This week, I have been looking through my photos and I had not realised just how many photos I take of our cats. As I was sifting through, I started to think about how lovely the life of a cat really is. I think there are a few things we can learn from them about finding the right balance in life. I will be sharing my top ten tips over the next two months:

1 – Spend time with friends!

It feels like our lives have become increasingly busy with more and more demands on our time. It is easy to lose touch with friends and only keep in contact with a quick text or Facebook comment. My cat Muppet, loves nothing more than spending time with the other cats, they are not also so keen if it means giving up a lap or some sofa space to accommodate him!

2 – You don’t have to be skinny to be gorgeous!

It is probably fair to say that Alfie has put on a bit of weight since he was rescued and came to live with us three years ago. I put it down to his great love of tinned tuna. Even though he might be carrying a few extra pounds, he is still simply gorgeous and I don’t see him worrying and fretting about every mouthful of food he eats, or jumping on our bathroom scales every day. To be comfortable in your own skin and at peace with how you look, is such a blessing. It’s one that I don’t always achieve, although I am getting better as I get older. I’ve accepted and learned to love my curves but balance this with the need to feel fit and healthy. There is something gorgeous about us all and we should celebrate this!

3 – Take time for yourself!

Taking time for yourself is so critical to your overall wellbeing. We often get pulled in lots of different directions and spend time ensuring that the needs of everyone else around us are being met and forgetting to just take some time for ourselves. Even just ten minutes a day being in silence and focusing on your breathing can have a significant impact on your health.

4 – Sometimes you just need space!

I absolutely love spending time with people and most of my day is spent either in the company of others, or talking and connecting with other women who are looking to make changes to their lives or who are starting a business like

myself. I get energised from spending time with people but we aren’t all like that. No matter what your preference, we all need a bit of our own space every now and again, to reflect and recharge, even if it is only for a few minutes.

5 – We all deserve a little treat every now and again!

It is what makes life that little bit more enjoyable. As many of you will know I am currently working towards my goal of becoming healthier and fitter by the end of the year (I have lost 1 stone so far). Even though I am dedicated to this goal, I have decided to balance it with having the odd treat, so occasionally Rob and I will still share a pizza and a bottle of wine. Life is all about balance and if you can’t have a treat every now and then, life would be dull. I am certain you deserve it. In case you are concerned, Alfie is not yet 18 and was not allowed the wine!


Would you like to grow your own vegetables and fruit but an allotment would be too big and too much work?

Why not join the Hames Hall Community Gardeners!

The group was formed in 2011 and consists of 12 people. There is a small annual fee, to cover the cost of seeds and equipment and a commitment to do at least two hours gardening per week. For this, you can pick and eat whatever is ready, to satisfy your needs. We have a polytunnel and a greenhouse, for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and perhaps more exotic species. This year, we have grown strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, rhubarb, apples, pears, three varieties of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, leeks, spinach, chard, runner beans, broad beans, French beans, kale, cavolo nero, cabbage,

sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, kohlrabi, fennel, lettuce and radish! There is also a herb garden and lots of flowers. Gardeners can work whenever they are able as there are no set times, although we hold short meetings a few times in the year to discuss what to grow and what needs doing, occasionally organising working parties to do specific tasks.

If you would like to know more, or have a look at the garden, please email Pam Hayes at or telephone her on 07759 482 221.

Who You Are is What You Do IN FITNESS AND IN HEALTH!

What we do affects how we think and vice versa. If you are brought up to think that it is normal to exercise and take part in sport, then you probably will continue to do so throughout your life. On the flip side, if you see taking part in sport and exercise as something that is not normal, you probably won’t do it out of choice.

What is it that changes when a non- exerciser takes up sport or exercise? The answer to this is myriad and diverse. From the desire to raise funds for charity by running a 10km race, to being told by the doctor you have to lose weight before you can have surgery. Every non-exerciser has a different reason for starting; many of them stop, never achieving their goal but what keeps the successful ones going on to achieve their goal and make exercise a habitual part of their life?

Changing your attitude to exercise and making a commitment are two things that successful exercisers do

and these are things that we can all change. Our attitude is shaped by the way we think about things, this is relatively easy to change. Instead of thinking of exercise as boring and noticing the sore muscles, the flabby bits wobbling and rubbing, tell yourself how you are giving yourself a fitter body, how you are going to achieve a healthier self. It only takes a little thinking about to change the narrative. Join a group and commit to do something regularly, once you get started and keep going you will reap the benefits, feeling and looking better, it will become something that you want to do.

For those of you who want to commit to making or keeping your body strong and flexible by practising Pilates regularly, we’d love to welcome you to Cockermouth Pilates Studio to practise with us. Our new courses are starting soon, so get in touch and commit to looking after yourself to keep fit, strong and flexible.

For more information contact the Studio on 01900 825139 Ruth Noonan, Cockermouth Pilates Studio

19 OCTOBER 2017 ISSUE 419 PAGE 54

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