Live Well London: 2 – 3 March, Old Billingsgate
So as part of my new year planning to be more invested in my wellbeing, both mentally and physically I found myself searching through Eventbrite looking for interesting events. For I have come to the conclusion that personally (and I think for most of us) that doing new exciting things makes the journey easier but also involving other people too. Therefore I found myself buying VIP 2 Day tickets to this new wellness and fitness event in March – Live Well London.
I didn’t know what to really expect and I wasn’t physically where I thought i might of been by March when I got the tickets. I came to the conclusion that I would use this event to learn and push myself out out of my comfort zone.
It was a great location on the bankside near London Bridge, was small enough to not let the whole thing overwhelm you. There was also so many things to do from great panels & talks, to fitness classes to workshops to cooking demo and just also the stalls which were there.
I want to talk you through all that I experience as I think it is important to share what I learnt not only as I am bringing all my readers on my journey with me, but I feel that I others might benefit from what I also heard and experienced.
Expert Talks & Panels:
There was so many, can’t remember the final number I attended as I know when I saw the schedule it was hard picking which ones to attend. I will not take you through each one, but give you a few of the key takeaways and advise which resonated with me. As you will see the topics range from self-worth to entrepreneurship and sleep to beauty.
- It isn’t always about self love but firstly about making sure you have self respect.
- Stress isn’t bad, we need it in our lives, ultimately it is rooted in evolution we needed it historically to survive (to respond to danger) but the modern issues is we seem to end up being in near constant stress. Our bodies and minds need to take time to relax, and to reduce the negative physical response to stress hormones etc.
- To be able to rationalise and be more mindful of your inner critic (that negative voice in your head) maybe try naming it or giving it a silly voice – it will make it a lot hard to take seriously or at least make a clear distinction between yourself and that critic.
- Empowerment is not all about thoughts but moreover putting thoughts into action, being forward moving. Going here is an issue, here is the next step. Not being stuck by fear of the unknown or that inner voice and just pushing through.
- Harness the power of thoughts – reengineer those limiting thoughts, change can’t into can. Use affirmations to reengineer your thinking about these issues. Is also about the imposter syndrome – just fake it until you make and keep saying it to yourself until you believe and finally until you conquer and do it.
- You are not alone – especially surrounding mental health or negative feelings such as anxiety or even just self-doubt you aren’t the first and your aren’t alone in feeling like this. If you can share those thoughts with others, let them also help champion you but also use other tools to remind yourself how fab you are.
- “Sparkle List “, physically write down (using own hard writing) a list of all the qualities & attributes about your self that you love, respect and are proud of. Can be big or small, can be things you notice that you others can’t do. Understand that you will add to this list over time as you discover each day, week etc more things. You can then refer back to it, to get that great boost of confidence.
- Visualisation is a very good tool – whether is writing down dreams, goals or just the list above. The act of writing can be empowering but having constant reminders helps to reenforce the message to yourself. Have a pad next to your bed, and maybe put small quotes or affirmation on post-notes around you.
- It is hard to deal with external critics whether work, family or friends, take a second and reflect on the reason behind why they are doing that – are they just projecting there own issues or are they trying to be helpful but aren’t in the same place or have the understanding. Take in what you need to and bat away the rest.
- Sleep, is about recovery both physically and mentally but is currently were are all doing it wrong. We shouldn’t be getting it all in one big lump but seeing it as recovery time and break it down into 90 minute windows – have 5/6 at ‘night’ then try to have one mid-afternoon or late morning- even just a 10/20 minutes.
- 70% are PMs, they need to wake later and can go longer into the night, they who take about 2/3 more to wake with sun.
- We are meant to be more responsive to the rhythms of the sun, so wake up and open those curtains, get a sun lamp and get out into that natural sunlight. There is even human chargers where you can plug in and get some of that Lux light to help energise you.
- To improve sleep, first look at how you wake up – get light, get moving. Also try to have familiarity, whether smells (like pillow mists) and remove all those pillows, and sleep on th opposite side to your dominate side (one you write with).
- It takes at least 12 weeks to see if a product is working on skin due to taking 28 day for skin to go through cycle. Stick with it for longer and see if you are getting results.
