All Posts By

Amber Phillips

Nourish your Mind

Media Free Diet

February 2015

I don’t think I realised the influence of the media on my attitude, thoughts, mood, opinion, time, health and spending until I eliminated it from the majority of my life.   I didn’t make a snap decision, in fact I don’t think I ever made a conscious decision, it has happened organically over time due to lifestyle changes and the pursuit of my passion and dreams.  And as I have travelled along this journey of self-discovery I have discovered more people who have made this change and they would all recommend this simple adjustment to your time to have a massive impact on your life and on those around you.

Lets consider a few negative aspects of the media:

Health – there are numerous studies that draw direct parallels with obesity, poor eating habits and watching TV.  We have all sat their mindlessly eating while watching and low and behold the whole packet has gone!  And how about, there is no time to cook a healthy meal because my favourite show starts in 10 mins….

Distraction – it distracts us from real people.  Have you been chatting to a friend on the phone only to realise your favourite show is about to start and so excuse yourself….?  So many characters on TV are not real and yet they have been very cleverly designed to be more interesting than talking to your friends and family?  It also distracts you from yourself.  My neighbour, as soon as she walks through the door the TV goes on (sadly I can hear all of this!)  TV is an escape but aren’t you escaping from yourself and your life?

Spending – corporations spend millions on advertising through all forms of the media not on the hope that they will influence your spending, they know they will!  And the advertising campaigns twist facts so far from the truth…  and sadly we believe them!

Satisfaction – according to studies those that watch TV every night report less satisfaction with life, higher materialistic aspirations and more anxiety.  And where do you think we get our ideas of what a beautiful woman looks like?!  We are constantly comparing ourselves to people in the media instead of focusing on ourselves and our life.

Intimacy – couples who have a TV in the bedroom have sex half as often as those who don’t…

Sensationalism – the media is a business, big business!  Just the same as advertising campaigns, stories on the news and current affairs are dramatized to suck you in.  “Cant miss episode”  “Show of the year”  They play on your fear of missing out!  Added to that the facts are twisted and manipulated in order to grab your attention and make you watch their channel; why is it we believe whatever we are told by A Current Affair without doing our own research? 

Depression – has been my constant companion all my life.  Why would I expose myself to all the negative news and make myself feel worse?  Do you really need to know about the old lady who was bashed and robbed?  As sad as it is, hearing about it is not only depressing in installs fear.  Its no coincidence that when the media air a story about the latest flu epidemic that all of a sudden doctors and hospitals are flooded with new patients.  And it is no coincidence that the Paris hostage situation occurred so soon after Martin Place….  We are all connected by energy and if you tap into that negative energy… 

I haven’t watched main stream television for over 10 years.  I have not watched the news for even longer.  Have I missed out on anything earth shattering?  No.  I hear about dramatic, world changing events in my Facebook news feed!!  I couldn’t possibly train to the level I do, cook and prepare my food, get enough sleep, work, do household chores and study if I was tied to the TV schedule.  Any left over time is for my friends!

So if you agree with the negative impact the media plays in your life how do you go about changing your lifestyle…  Here are my top tips:

  1. Be intentional about filling in the time – have a family meal where you actually talk to each other, take the time to cook a gourmet meal, go for a walk, take a class, talk to a friend! go to the gym, find a new hobby, read, study; create positive habits that contribute to your development and the pursuit of your dreams.
  2. Less is more – you don’t have to eliminate all TV!  I am not suggesting a complete black out.  Be selective of the shows you watch and watch only those shows; try and make them educational. If you find yourself surfing and looking for something to watch it is time to find a new hobby!
  3. Reduce the number of TVs – when I grew up we had one TV (and only 4 channels!)  Now it seems normal to have 3 or 4!  Why?
  4. Go it alone – maybe who you live with may not be supportive.  So start developing your own new habits, be the change you want to see in your family and when they see the exciting new life you are creating for yourself they will be more inclined to change.
  5. It will get easier – like any habit the more you do it the easier it gets.  And when you start filling in the time with more meaning, life will become more meaningful.

Change is hard.  But some changes have a greater benefit and impact on all areas of your life than others.  Watching less television and switching off from the media in general just may be your quickest shortcut to a healthier, more relaxed way of living.  And all it takes is to pick up the remote and hit the off button 🙂

Self Worth

The Perfect Female Form

January 2015
Jane Curnow

What is the perfect female form? Where is it written that as women our bodies must be a certain size and shape? We all strive, sacrifice and place ourselves under so much stress to achieve this modern day, dare I say, illusion and then beat ourselves up when we fall short. Did our great grandmothers feel the same pressure? Do women in villages in Africa today feel this pressure? Where did we get this obsession of comparing ourselves to others? And surely there are more important things in life?

