All posts by halfthew

Get yourself a team …..

“Success is a team effort”

Success: def – a successful performance or achievement*

Team: def – a number of persons associated in some joint action*

SuccessTeamEffortWhilst you may have success on your own, your journey to wellbeing is certainly sure to be easier to achieve if you mastermind with a team instead of trying to fly solo.

According to American psychologist, Dr. Meredith Belbin, effective team work most successfully achieved with 9 identified ‘Team Roles’:

  • The creative type who generates ideas (the “Plant”)
  • The extrovert who has good networks (the “Resource Investigator”)
  • The dynamic individual who thrives on the pressure (the “Shaper”)
  • The person who soberly evaluates the usefulness of ideas (the “Monitor-Evaluator”)
  • The cooperative team player (the “Team-worker”)
  • The ones with specialist skills (the “Specialist”)
  • Those who turn ideas into solutions (the “Implementor”)
  • The person who keeps the team together effectively (the “Co-ordinator”)
  • The person who get issues completed (the “Completer-Finisher”)

Do you have 9 team members to help you that fit this list? Thinking that you’ll never find the right mix of people to fit this list?

Would it surprise you to learn that some of the 9 team members can perform multiple roles? And they do not all have to be people ~ they can also be tools?

The “Plant” may be you – researching your destination by referring to this site for ideas. The “Resource Investigator” may be found by joining an exercise or diet group (physical or on-line), which will keep you linked into other people seeking the same destination.  A personal trainer (or strong-willed friend or partner) may play the role of the “Shaper”.

The “Monitor-Evaluator” could be your diet software that monitors your lifestyle and tracks your results. You can enlist the help of a friend to play the role of the Team-Worker, performing the necessary tasks along side you for motivation or companionship. Your personal trainer, gym instructor or dietitian may also play the role of the “Specialist”, giving you the necessary guidance.

The “Implementor” could (and probably will be) be played by a range of people – doctor, trainer, mentor, other health professional (naturopath, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc.) – anyone who can help take your ideas for wellness and turn them into solutions you can action. You may have several “Implementors” in your team that you use from time to time.

Your diary, goals and task/to do list take the roles of the “Co-ordinator”, keeping everything moving along and on track. You can then focus on playing the role of the “‘Completer-Finisher”, performing the necessary tasks to achieve the desired result.

Why not get started putting your team together now by visiting our Exercise Tools and Tips or Diet Tools and Tips pages now.




It’s never too late …..

“No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back”

what_you_gain_when_you_lose_weight_infographic1The body is an amazing machine. No matter how much we abuse it the body has an inbuilt survival program to help it adapt to new conditions. But the body also has a natural ability to heal itself when it is finally put back on the right track.

We’ve all heard amazing stories of people in difficult situations that have lived on fresh air (or only a Mars bar) and water for weeks on end. And the recovery powers of the body for those courageous enough to stop smoking are well documented, reversing most of the long-term effects of heavy smoking in 5 years, and returning it to the same state as a never smoker in 15 years.

So it’s never too late to make the diet and exercise changes to lifestyle that will restore your wellbeing. But did you know in the process you can also reverse the aging process?

We age because of free radicals in our bodies oxidize in our bodies and leads to us looking older before our time. Free radicals are everywhere, in the air, our bodies, and the materials around us. They cause the deterioration of plastics, the fading of paint, the degradation of works of art, aging related illnesses, and can contribute to heart attacks, stroke and cancers. They are also caused by eating highly processed foods.

Oxidation can be fought by eating a low-fat diet that is also high in antioxidants. These types of foods almost always revolve around different fruits and vegetables and also some whole grains. Foods lose their antioxidant powers when they are processed and cooked so eating a diet high in raw fruit and vegetables is preferable.

Eating a healthy diet may be difficult to begin with but in time it gets easier the longer you continue. You may just decide to increase eating fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains while reducing your intake of meat and processed foods. When you see the signs of aging quickly drop from your body no matter what your age is now it will be well worth the effort .

Diet alone is not enough, exercise that produces a benefit on all bodily systems (cardiovascular, muscular and skeletal) also plays a crucial role in reversing the aging process. With age our bodies naturally lose muscle mass which leads to weakness associated with old age. To reverse (or prevent) this it’s important to replace that lost muscle through resistance training sessions 2 to 3 times a week.

