An inner peace – Day 5 at Gaia

She awoke before her alarm sounded at 6.45am and prepared for her first yoga session. Obviously her body had gotten the rest it needed and was ready to face an earlier day. And she was so glad it had. Yoga was blissful – breathing, stretching, flowing through the poses for 90 minutes, lengthening her sore muscles, strengthening her limbs, by the end she was awake and buzzing with a happy, healthy glow that she was sure shone from the inside out.

Breakfast that morning was also a new experience, it was the first time she had sat at the communal table. Her and three other ladies enjoyed breakfast over chit chat and friendly conversation.

In fact, her day continued this way with a cooking class taken with new found friends by the head chef. There wasn’t much taste testing, but the learning was fun and everyone had a laugh and took home a little information they didn’t have before.

Before lunch the girl decided to take a walk. She had already ran around the property but this time she wanted to savour it. She wanted to look at the trees, feel the wind and take it all in because after all, this was her last day here.

Soaking in the sunshine and the view

Soaking in the sunshine and the view

The walk turned out to be even better than she had hoped. She wandered through nature, smile on her face and found the labyrinth; a section perched high on the property, in fact, at the highest point in the Ballina Shire. At its center was a Buddha statue. She bowed her head, put her hands to her heart in prayer and took the first step. She knew about the labyrinth, knew it was a section of the property that had a vortex of positive energy around it and she felt it straight away. Inside this labyrinth you are supposed to work out the meaning of your life. Ask and answer questions of yourself and the girl knew exactly what to ask. And, strangely enough, after all she had learned this week, she also now knew the answers. So instead of trying to work her way around the maze she just put one foot in front of another and trusted that she would get to the end. And she did. That’s what she had learned about life. You have to look up, trust in yourself and enjoy the journey.

Let your heart guide you through life

Let your heart guide you through life

She said another prayer and kissed the Buddha’s head before letting the paths lead her back out again, her heart bursting with love. She had opened up that space inside her chest and was able to let life in. Everything around her sang and life seemed to dance in the wind; she was at one with nature, and she loved it.

She touched the trees as she wandered along the rest of the walkway; she smiled, inhaled deeply, listened to the insects, the birds and heard them a little differently. It was as though their song was in time with her own breath. It felt surreal.

That afternoon she made her way back to the spa for a lymphatic drainage massage with Angelique. It was soothing, it was strong, lively and the chimes that centered her at the end left her buzzing. Everything about this day felt heightened and she knew she was ready to go home.

At dinner she sat with her new friends, enjoyed a glass of organic wine, another delicious meal and great company. It was her last night and she enjoyed every moment. Tomorrow she would see her amazing husband. She couldn’t wait to share this experience with him and cuddle up to her pup Sookie. She went to be that night feeling very content.

Run in the sun – Gaia day 4

She slept until 9am. This was becoming a bad habit, but she took the advice of both her practitioners from the previous day; the acupuncturist who said she may feel overly tired, and if so, to rest, and the astrologist who said to listen to her heart not her head when making decisions. This morning’s decision was ‘get up for yoga or go back to sleep’. Sleep won.

After a quick shower she went over to breakfast and found one of her favourite workers, Josh, was there. He was a young guy, always happy and always helpful. He served her corn and ricotta fritters and a lemongrass tea to go with the porridge she poured out for herself.

She felt great today. The acupuncture had definitely done something because she had energy, and she wanted to get out and see some things down this end of the world. So running gear on, she packed some bathers and a towel and drove the half hour to beautiful Byron Bay. It’s funny because although she had been here before, she didn’t remember it at all. The beaches were stunning – blue and silver hues with crashing white waves and azure patches of green. The streets were filled with hippies and holiday makers walking, riding bikes and driving their cars in search of the best car park. She found her park just a block from the main beach, paid the $12 to park there and set off on a 7km run to the lighthouse and back.

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In the hot sun she ran along the beach track, up steps and steep winding pathways, down similar tracks and back up again to Palm Valley. From there, she had 1.7km to go to the lighthouse and with determination, sore legs and a lot of sweat she pushed on up even steeper paths and slimmer tracks until she reached the top. It was a great accomplishment and she felt a sense of pride. It was getting even hotter so she had a sip of water and carried on back to the starting point, this time stopping here and there for a photo and to take in the breathtaking views out over the rocks, the ocean, the beach, the trees – it was magnificent and in that moment she felt totally content just being who she was, where she was.

