I feel like I’m on an episode of “What Would You Do?” here is the dilemma I am facing…
Imagine many of your dear friends are involved in an amazing group of women empowering women, where they meet once a week via a conference call for support, guidance and advice to help them gain the strength to accomplish whatever it is their heart desires: to leave a negative relationship, to start a business, to start a charity, to travel, to go back to school, etc.
In order to get into this group you need to give, not invest, a set amount of money from $100-$5000 to the woman in the group who has moved into the spot where she is the gift receiver. Your gift now entitles you to be apart of this private and secret group and NOW you are able to, and are HIGHLY encouraged to invite other positive, motivating, inspiring, spiritual, women to join. As other women join this group you will move into the spot where YOU will receive the gift of $800-$40,000 – or 8x what your original “gift” was. Although you are not “required” to bring in another person you will not move into the receiving spot unless you have brought in someone else.
I’ve been approached 8 times now by women asking me “have you heard of gifting circles?” or sometimes simple as “have you heard of circle?” or “vision sisters”? Of those 8 times I heard the entire pitch one time.
Part of the pitch, from what I remember, was the following
a) not to talk to men about this (with the exception of my boyfriend/husband)
b) that this is legal because it is a “gift” and not an “investment” and that if I got to the position where I would be gifted (called “dessert” in this one instance) I would not have to claim the $40,000 to the IRS
c) that there is no product to sell
d) that I should decide if it was right for me or not and that if I did research I would see there is bad press online but it’s just a lot of naysayers and they don’t see that this is a paradigm shift in the way things are being done and not to worry because the woman my friend heard about it from has been through this gifting circle multiple times and has been gifted $80,000 in a year and my friend completely trusts her.
e) if I didn’t want to do this that was fine but to please destroy or give back the documents handed to me and to not talk about it with anyone else, that it was a secret and sacred group.
I came home from my meeting with my friend, told my boyfriend what it was about and he immediately saw through it as an illegal pyramid scheme.
“But, but, but…” I stammered as I tried to explain where I could see the GOOD in it to him – “the women empowering women, the community, the connection, the “gifting” – maybe it wasn’t that bad… maybe this really WAS different!?!?!” (and hey – getting “given” $40,000 sure wouldn’t be a BAD thing, right?).
I didn’t join for a few reasons
a) I was already working on my own business and if I added anything else to my plate it would greatly affect the delicate balance my relationship was already in at the time
b) I also had already made the choice to spend $4,000 on taking an online course to become a certified Health Coach. (The cost, err, “gift” for me to join this empowering women group was actually MORE than my health coach certification, which actually connected me to a community of women (and men, but mostly women), who empowered other women (and men) to do amazing things with their lives and to share their gifts and help those around them while learning how to start a legitimate business which would create an income and abundance.
c) Overall, it sounded too good to be true and it sounded like an illegal pyramid scheme wrapped in spiritual new age wording to make it seem different.
That was about 18 months ago that I was first invited to “circle”. Fast forward to today and 7 other inspiring, educated, loving, women have all asked me “have you heard of circle?” Each time I simply say “Yes, I have” and the conversation stops there. And then, each time I head home and I google “women’s gifting circle” and keep reading MORE and MORE stories of women getting deceived by these circles, communities being divided, friendships being hurt, savings accounts being cleared or worse, money being borrowed to be a part of this. Oh, but the “good thing” is there are circles where you only gift $100, $500 or $1,000 – which hurts less when you lose it but allows you to re-gift into a larger circle when you get paid out.
I asked a friend of mine in circle if she was worried about it (specifically the legal part of it) and she said:
“There is a lot of bad press, but the good press can’t really be promoted and you cant really stand up and say too much about it. So it is really a personal choice.”
I asked: “Why can’t the good press be promoted? Seems like if its so good you’d want to shout it from the rooftops.”
Her reply: “Due to the nature of gifting. Because it is such a grey area.”
My question: “So is it a legal gift or not? Doesn’t seem like the IRS has many grey areas.”
She said she was going to review her information on it but ultimately told me she trusted her friend who was in it and had the support of her husband. The conversations stopped shortly after that.