- Non-natural beauty products are subject to stricter governing and regulation and natural can be a lot more susceptible to changes in quality of product due to how the harvest was to also just how the products were harvested – there is more uncertainty but end of the day is a personal choice.
- Spend that time in the evening just cleansing and moving your face/massaging – french women on average spend 20 minutes cleansing.
- Mediative & Mediation are very different – you can be in a flow such as in yoga and that is very peaceful but you also need to make time to being physcially still and putting body in relax state. Your body doesn’t distinguish between stress causes by mental issues or physical such as during working out.
- Beyond mental health benefits, there is new research showing the benefits for heart issues by having a mediation practice.
- Dreams – start by breaking it down into a few key questions, what is the end dream, what would I do if I have no fear and all the time to do it. When you have that ,make it more bitesize but still with an idea of that end destination, so what can I do in the next three days, what can I do in next few months, who can I talk to etc.
- Wanting to moving into a new job, don’t be shy to reach out to people who you admire or in companies you want to join, ask them for coffee or email a question – they appreciate that someone helped them and they will try to help others too. Believe in kindness.
- Try to find a job which mix passion with skills, write down a list of both and see where they cross over.
- Social Media should be used for community and encourage, if you are seeing post that make you compare yourself just unfollow or mute.
There was so much more that was said which will have pour into me but can’ t find a nice soundbite of a way to share it with you all.
I also have to say that I meant and heard from a lot of empowering, inspiring and diverse women who were all there just to share and help other women learn what they have and share their expertise with others.
Here are few of the wonderful women I meant –
Becki Rabin – Alt/Healthy and Brand Consultant
Chloe Brotheridge – Anxiety Expert
Persia Lawson – Love Coach
Jacqueline Hurst – Life Coach
Claire Fountain – Yoga teacher and wellbeing expert
Amy Rushworth – Confidence Coach
Nicolette Wilson -Clarke – Embodied Entrepreneur
Jo Fairley – Expert is all things beaty , co-founder of Beauty Bible
Dr Anjali Mahto – Consultant Dermatologist and author of “The Skincare Bible”
Brad Sanderson – Sport Consultant and Mental Health & Mediation Advocate
Niraj Shah – Mediation Expert and Tech Entrepreneur
Sophie Clyde-Smith – Career Coach
Then lets talk all these fitness, as you might of gathered I am a one a weight loss journey having lost a lot and gain a lot back. I don’t have much confidence or experience in all these fitness and exercise. I have done running in the past and attempted gym (but sure am doing it not properly). I wanted to use Live Well as an opportunity to not only try new exercise classes but also work on my fear of going to these type of classes. For if I am being honest, I have that fear (that I am sure lots of people have) of being new to a class and even the type of exercise not wanting to stick out, get lots of attention, not know what you are doing, not bring able to keep up, looking stupid and just being that ‘fat’ unfit one in the corner or worse in the front. However, I decided to just push through and go to a class or two and just do my own thing – was actually what one of the speakers in one of the talks also said – no one is actually looking at you – they are too busy worrying about themselves. I also just finally came to a bit of a conclusion and who cares if they are, you are there for you and not anyone else, so what if they are all thin little yoga bunny – they will have insecurities too and you need to be where you are now to get fitter and thinner. Just do you and be proud of whatever that is.
Therefore I started by taking a Vinyasa Yoga with OneLDN. I was even late for the class, but I rushed in got myself a mat and just went with the flow (literally). There was definitely moves that I couldn’t do, so I just did the yoga practice that I could do. A price of advice someone gave me about yoga, is that is a practice but do what you can now so that when you are later in your journey you can see how far you have come – I really like that attitude. The teacher was very kind about it being a mixed class and gave individual instructions where needed. I came out sweating beyond a belief (whoever said yoga wasn’t a work out must be very very fit) and very proud of myself.
