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Health & Wellbeing

Endometriosis As A Childfree Woman

March 13, 2018

I wasn’t planning on writing about my endometriosis all over the internet. But that Big Magic thing happened one night, at 1am when I was in so much pain. Literally the words flew out of me onto the computer. I finessed the piece with a few quotes, and pitched it and here it is, published for SBS Life! I’ve been working so much on Hotels With Cats that I have not had time to write much of late, so this gave me a confidence boost that I still remember my freelance skills.

The link is here! 

Enjoy and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Any experience with this horrid thing?

Ashleigh XXX 

Linking with Kylie for IBOT

Daily Life, Health & Wellbeing


February 13, 2018

Well it’s been about ten years since I have had the joy of the knife on the belly and I don’t know if it’s age but this time it’s taking me a while to recover. I’ve had the pleasure of many things go wrong down there, an adhesion, appendicitis, a burst cyst to name a few. Last Thursday after a series of stomach pain, bad monthly cramps and a feeling like I had to pee all the time for about six weeks I had a laparoscopy to find out the cause.

(Oh what joy being a lady).

Anyhow, the surgery was a success in that my lovely surgeon found the cause, Endometriosis. Which is a delightful condition in which the lining that’s meant to stay inside your uterus grows outside and in other places, forming painful scar tissue. This can make for a very painful period (and at other times) indeed and in some cases even the organs can get stuck together. Gross. (The wonders of the female body). So part one was removal if it from my abdomen, part two (which I shall find out tomorrow) will be removal of it from my bowel. I am not sure when this will be but I am inclined to get it sorted sooner rather than later. Feeling very sorry for myself despite my attempt at starting this year super healthily! (Vegan and alcohol free still going strong by the way, despite feeling sorry for self.)

At any rate I should feel a whole lot better in a few months. I hesitated about oversharing this on the blog but I felt I should let you all know while I’ve been silent. Plus it’s just a part of life isn’t it these things? I certainly have a new found wonderment and admiration for women who have caesareans then go home and look after a newborn! No wonder your stomach muscles are never the same. Anyhow for now I am snoozing a lot and it’s hard to sit up for too long but today is the first day I have felt a decent bit better, to sit up and write this at least.

So back to bed with my trusty nurse cats for now. (They have not left my side, little angels.)

Fingers crossed for more chirpy updates soon!

Ashleigh XXX

Kylie for IBOT. 

Health & Wellbeing

A Naked Mind – 42 Days Off Booze

February 4, 2018

At the beginning of the year I declared my word for 2018 as ‘intention’. Rather than a set of milestones or achievements, I decided to live each day with intention. This meant aligning my daily actions to my values by taking smaller steps to working towards what I wanted to achieve in my life as a whole rather than ticking said items off a list. It is working for me so far, but this meant changing my ways to making:

  • intentional choices about food which aligned with my tolerance for cruelty to animals,
  • intentional choices about reducing my waste and not ignoring plastic on the street,
  • doing something small to progress my Hotels With Cats Mission each day, and
  • doing something each day for my health.

One of the things I had to tackle to achieve this last point was to drastically reduce alcohol intake. I decided to aim for six months off. At the end of last year, I was in an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Call it what you will, an addiction, a dependence or a habit might be a little extreme. But again it might not be. Here is the thing, I was drinking A LOT. A bottle or so with The Ginger Hunk a few times a week, add-on a few beers each session, then weekends would be spent being even more boozy at least two of the days. I can name about five occasions when a hangover hit me like a ton of bricks and I ended up super sick and wasting an entire day. I hated this. I freaking hated myself for it. I would never get that day of my life back again. (Coming back to the intention thing, is this what I intended for my life?)

Despite this feeling of regret I would again order a case/bottle/have-just-one and then it would be gone.

The same cycle.

The same regret.

Stopping for a while until the next hangover hit me or training missed.

I was feeling sluggish, overweight, tired and anxious.

But, wasn’t it extreme to give up all together?


Couldn’t I reduce my intake without giving up for six months?

Probably not. 

Was I classified an alcoholic to need to give it up all together?

Maybe. Continue Reading…

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.


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!


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