UL Transforms: Debbie Thompson - MY FINAL WEEK

Friday, 16th March 2018

Trashy salads, life-surfing and munching Sunday!

So are we there yet? The end is in sight or is this just the start of something better?

Seven weeks – how time flies when you are stepping out and having fun!

Time for reflection and ‘what ifs, and buts’ but we have all come through…and are better for the experience!

Personally, this week has been tough on any scale – troublesome work issues which required the use of all of my life strategies (surfing those life waves - I have just been able to stay afloat); feeling weary and getting the munchies at the week end (well it was Mother’s Day!). Getting tired is probably due to the challenges at work and losing out on ‘me’ time. I am working on bringing that back in line (we all slip now and then so we just have to move back on track as smoothly as we can). A bad day is just that – we park it and move on. Life surfing is a good way to describe what life sometimes throws at us and we all need to find our own techniques at saying afloat when those waves hit – mindfulness and having patience both work for me. Not over-thinking but letting thoughts flow back and forth rather than trying to block them out is one way of managing.

The steps and exercise this week have both been variable which is ok but not perfect. Daily walks and some weights (at home) plus some dancing to sixties music! The best work-out was at the kids indoor play zone – I was whacked after 30 minutes of jumping into the ball pit and pretending to be super-gran! I was quickly rewarded with a glass of Guinness followed by a home-made satay sweet potato curry – really yummy! The brown rice was tasty too. I even had leftovers the next day! As a vegetarian, I do consume quite a lot of salads so I now have ‘posh’ and ‘trashy’ salads – both are delicious and full of goodness. One is planned and executed with fine precision and thought; the other is thrown together with what is left in the fridge. The key is to be adventurous and try out new food combinations – favourite food of the week – beetroot with everything!!

Reflections on an enjoyable adventure!

So looking back over the 7 weeks what worked and what could I have done better?

Nutrition – spot on. Best advice and some great recipes.

Emotional well-being – as sound as it gets.

Exercise – a work in progress but I am on the right track. The gym is still the most challenging place for me but there are alternatives and I will keep on trying.

This initiative is a great way to promote healthier lifestyles on campus.  So many people have got involved in one way or another, and awareness has certainly been raised on the importance of eating well and exercising the mind and body. For me the journey is not over as I plan to keep the ‘new’ habits going (not new anymore as they have become incorporated into my lifestyle!). Any age and at any life stage – this works for everyone.



T - Thanks to everyone involved. Those amazing people behind the scenes encouraging us; guiding us; testing us; advising us; supporting us and keeping us all on track! Then there is the whole campus community – showing an interest and joining in + family and friends. THANK YOU ALL!

R - Ratio of food/drink intake – never forget the 20:80 nutrition plan. Be good for 80% of the time and then enjoy yourself with your treats for the remainder. Nothing is forbidden!!

A – Awareness. Be aware of the nutritional content of the food you eat and the portion sizes. Get the mix right!

N – Nature. Spend time outdoors and enjoy the colours and sounds.

S – Steps obviously and exercise. Stay active – whenever, however and wherever you can.

F – Fun. Make the changes enjoyable (so you will want to continue them) and live life to the max.

O – Opportunity. Become a better version of yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally.

R – Relaxation and meditation. We all need both but keep it simple. Our bodies need downtime so fit it in to your daily routine.

M – Mindfulness. This is a life-saver and can help in every situation – be kind to everyone including yourself!

S – Sustainability. Whatever changes you make, ensure they are sustainable and become a normal part of your life routine. We are all in it for the long haul…