What does it feel like to actually achieve the perfect female form? Do you think that if you managed to achieve it you would be happier? Is this the answer to all your problems? I have been fortunate enough to be slim most of my life (so why wasn't I happy..?), however I have not escaped eating disorders or the intense pressure too many women feel about their bodies. Having debuted as a bikini model at the tender age of 46, at an age where surely the pressure lessens? I have learnt some valuable and life changing lessons on chasing this illusion and is why I feel so passionate about supporting women to feel good about themselves whatever their size!

I will be honest with you, although on the outside I have always appeared attractive, I have not loved myself, I have not treated myself with respect and I had no idea that this was the core of my issues. I was ugly on the inside but couldn't see it although realised that I was far from happy. I was also shy and introverted, I had no confidence in any area of my life (although you never would have guessed it) and I went to extraordinary lengths to hide the real Jane. Born from a lack of unconditional love I have spent a lifetime believing there is something wrong with me, attracting relationships and circumstances that did not foster a positive self image and always searching for the answer of how to “fix” myself.Therapists/books/courses/diets/relationships/addictions the list goes on and on of things I have tried to correct and to hide from my perceived flaws. So in my mid 40’s, having missed out on having children due to my inability to “fix” myself in time, and quite clearly hating myself even more, (but didn't know it) I go to the HUGE lengths of getting up on stage in a bikini. Surely if I obtain the perfect female form AND get the attention and adoration of everyone I will be happy and feel good about myself?

I started down this road for all the wrong reasons; for vanity, for attention, to fill a void, to obtain the perfect female form and to finally be happy… Really? Is that the answer?

A funny thing happens when you start treating your body with love and respect. When you start nurturing it with the right fuel and you become physically strong through resistance training. Most would say you have to be mentally strong to compete in the body building world. I would definitely agree, however, I certainly didn’t start out that way and I am not sure most women do. And although I can now freely admit that I am addicted to this new way of life (I have been addicted to far worse!) it has given me what I have spent my entire life searching for; self respect. Ironic isn't it? Too many women tie their self esteem to their bodies without appreciating the soul that body houses. It stands to reason if you start treating your body with love and respect, when you start to feel the affects of premium health and wellbeing, that your mind will follow and low and behold there is this amazing women inside and guess what? she has always been there!

Well you know the ending to my story; I achieved it. That is me in the picture attached to this blog. I managed to get myself on stage twice and I have had numerous photo shoots and captured all my blood, sweat and tears. And believe me there were a lot of tears. A journey that nearly broke me physically, emotionally, mentally, financially; I lost friends (think that was really a gain), my family didn’t support me, cleared a large chunk of my savings, I have even had trouble securing corporate work. Talk about sacrifices for the sake of obtaining this illusive perfect female form! We look at images of these women and aspire to have their bodies but I don’t think anyone realises what it takes to achieve and how difficult it is to maintain. Did I “fix” myself? Was I even broken? I have certainly come a long way but NOT because of the body I now own, oddly that is not even my main priority anymore (I am now trying to put on weight lol!) but because of the woman I have become, because of the qualities I now possess, because on this journey I was forced to look deep inside to get this shy ass girl on stage! I finally did find the answer and it was within me all along. There is nothing wrong with me!!! Did I really have to go to such lengths to work this out??!!!

So how do you love and accept the body that you have, the beautiful woman that you already are, while striving for a healthier, happier you? Isn’t that the million dollar question! And why I now devote my life to supporting my clients and sharing all my secrets of how I got this introverted, self loathing girl on stage and how I have finally became the woman I was born to be. When you focus on nurturing, caring and loving your body, when you start making yourself a priority in a world that is constantly demanding you to give up your authenticity, truly magical things start happening in your life. No woman should miss out on this amazing feeling of empowerment that I stumbled across while chasing an illusion. And no one should have to go to the extremes I did to learn this lesson!

The perfect female form is a modern day illusion created by mass media. And we have all been sucked in and brain washed. In our so called democratic society we overlook the fact that the advertising and media industry is a business, big business. Once upon a time, when we were a tad more modest and conservative, we were only exposed to images from the media through black and white newspapers. With the advent of magazines, TV, the internet, smart phones etc. and our seemingly endless need to reveal more and more human nakedness we are bombarded everywhere we turn by these images. We have become a society of voyeurs, reality TV shows have become the norm and you only have to look at the phenomenal success of Miley Cyrus, who has exploited the media superbly; love her or hate her, everyone is watching her. Everywhere we turn, including on screens in nearly every gym (?!), we see an image of a female form that is whose version of perfect?

A beautiful woman is caring, kind, compassionate, grateful, self assured, dignified, loyal, sensitive, humble, supportive, respectful, elegant, passionate, vibrant, honest, authentic, strong; she makes others feel good simply by her presence, she inspires and she ads value., she is an amazing friend, mother, daughter and sister. And the last time I checked, none of these qualities have anything to do with your weight!