take some time. I too am inspired by New gym gear (not the high priced labels either) & seem to spend more time in said gear than my jeans these days. I am making more time for me too, but cannot come at the whole juicing thing, so I shall leave you to that one. I look forward to hearing more about your journey. I have to add that taking different vitamins (that were prescribed) have helped my energy levels in the past year too. Now to work on getting to bed earlier. Keep up the great work Sarah!

  3. Mumofsix says:

    Well done you! I have been on a similar mission although summer is well and truly upon us over here in England and I ain’t there yet!

    You made me laugh. You could have been talking about me with the can of beans and pathetic version of the push up. My 7 year old filmed me doing them the other day without me knowing! Honestly!

    Being kind to oneself is hard. Why do we women have to learn this? Well many of us. My husband, a very

  4. Mumofsix says:

    Oops…sorry! My husband a very good man, doesn’t give ‘me time’ a seconds thought. He just does it! I am and have always been hard on myself.

    So glad I met Jillian and her best girls on IG. I don’t intend to phone this one in!

    Loved this post Sarah. Love to you Sarah xx

  5. shar y says:

    well, I read a lot about how to be healthy and how good exercising is, and giving up the alcohol, so I know a lot about it. putting it into practice is a whole different thing!!

    But, I totally agree about the nicer work out clothes, it is kind of inspiring!!

  6. Sarah says:

    30 Day Shred is just as intense as you say! I was limping around work for a week after my first attempt! Keep up the great work!

  7. shannon says:

    So proud of you for your hard work and dedication!! Last year I had to go on a similar quest as I was so tired and felt so rotten I seriously thought something was really wrong with me (like I am dying type wrong with me). My dr. told me to exercise but I could barely get out of bed and my body hurt so bad and I was in a mental fog!! How was I supposed to exercise feeling like that?? Found out I had a gluten allergy. Oh my was that a devastating blow for somebody that lives on pizza, pasta and bread!! I’ve always been very thin (thank you genetics!) but giving up gluten not only gave me my energy and life back, but I’ve also lost 15 pounds (that i really couldn’t afford to lose). I also gave up soda and drink a Spark every day, which is filled with vitamins. I may have cried for the first two months being gluten free because I felt deprived of food, but a year later I feel human again and have a ton of energy! Best of luck to you and I look forward to hearing more of your journey!! You can do it!

  8. Nadine says:

    I am SUPER interested in your nice workout gear! Can’t wait for you to spill the beans.

  9. Fleur says:

    Oh Sarah, you do make me giggle!!! Hahah I can just imagine how you felt post work out. I’ve done it countless times. The worst is when you have to gently lower yourself onto the loo as you are unable to get your legs to work properly! Off to check out the app now. Really looking forward to the workout gear post. I’ve been admiring a well know Aussie brand for a while now, but find the price point hard to swallow… Wonder if its worth it?
    Fleur xxxx

  10. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on your different workout gear! I’m always in two minds as to whether it’s worth splurging on gear that I purely wear to sweat in at home although if it made me look and feel fab maybe it is worth it?!? Or do I save that $ and buy a pair of fab shoes,handbag, kitchen aid (!??!) etc etc…..oh the decisions!!!….. Xx

  11. alison says:

    Ah dear Sarah. Such a timely blog, as per usual.

    I just made a massive change to my life by saying “I’m just not______ anymore!”. I feel a million dollars. I still feel guilty and a bit of a wimp but I wanted to stop way short of a life crisis. Work demands were completely dominating my life. I said to myself enough is enough. I was exercising less and less because I lived in front of a computer. That had a huge impact on my mental and emotional well being. (Ooo, that’s a bit deep!)

    I started seeing a dietitian a year ago. My weight loss has been significant but slow and steady. There is no weird diet. My diet was ok, I just had to pretty much minimalise/eliminate fats and oils-yes, that includes olive oil and nuts. Simple as that. My dietitian said exercise is a good thing but it’s what you eat and drink that determines your weight loss. He also warned me about weight loss saboutagers. He was right. Once my weight loss became obvious I was subjected to some very subtle, but passive aggressive treatment from some other women. Interesting behaviour to observe. :)

    I’m trying very hard to be brave and step out of the pack and live an authentic life.


  12. holly says:

    Try throwing in a tablespoon of chia seeds in your smoothies, they are loaded with so many good things and will increase your physical stamina too, offer a sense of fullness to help with weight maintenance, potassium for energy, calcium, fibre, you name it! I also take liquid vitamin B12 every morning for energy, especially after age 40, it’s really important, as our bodies become deficient.

  13. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    I am so glad for you Sarah,That is one thing i miss ,with my dodgy leg i can’t exercise like a normal person ,though i must get back into my Tai Chi for Arthritis ,i used to be the sort who walked 5kms a day to the one who can only walk in the pool or do gentle exercise ,but it doesn’t matter as long as you accept what you can do! I also meditate as much as i can and that helps as well,try it mindfullness is great for energy and balancing your mind.I also agree on the “me” time ,i get cranky if i don’t get enough and truly enjoy my own company.I can’t wait to see you in your crochet bikini xx

  14. Stephanie says:

    So fun to hear about your quest Sarah! I too did the same thing last year after seeing my reflection in the Nordstrom glass doors as I was desperately looking for something to hide my fat, rather than something I’d love to wear. After cutting all the junk out of my diet, yes, wine too (insert sad face here), and keeping up on my sports and exercise, I was able to lose 24 pounds! What a difference in my energy level, no more heartburn, and my joints are pain free. Have fun shredding with Jillian – I look forward to your updates :)

  15. Alice says:

    lol…. Zumba! I am terribly uncoordinated so I look like a terrible klutz and may I add dangerous to little ones (my poor boy) due to lack of space… I had to stop because for the past 3+ months I have been on relentless sick duties… I am really sleep deprived and in no mood for Zumba though my hourly walks continue…I am hoping to start again soon and get back on the Pilates band wagon… I really miss my Pilates classes most…

    I love your runners (shoes)! I need a new pair, mine are full of holes (on the soles, that is how much I walk, I wear them and other shoes out so quickly that the sole is a priority on my “tick list” for shoes)…

    I have been Alcohol free now for…. 9 years or so… I gave up the stuff when I found out that I was pre-diabetic and needed to loose weight fast (not easy when you add insulin resistance to the mix)…Alcohol was easy for me to give up…. Bread and potatoes and rice and pasta? Oh boy I still struggle everyday! One day at a time…One day at a time!

  16. Anonymous says:

    This did make me smile! Jillian has also found her way into my life! I’m currently attempting her Body Revolution exercise programme. Seems easy so far two weeks in, I’m thinking it has to be a false sense of security! Good on you Sarah!

  17. Jenny says:

    HI Sarah, well done for taking the plunge back into regular exercise. After hell 7mt work contract left me with no energy and more excess aroud the middle. I’m to now trying to get back into excercise in the hope of startin to feel alive again. I’m walking an hour most days along the beach and have taken up a weekly yoga course. Slowly things are starting to improve and have been given an added boost this week with some new workout gear. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • sarah says:

      oh thanks for giving me inspiration! Good luck with it and new gear makes a big difference I think :-)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Morning Sarah! Body Revolution is great so far – only two weeks in but so far so good. Best thing is that each workout is only 30 mins so quite easy to squeeze into the day. Plus the workouts change every other week – keeps you interested and trust me, as someone who will find any excuse not to exercise, this is the best bit about it for me! Give it a whirl!