Start to reverse the aging process now by visiting our Exercise Tools and Tips or Diet Tools and Tips pages now.


Elevate your mood ….. naturally

“For every minute you are angry,

you lose 60 seconds of happiness.”


Happiness, according to is defined as good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Did you know you mood can be altered significantly through diet and exercise?


Within 10 minutes exercise can help ease depression and relieve stress by releasing mood elevating endorphins. However lethargy and fatigue are associated with depression, making it much more difficult to get started in the first place. The best cure is to start moving with something easy, like walking, or something that you enjoy doing and is fun (and no, lifting the donut from the plate to your mouth doesn’t count!)

Start slow with some stretches, or decide you’ll just do a few minutes of something, even if it’s just taking the trash / recycling out or getting the mail from the mail box. Chances are, you’ll start to feel more energetic and will keep going.

Where possible head outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. Taking a walk in the sun combined with the intake of dairy foods helps boost low Vitamin D level which are closely linked with depression.

And if you really can’t fathom exercise then read on for how water and food can help elevate your mood.


Mild dehydration is a common but often overlooked cause of feeling lethargic. Adults should drink at least 2 litres of water a day, more if you’re exercising.

Drinking caffeinated soft drinks and coffee, these act as diuretics and increase dehydration. An easy tip is for every non-water drink you consume, to consume the same volume of water on top of your minimum (2 latte’s mean and extra 2 glasses of water).


Broad Beans are high in the amino acid L-dopa which, when converted to dopamine by the body is used to help with important brain functions including sleep, mood, learning, behavior, and regulating prolactin production from the pituitary.

One Brazil Nut will give you all the selenium you need to elevate your mood (but 1 only as selenium in large doses is toxic).

Turkey contains tryptophan which boost your serotonin and makes you feel calm (and sometimes sleepy from its sopariphic effect so don’t eat too much).

Green leafy vegetables, in particular Spinach is high in vital brain foods folic acid and folate.

darkchocstrawberryBerries are all high in anti-oxidants, and strawberries are also high in soluble fibre which helps keep the blood sugar and your mood even.

Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of depression. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines as well as ground flaxseeds, canola oil, walnuts and omega-3-fortified eggs are all good sources.

Dairy products have lots of whey protein, which can reduce physical responses to stress, improve mood and enhance memory. Low fat options are a better choice, and if you’re lactose intolerant try lactose free (treated) cows milk or low lactose options such as goat and sheep’s milk.

Complex carbohydrates help boost seratonin levels and offer far more nutrient value than simple carbohydrates and are released more slowly into the blood stream keeping your mood even.

Tea drinkers benefit from its naturally occurring theanine which helps calm you down.

Dark chocolate (70% or higher) contains phenylethylamine which stimulates the brain to produce serotonin. In addition it contains several other chemicals that stimulate the central nervous system.

BUT REMEMBER: Less is more – don’t over compensate and over indulge. All of these foods should only be eaten in moderation!


Developing new habits ….

“You develop a habit through repetition”

develop-new-habitsAccording to a habit is “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary”.

It is said that it takes a minimum of 2 weeks to develop a new habit. So if you’re wanting to develop a new habit you must perform it in the same manner every day for 14 consecutive days for it to become embedded in your subconscious so the behavior becomes automatic. If you use triggers (positive or negative) to reinforce the behavior, coupled with a replacement then it’s even more likely to stick long-term.

Let’s think about this for a minute – so all it takes is 14 days of doing something the right way, to reprogram myself. Think about the addiction of biting your nails. If you 14 days, you wore a rubber band around your wrist. And every time you went to bite your nails, you stopped and flicked the rubber band (negative trigger), and then every day you went without biting your nails you did something nice for yourself (gave yourself a foot treatment or massage, or a manicure or pedicure), do you think after 14 days of this behavior you’d be less likely to automatically bite your nails?

So how would this work with diet and exercise?

Start small, and make incremental changes: don’t go for a radical change that your body will rebel against and that is impossible to sustain. Aim to adjust your lifestyle food program on a small scale – cut out sugar, cut back from 3 to 1 coffees a day, or cut back food intake if you’re over eating (subscribe to a home delivered diet plan or use diet software to track your food or calorie intake, both will help re educate you).

