Daily Life, Health & Wellbeing

With All Best Intentions

January 19, 2018

I started off 2018 with all the best intentions after a firstly stressful and then decadent 2017 which saw me lose 5, then gain 8kg over the course of a year. Returning from Europe in 2017 on the back of two overseas trips, gym closure, and stress eating/boozing saw me at my heaviest weight in October. I’ve put on and lost 5 kilo over the years here and there but the thing is at this point that I had reached is that I no longer felt healthy. The sight of myself in a swimsuit made me cry. I stood on the scales for the first time in a long time and realised that changes need to happen. No fad diets. No keto. No starving. Just changing my lifestyle back to what it was before the shit of the last few years which saw me reaching for food and wine as a relief.

I’m all for embracing and not beating up myself like I was in the past but here is the thing.

I was no longer healthy. 

Training was an effort. 

My knees hurt.

My ankles cracked.

I felt shaken and weak.

I could no longer fit into my “comfy” clothes.

It was time to make changes. In a forever kind of way. Over the last four months, I’ve stuck relatively to Michelle Bridges, albeit for a 3 week hiatus after Christmas and I’ve managed to drop 4.5 of the 14 or so kg I need to lose. Which I was pleased with, as Christmas is hard, and I gave myself some slack.  I’ve stuck to a swimming program and signed up for a half marathon, as well as the next round of Michelle Bridges. I’ve also gone vegan, and tooting my own horn (AND LOUD here!) but I have not had a drink in TWENTY DAYS, which is a miracle in itself.

I was starting to feel great. But, in the last two weeks, doomsday on the transformation has approached. Some issues with my inner lady workings have reared their ugly head again (sometimes it sucks being a woman), and I am booked in for some minor surgery on the 8th of February. This will set me back two weeks with my running, and I have to sit around with the feeling of a constant stitch in the meantime. Just for icing on the cake, I came down with the crustiest cold sore in the land this week.

WHY DO THEY ALWAYS FEEL BIGGER THAN THEY ARE?

So despite all the best intentions for 2018, I am on ‘hold’ for the next few weeks.

But, what I can do and I do have control over is my healthy eating, strengthening for my knee, and being bloody grateful in my mind that I can receive the best possible care here in Australia. There’s always a bright side to these things.

Are you on a health kick in 2018?

How is it going?

Better than mine?

Much love and happy weekend!

Ashleigh

Health & Wellbeing

17 Days Vegan

January 16, 2018

I’m not here to rant at you about why you should go vegan. There’s enough evidence for that if you are willing to take it in. I’m talking about my process in ‘transitioning’ and reflecting on how I have been travelling for the last (almost) three weeks with my journey to vegan, the responses from others and the changes I had to make.

Going vegan was a natural transition for me. I’ve been vegetarian, well pescatarian, since the age of 13, albeit apart from a brief red meat-eating stint for six months or so during my triathlon days. After my freediving odyssey in Bali, I became more aware about plastic in the ocean, what fish eat (gross!) and overfishing. I knew too much about it to look the other way.

Over 2017 I gradually stopped eating fish out of cans, and then reduced my fish intake, with the odd crustacean here and there. I no longer felt good about eating fish.

The Christmas holidays saw me reflect on my goals and living intentionally each day making choices based on what I value. This was my word for 2018, “intention”. With this in mind could I really continue to turn a blind eye to dairy and eggs with how I felt about eating animals? The answer was no. I valued the animals more. I’ve firmly believed that chickens are the worst treated animal out of the whole entire cosmos, so why did I think that eating eggs was somehow less bad than eating chicken? Continue Reading…

Health & Wellbeing

My Word For 2018 – “Intention”

January 3, 2018

So as I sit here on the 3rd day of January 2018, I’ve been thinking about what lies a head in the year 2018 and how to get there. 2017 was a year of many things, awesome things, great travel, my freediving course, a new job. But it was also a year of not achieving many things I had hoped for health wise. I lost the weight I wanted to lose early in 2017 then I put that on and some more, I failed to get into a healthy training routine, I drank too much on occasions and felt the guilt and remorse afterwards, but yet, did this again (and again). I’m finding myself clearing out clothes from the latest shop-a-thon and wondering why I keep buying these things on the spur of the moment that don’t align with my values. 

I have not been too hard on myself while watching this pattern, as I have had bigger fish to fry for most of this year. But 2018 is the year of no excuses, and that is why my word is for the year ahead is “intention”. Goals are achieved not through hopes but through deliberate, intentional actions, maybe even small ones to start at that add up into bigger firecrackers of achievements. Instead of letting it all wash over me, when it comes to food, or alcohol, or shopping is to ask myself what is my intention from this choice for me and my body, how will I feel later on? Does what choice I make in this moment fit with my overall intention or purpose? Too often I get caught up in a whirlwind in the moment without thinking about the aftermath.