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Back at the main beach she ran onto the sand, stripped down to shorts and a sports bra and dived in to the powerful swell. The cool water hit her skin and she inhaled the smell of the salt, licked it off her lips and dived under the waves one by one until she felt ready to get out and walk back to her car barefoot.

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Back at Gaia a smoked trout salad was awaiting and she ate it all before meeting with the retreats owner Gregg for a chat about how this amazing place all came to be. He was an interesting man, wearing a suit with thongs, she felt envious of this amazing life he has made for himself out here. She really enjoyed their chat; he was easy to be around.

That afternoon she was treated to an hour of luxurious bliss at the spa which presented itself in the form of a steam room body scrub and facial mask. Wow. 20 minutes in a spectacular steam room, complete with twinkling lights on the roof, she lay there almost naked and let the steam engulf her from head to toe until the therapist returned and lathered the most deliciously scented lemon myrtle and wattle seed salt scrub on her body. Starting with the legs, the feet, the back, the arms, the chest and stomach and then finally the face. A mask and cucumber on the eyes then soothed the face and she was left once again to absorb this into her skin while the steam took her into a warm cloud once again. By the end her skin felt crazily soft as the therapist showered her right there on the bed.

She floated back to her room and there she stayed lost in thought for a few hours until it was time again for dinner. She stared blankly out the window, something that felt natural to her from the day she arrived, but something she didn’t feel at ease doing until now. It’s funny how society tells you something is normal and something else isn’t, she thought. People don’t just sit and ponder these days. Now she was.

Dinner was fantastic as always – beetroot and ricotta arancini balls, Cajun chicken breast and black bean salsa finished with mango and peach crumble. Another day in paradise she thought as she made her way to bed, but that niggling headache that had found her every night since the massage found her again. She took it as a good sign though, if not an annoying one, but to her it meant there was change inside her body, things were moving and energy was flowing. It was a sign of re balance so she sucked it up and tried to fall to sleep.

Star light star bright – Gaia Day 3

She had a restless sleep. The wish to feel her husband’s skin and hear her dog’s breath made it hard to find stillness. She had watched a movie – Julie & Julia – and felt somewhat inspired before lights out but when the lights did go out she felt a little homesick. She also had a pounding headache! The massage had moved things inside her and although her muscles were like jelly to touch, the release of tension was now causing pain.

Sleep did finally come but not until quite late so when her alarm sounded at 6am, again she turned it off and kept sleeping. It was nearly 9 before she jumped in the shower and made her way to breakfast – headache gone.

She was hungry today. She ate mushroom frittata, porridge and a plate of fruit. She was feeling anxious this morning too – but in a good way – because today was the day she had her astrology reading. Something she never thought she’d do, but having a deep connection to the stars and the moon she was eager to hear what they had to say for her.

At 11.30 she began the walk back to the Gaia Spa to meet her reader Gisela. Gisela was a short lady with long brown hair let loose and a German accent. The girl instantly felt at ease and so Gisela led her to the secret garden where the reading would be held. There were two parts to the reading, Gisela said. The first was about how the stars and planets aligned at her time of birth, the second part was how everything aligned now.

Within about three minutes, the girl was in shock. The lines drawn out before her on the chart and Gisela’s words all made sense. Down to the tee. This was her. This was her life. This explained so many things she held tucked away inside her. To go into too much detail would simply take too long and well, the girl didn’t necessarily want to share her findings with anyone. She had her answers, she knew what she had to do and she felt as though a weight had been lifted off her shoulders because finally, things made sense; why she was who she was and why she felt things she did. These charts, and this magnificent woman Gisela whom the girl hugged before she left, had brought her peace. The shimmering stars could not have been more accurate if they tried.

The walk back up the hill to her room didn’t feel so steep now. Her eyes were wide open and she knew they were bright as sunshine, sparling like diamonds. She pondered her reading over lunch letting the wind blow across her face. She could hardly eat she was so happy.

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But it was not the end of her treatments for today. The stars had spoken to her, shared an insight into the inner workings of her mind and soul, now a Chinese Medicine consultation would teach her the workings of her physical being.