The same goes for exercise, start by increasing your exercise duration or intensity slightly. Take the stairs where possible instead of the lift. Don’t go for the closest car park to the shops or mall. Get off a stop earlier on your way to work and walk the rest of the way. Increasing your activity several times through the day will have a compound effect and will be far less noticeable than trying to pack in a 1 hour fitness class that you end up missing because it all seems too hard.

Keep gradually turning these incremental diet and exercise changes up over the next 14 days, rewarding yourself when you stick to it (with something other than food or alcohol), and you’ll find yourself spiraling upwards to greater health and vitality. What have you got to lose? And think what you will gain in the process.

Start to create new habits that support your wellness by visiting our Exercise Tools and Tips or Diet Tools and Tips pages now.


The greatest legacy you can leave ……

“The greatest legacy you can leave your children….

…. are happy memories”

LifeIsLimitedIs your weight weighing you down and preventing you from spending valuable time with your family? Would you love to be more active and involved with your kids on a physical level but can’t keep up? Do you want to get more out of life but are just too darn tied at the end of the day?

Most of us wish we had more energy to spend with our loved ones (parents, spouses or children). Things get in the way and we only have a limited amount of energy. But what if it were possible to have more energy, to get through the routine of the day with more zest and more quickly so that you’re left with more time (and energy) to squeeze a bit more out of life.

What if you had the extra energy to do all those things you wish you could?

Think of the wonderful memories you could create: playing cricket or catch with your children;  taking your spouse on a romantic weekend away (and not just spend it sleeping); taking your aging parents to an outing or event that would give them joy and in the process create a lasting memory for your both.

It’s no secret that poor fitness and carrying all that extra weight around makes you tired.  We only have a limited amount of time on this planet, in this lifetime. Why waste it? Why not take charge of your health and well-being now? Why not regain your health and fitness and give yourself the best opportunity to add extra years to your life and create some more happy memories with your family?

It IS possible…. you CAN do it…’s YOUR choice.

Why not get started and visit our Exercise Tools and Tips or Diet Tools and Tips pages now.


Unless you start doing something different…….

….. you are in for more of the same”

insanity-sourceHow many of us go about life doing the same old thing day in day out expecting a different result? Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

Take a long hard look at yourself and your life. Are you guilty of doing more of the same, and expecting the universe to provide something magical? Are you where you want to be? Are you who you want to be? Or do you want something different?

The choice is up to you, you alone control your destiny.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Why not make the change today, get the education and the tools you need to change your life once and for all and be all you can be ~ “Carpe Diem”.

If you don’t know where to start check out the information in my Blog pages: Planning, Get Your Mind Right, Get Your Body Right and Get Your Spirit Right. They will give you all you need to know to seize the day.

My Journey


My name is Sigrid de Castella, I live in Melbourne, Australia.

In May 2004 I weighed in at a massive 143kg at only age 33! I always knew I wanted to do something about my weight but I always felt helpless, and every diet I ever tried only worked for a few days or weeks, and eventually failed.

In 2004 I finally got to my breaking point and chose to make some changes. I have hereditary lymphedema and so when I started my program I couldn’t walk 2km even slowly without puffing and breaking into a sweat. And water retention was a major issue, often requiring diuretics or rest and elevation. I wasn’t a Type 2 diabetic, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been long before I was.

Over the next 20 months I started walking, then shuffling, then jogging. I swam and cycled and joined a gym and started resistance training (squatting one and a half times my body weight). I completed in the City to Surf and breezed up “Heartbreak Hill”.

I not only shed 70kg of unwanted body fat, I went from a size 30 to a size 10. My shoe size dropped from 12 to 9. Hats that never used to fit on my head slid on with ease. My bra cup size went from a 26 DD to a 10 B (OK so that one I wasn’t overly thrilled about, but it does make running easier).

Now I’ll be the first to admit that in 2004 I NEVER thought I could have achieved this sort of result – but I did.

People often ask me how I did it. It’s three easy words…………….

Education, Diet & Exercise

The hard part is making the commitment to change. The rest is easy!

More importantly, you need to address any heath plan in three areas:

Physical, Mental & Spiritual

If you don’t – you won’t succeed!

So this website is dedicated to all those people who don’t think they can loose weight – and keep it off.

Over the coming weeks and months I will share with you all my diet and exercise tips, I will reveal the physical, mental and spiritual changes that are required to make your journey to health and wellness a success. And I hope by doing this, I will inspire you to achieve.

I know you can do it ~

because I did!