I had decided to push myself and tackle that mental hurdle of going to a brand new class, both in the sense of type of class but also the people running it. So there, I found myself going to my first KOBOX class, a boxing and full body strength training class. A lot of people have told me how much they love boxing so have been interested in trying something like this for a while. I did have major fears going in that I would be fit enough or just have a clue what I was doing. Well, firstly the staff were so friendly and inviting, they were so kind and gentle in their instructions and guidance. It put me at ease that if it was went wrong it would be like all those dream you have of people stopping to stare and laugh at you. Therefore I put on my hand wraps and gloves and put myself in front of a punching bag. I think I must of looks a little hesitant as other girl in the class walked up to me and asked if my first time too, and we shared our nervousness together. Boxing was really fun and went really quickly, was about doing a punching sequence and just building power and technique. However, about 5 mins in I got the shock of my life when the instructor suddenly told us to go to the mats – yep didn’t know it also involved strength training. Meant we did sequence of boxing and floor work, and I just set my own pace and did what I could whilst also trying to push myself. The 45 minutes went very quickly, yes I was sweating and super tired but I can’t tell you how proud I was of myself for just taking the class but also ‘surviving’ to the end.
I really enjoyed both the classes and will definitely try to go to another KOBOX class. Moreover, I love that I push myself out of my fitness comfort zone and tried new things. As the title of the blog suggests, I love exploring new things but sometimes I can stand in my own way.
I will also be very honest, this week there hasn’t been any fitness, as my legs have been absolutely killing me, those DOMS had me not able to bend down or lift my arms – but that is also a great feeling. It has definitely made me even more excited about the fitness journey I am one.
Lastly I wanted to let you know about some of the brands and stalls which were there and what I picked up.
As I had VIP entry, I was very luckily given a goodie bag which contain samples of a lot of interesting brands such as Snoooze – a natural sleep aid drink, Green People – natural beauty and skincare, MISSFITS – natural products including vegan protein and Link Nutrition – food based vitamins & supplements. Then got give my KOBOX hand wraps to keep and also a Kikki.K notebook and pen as part of participating in a workshop.
Also was very excited to hear that LARABAR have finally come to the UK, after all the year of stocking up when in the states. They have sadly for now only come with three flavours, Apple Cinnamon (yum), Peanut Butter Choc Chip (so good and great afternoon snack) and Banana Choc Chip (had never had and OMG is good). I love them and can’t wait to tell others about them and not have to say I got them in the States. Definitely encourage you to try, brilliant natural and simple ingredients but full of taste and nutrients.
I also signed up for a Tribe subscription box so that I could try a number of their new products and ones I hadn’t come across. As with other subscription boxes, you pick up a frequency and then give an indicator of what you are interested in trying. I picked a range of their protein shakes, fruit and nut bars and protein bars.
Finally I decided to treat myself with a few purchases, as who needs an excuses to get yourself new things especially if will make you happier. Firstly, 6 mini dark chocolate bars from Daisy & Dom – have had them before, but not all the flavours, so happy can pick up great vegan chocolate in Sainsburys now. If you haven’t tried them yet, you need to start with the Maple, Toasted Rick and Pink Sea Salt bar – sweet but not too sweet and a lovely nutty taste too.
If you are not truly a millennial modern ‘hippie’, wellbeing, wellness, plant-based vegan aficionado unless beside showing constant avocado on toast obsession you are also a snob and particular in regards to nut butter. Hands up, I am a bit of a nut butter snob, and I love trying new ones and have very few on my love list (if you want to see the list – let me know in the comments). Therefore, it was a no brainer when offered the opportunity to try Pic’s nut butter range, I ended up leaving with a 1kg of peanut butter and small pot of the creamiest cashew butter ever. Is just Australian peanuts & pinch of sea salt and nothing else, and their nuts are Hi-Oleic (higher good fat, helping with cholesterol etc.).
Lastly, I am have become a lot more into aromatherapy and using smells and sounds to help me both physically and more importantly mentally. So when came across the Scentered stall and the women running it was so sweet and funny it was near impossible for me to walk away with nothing (did for my wallet stop from getting the whole range but would love to). At the core they are balm sticks, which are scented with a variety natural aromas and essential oils to help promote certain feelings. I went blind first and just smelt each balm individual to see what ones ‘spoke to me’ and then looked at the underlying purposes. I went for Escape, Stress-Less and Love – and to be honest I really do need more of those three things in my life.
I have to say, Live Well went beyond my expectations for the weekend. I am so happy that I went and can’ t wait to go again next year. It taught me lots, gave me lots to think about, it helped push me and it also made me take the time to consider both my physical and mental health as part of my current life journey. It has really helps refocus me on my weightless journey but also my wider journey of finding my true genuine authentic self and living that life to the max with confidence, pride and kindness.