Cassandra made her feel right at home; in fact all the therapists at Gaia did that. She was led into the consultation room and sat down. Cassandra felt her pulse and examined her tongue – an odd feeling. She kept thinking lucky she brushed her teeth after lunch! It wasn’t much of a surprise when Cassandra told her she was flat. That’s exactly the way she had been feeling for quite some time. It was amazing what Cass could tell just from her pulse and tongue. She knew the girl had digestion issues, her adrenal glands were in overdrive, her liver was overworked and freaking out and her kidneys were in trouble. This is why the heart pain and anxiety was getting worse. The liver couldn’t take it anymore so he sent the problems up to the heart to fix. Then the heart freaked out. That was how Cass described it. ‘For someone so young, this is a concern because Chinese believe your kidneys are like a money bank. Your liver will withdraw money from there when he needs it to help him get through, but when all the money is gone… that’s it. When the kidneys are used up, you die,” Cass said.

It was strange how it all connected, the girl thought. The physical symptoms all matched up with the emotional ones, and without fixing the emotional, the physical couldn’t recuperate properly either.

Cass then gave the girl acupuncture; something that made her nervous. She wasn’t much for needles yet here she was spread out like Jesus on the bed with four needles in each foot/ankle, one in each shin, one in each wrist and one sticking out from her forehead like a unicorns horn. She felt tingling, a warmness in her stomach, heart fluttering and her left hand went completely dead. But at the end, the needles had done their job and the energy within her body had moved.

That afternoon she didn’t do much, just turned on the air con and jumped into bed, then sat out in the fresh air with a book, then took a bath. By dinner time she was feeling more awake and hungry.

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It wasn’t her intention to sit by herself tonight. She was inspired to exchange treatment stories with the other guests but the communal table was empty! So she enjoyed prawns and avocado salsa, sword fish and raspberry mousse on her own then went back to her room after a quick salute to the setting sun and went to bed.

It had been a big day.

Body 1, Lahnee 0

So it seems as though my willpower is not as brilliant as I thought it was. Not that I ever really thought it was that good, but I’m learning now more than ever that our bodies are sneaky little buggers. They are tricksters!

When your body gets addicted to something, like sugar, or carbs or whatever it might be, you start to crave it. So the more you have eaten of it over your lifetime, the more your body starts to expect it. When you simply take this particular thing away, your body has withdrawals, your brain has withdrawals, and you start to crave it. Now here is where the willpower and discipline is supposed to kick in and say “NO Lahnee, you don’t NEED that piece of chocolate, you just THINK you do!” I’ve come to the conclusion that my willpower is broken; because that didn’t happen. Now I’m all ‘oh no, I’ve wrecked my nutrition plan, Jess is going to kill me,  how am I going to fix my body and make it healthy if I can’t say no to a bloody piece of white chocolate!’

Vicious cycle.


After the craziness of feeling naughty, like I’ve cheated, or like I’ve done something really wrong calmed down, I realised that all I did was be human. If I have spent 26 years eating chocolate, of course my body doesn’t understand why I’ve suddenly stopped eating it. It takes time, and there’s no point in beating myself up about it. Jess is not really going to kill me (I hope!) and all I need to do is get back on track and keep on pushing forward. This is a journey after all and its one I will be on for a long time. So stuff ups are going to happen.

On a good note, I’m learning what my body craves when, like savoury stuff in the am and sweets in the afternoon. I’m also learning what foods make me feel good and satisfied, and which ones leave me groggy and bloated. I’m learning to look more closely at labels and to be aware of what I put in my mouth. Despite a few setbacks, I am learning, and this is the important thing.

So, til next time – eat well!

Get up, get down with the sickness

Yes that’s right, the words of this Disturbed song formed the motto for last week.

Despite already having the flu twice this year, I managed to get it a third time, right in the middle of my Insanity challenge. Damn!

So, needless to say I was out for the count most of last week. Which is a real shame because after a tough week 3 I was actually pumped for week 4.

Monday and Tuesday workouts were on fire. Then that fire fizzled out til there was nothing left but ash.

So, I will be redoing week 4 starting today! And next week I will have something a little more inspirational to post.

My advice for the week though is to rest when you need to. It is very important to learn to understand your body and give it what it needs. I could have tried to power on this last week but I would have done more harm then good and my workouts would have only been half assed anyway because I didn’t have the strength to go hard. So I went home instead. And now, I have recovered and am ready to get back on the horse so to speak!

Until next time… yours in INSANITY!



Insane and checking in

Well it is now day 10 of my 60 Days of Insanity challenge and although I had meant to post on Monday, I was otherwise engaged. I won’t go into details but let’s just say it was a personal matter and I was unable to post.