It’s going to be a learning process I think. In light of this I’ve decided to make the first six months of 2018 alcohol free. I’ve done three months before but I think a longer stint is needed to change my relationship with alcohol and live with intention. The next area I want to focus on is the reduction of animal products from my diet and an overall health boost. I’m veggie and I have pretty much stopped eating fish, but the next part is moving forward to get rid of eggs and dairy. If it is for ethical and environmental reasons then hanging on to eating dairy has no purpose for me, again nor is it in alignment with my values. I know too much now that I can’t turn a blind eye and enjoy it anymore.

In making more intentions each day, there’s some goals I want to reach and many things I will gain from these choices, which seem like giving things up but what I will gain is much more and this I know. I’ll have more time to spend with loved ones, more money, a clear head to work on my Hotels With Cats goals and achieve good health and wellbeing.

What are your goals or your word for 2018?

Do share!

Much Love,

Ashleigh XXX

 

Daily Life

I’m baaaack!

December 31, 2017

A couple of months ago I couldn’t think about blogging. I was starting Hotels With Cats, thinking about putting a manuscript into Hay House, starting a new job and I felt a whole sense of overwhelm trying to maintain this blog. So I said goodbye to My Meow for a while, and it sat there, ignored, but over the past few months without it I’ve felt a little bit….naked!  So I’ve updated the site, added some new fonts, cleaned out a whole lot of spam and here I am!

My one day of the week to write is now mostly taken up with the running of Hotels With Cats (and some exciting stuff happening over there!), but you will see me on here in 2018 as well. I miss the accountability that this blog gives me, the time for self-reflection, the freedom to explore topics dear to my heart and take the opportunity to connect with people deeper online. This also keeps my friends around the world up to date with what is happening in our life down under.

2017 was a great big year. As you know I took long service leave, travelling to Bali to do my freedive master course then to Europe. This post could take all day, but from travelling on my own to Bali and changing schools and instructors last minute, making the 30m mark, meeting new friends, the whole amazing experience gave me a new sense of courage and self. Most of the rest of the first half of the year was Ginger Hunk recovering from his hip replacement last December. I underestimated the true time of recovery it would take to recover from chronic pain, and I only really got my husband back in September, emotionally that is. The whole thing was shit really, but it has made us stronger. Now we can get through anything!

We were lucky to have a month in Europe in September, spending flights that had been cancelled 587 times before, visiting Greece, Rome, The Dolomites, and France, catching up with family and dear friends on the way and adding a few extra kilos under our belts.

Now we are back, ready to take on 2018, achieve some work and personal goals, (more on that later!)

But tonight it is time to party and farewell 2017, so I wish you all well for tonight, and 2018.

Much Love,

Ashleigh XXXX

Daily Life

Goodbye My Meow – For Now

October 1, 2017

Howdy, abandoned blog. It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. As you may or may not have realised, I have been blogging less and less over the recent months. This has been a natural progression for me. Trips in the past would have been laden with travel deals, frequent blogging and all sorts of things. But this time, I’ve felt that I wanted to be out there, and not in here, and there is nothing worse or more fake than a writer who sounds fake. I just can’t write like that.

Over the past four years, blogging has taken me on a wild personal journey and I am so grateful for that.

I’ve worked through my decision to be childfree, mental health, discovered travel writing, freediving and all sorts.

I’ve connected with some beautiful people online and in person.

I’ve found my voice, authenticity and confidence through this blog.

I’ve written over 300 posts which have been read by 70,000 readers.

I hope I’ve made a difference, inspired you to think a little more deeply, travel somewhere new, or just made you laugh at my stupid cats.

For now, my energy and time is called to grow Hotels With Cats, my new business for cat people and work on a book proposal.

So I’ll be back, writing and around in some form or time, but I don’t know how or when, but at this stage I’ll be taking a break from three to six months.

In the meantime, enjoy the archives.

Childfree

Travel Tips 

Health 

You can follow what I’m doing next on my Facebook Page – Ashleigh B Mills Writer, Hotels With Cats, or my Instagram.

Much Love, Ashleigh

Daily Life, Travel & Wanderlust

The Not So Amazing Part Of Travelling

September 2, 2017

This morning I was swimming in the bright blue seas of Spartia, not a care in the world and tonight I am here with half our bags (they are still in Kefalonia, we think), stranded in Athens airport for FOUR freaking hours, due to a storm in Rome. Anyway, it has given me a good opportunity to get on the blog, and do some Hotels With Cats scheduling. We launched the site by the waybwith our first ten hotel cats if you’re inclined to check it out!  Note to self, I will not plan to launch another website whilst in another country on sporadic wifi. 

Kefalonia is another post all together, I am so glad I choose it as my greek island destination. Ginger Hunk and I like to go off the path a little, if something is full of western bars and farang (foreigner) then we freaking hate it. So Kefalonia was chilled, nice and quiet, cheap and full of amazing and beautiful beaches….like the above. It felt like another honeymoon with the new hip, like a fresh start for the rest of forever. Anyway the not so good part of travelling is situations like this, but you know what? It could be worse. Thanks to our capsule packing we actually have all our clothes on us (win!), it is the parachutes that need to take more time to arrive. Continue Reading…