But, now on day 10 I am giving my update.


Drum roll please….. after measuring myself and weighing in on Monday I have lost…. wait for it… 3.5cm!!! From by butt, thigh and arm! I couldn’t be happier. Well I suppose if I had lost any weight I might have been happier. The stubborn scales didn’t budge, but I lost some cm and I’m feeling great.


Despite the ache in my muscles and severe calf cramping, I feel empowered! Each workout gets easier, well maybe not easier but I don’t look and feel quite so awkward doing them. I find myself looking forward to the workouts and I’m making time to fit them in.


Granted it was week 1 and most people embarking on a fitness journey can hang in there for week 1. Now is when the real challenge starts; week 2 which I fear may be one of the hardest. The initial motivation of starting the program is wearing off, the fatigue and soreness has set in and in my case, because I wasn’t used to this kind of intensity, and because my schedule seemed to really pick up, I’m getting tired.


But it’s now that my true motivation, my true determination will show. And I’m confident it will. There have been many instances where I have set out on a fitness journey only to fail in the second or third week and the main reason is that I didn’t ever find my drive. I didn’t determine why I was doing it and what I wanted to get out of it. I went into these ‘fad’ journeys completely unprepared mentally and as a result, I failed. This time feels different. This time I know why I’m doing it, what I want and I’m keeping myself accountable with this blog (and with publishing my own story in my 8 magazines.. that kind of makes you stay committed).


So here is it – my reasons for doing this.


Why I’m doing this 60 day challenge: I’m sick of feeling unhealthy, I’m sick of getting sick, I’m sick of looking at myself in the mirror and cringing, I’m sick of feeling slow, I’m sick of being envious and I’m sick of knowing that I’m capable of so much more than I do. I want to feel good, look good and feel proud knowing that I have worked hard to achieve my goals.


What are my goals: My short term goal is to lose 7kg by the end of the 60 day challenge making my end weight 58.5kg. I also want to lose 25cm from across my body and get into a size 10 bathers for my trip to Bali in September. But, I won’t make the mistake of only having a superficial goal. This is simply something to work toward in the short term. I also want to use this challenge as the starting point for a long and healthy life. I want to learn how to get into a positive daily routine when it comes to eating well and exercising. To do this I’m focusing on the process of doing the workouts, making time for them each day and making them fun. I’m training myself to look forward to the workouts and I’m putting a real effort into learning what foods are good to eat and when. The real challenge will begin when this one ends…continuing to live a healthy, fit and positive life!


Stay tuned for a video post on Saturday!


Insanity vlogging

So here it is.. the first 2 vlogs.

I recorded them 2 days back, I’m now on Day 3 of my 60 Days of INSANITY Challenge and let me tell you… it’s already tough! Im excited and downright scared about what’s to come.

Yesterday, I was doing the plyometric cardio dvd and after about 10 mins Shaun-T says ok now let’s start the workout.. I almost threw the remote at the TV. I was damn sure we had already started. So that gives you an indication of how tough it is. But, it’s also a lot of fun and I’m pretty sure the results will be worth it! So stick with me and enjoy the posts.



60 days of INSANITY

I’m a big believer in keeping fit and healthy. Although, lately I have been letting myself down when it comes to practicing what I preach. So, I am embarking on a 60 Day INSANITY challenge by

Basically this is a DVD challenge that I will be doing from home. Check it out

Every couple of days I will be posting a Vlog (video blog) with my progress and you guys are going to keep me accountable. In fact, I’m going to put the challenge out there – I DARE you all to do a 60 day challenge of your own. Let’s keep each other accountable. I don’t mind if its not the INSANITY challenge, just pick anything and do it for 60 days and track your progress. You know what they say, a summer body is made in winter!

Ok, so Day 1 was yesterday. I did a fitness test which I will be repeating every 2 weeks. And then I weighed in, took my measurements and before photos this morning… As embarrassing as this is to share with you…see below!

Arm – 30cm

Chest – 85cm

Waist – 72cm

Hips – 89cm

Butt – 105cm

Thigh – 58cm

Weight – 65.4kg

As part of this challenge I will also be following a nutritional guide which is provided when you sign up to the INSANITY challenge!

Ok.. so here goes… wish me luck! And let me know what challenge you decide to do – let’s do it together!