So what do I do NOW? What would you do? I figured I had a few choices.
a) I could continue to smile when the next person asks me “have you heard of circle?” and say “yes” and let the conversation stop there. Keeping their secret under wraps.
b) Stop keeping the secret. Aim to educate the women who might be on the fence about it that these are in fact scams and warn those who might not have heard about it, yet. To EMPOWER women to REALLY do their OWN research on gifting circles- and not just believe what the circle sister is telling them (no matter HOW close of a friend she is).
c) Try to convince people already so far IN it to see the truth/flaws and to encourage them to remove themselves. (this one I realize is one that might not be possible)
d) Report the circles I know about to authorities. (I’m NOT going to do this) However women have been arrested for these circles.
After choosing option A for so long it’s time for me to move to option B. I’m angry at myself for NOT saying something sooner.
Why DIDn’T I say Something sooner?
~Because it might hurt the relationships I have with the women so deep into circle already – women I call my friends, women I admire, women I like, women who DO believe there is a better way, women who have helped me in the past.
~Because it could create a greater divide between those IN circle and those opposed to circle.
~Because I might get a backlash from those still in circle who LOVE it, who believe it is the right thing, who have actually MADE money off of it – “so seeeee it DOES work”. Like soooo many other women I CRAVE community and connection and by posting this I could be ostracizing myself. OR by posting this it could open up discussion on how to build a sustainable community that focuses on connection and NOT on money.
So I weighed my pros and cons, I asked advice of my friends, I asked advice of my accountant (gasp – a MAN and someone who gets paid to know the gifting laws), I Googled and ultimately decided THIS is the right thing for ME to do, to not stay silent about it.
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” – Edmund Burke
Yes, tyranny is a harsh word and I am in no way calling the women in circle tyrants.
Like the women in Circle, I BELIEVE, there HAS to be a BETTER WAY
If you chose to do your OWN research on these circles and still think this is the right thing for you to do will not be able to convince you or stop you. All I am encouraging you to do is to PLEASE do your own research on EVERYTHING and realize the negative affects these circles CAN have on your communities, your friendships and other women. Don’t believe that just because it was written in some “official” Circle document that it is true or sacred. If you are worried about them being legal or not talk to a professional ESPECIALLY if you are told NOT to. I know for a fact they are illegal in Hawaii which is where I live and where they are spreading rather quickly.
I’ve heard the argument that for some women it very well might be the best thing they did (and in this controversial blog post by Alexis Neely – Secret Scam or Saving Grace) because of the leadership skills they have learned, the community, the connection (they are careful to downplay the money portion of it – and say things like “it’s more than the money” or it “isn’t about the money”). Bottom line is it is still a scam, it is still illegal and women WILL get hurt because of this. We are all connected. (Check out the amazing documentary I AM which covers so much on the topic of not only “stuff” but connection)
Gifts, empowering, community, abundance, support, connection, growth, leadership skills – those are ALL awesome, amazing things. I want them and I crave them as well, which is why there is STILL a part of me that wants to see the GOOD in these communities. But I can’t keep quiet about this any longer when I know it is FACT that 88% of women who gift their money will NEVER make it to the receiving spot. And yes, some of my friends ARE receiving money from this currently so they see it “working”, for now.
When I was talking to my accountant about this he told me how one of his clients was involved in a similar group like this. He had gotten paid out $60,000 as the “circle” fell apart the client felt so guilty for having money that clearly came about through a scam. He worked to give back some of the money but he wasn’t able to re-reimburse everyone who got involved under him. He had so much guilt surrounding this money. How would you feel if you knew the money you had was the result of 88% of people losing out, some who truly can’t afford to lose (both financially AND emotionally)? How much do we truly NEED?
So what about the 88% of women who lost their money? Why aren’t they speaking up?
“They knew full well it was a gift they were giving, they knew there wasn’t a guarantee when they joined, she had her emotional blocks for receiving money…” those are the reasons I have heard through online forums and through friends in circle speaking for those who don’t make it to the receiving part.
Also, the women who never make it to the receiving spot might say “but I got so much out of being in the group – the support was worth every dime”, or “I’m ok with not getting the money back” (one of my friends admitted she was lying to herself and to me as she said these words).
OR they might not say anything – after all they DID go into it knowing it was a “gift” even though they had hopes their gift would turn into 8 times what they started with (officially that alone voids it of being a gift: IRS Gifting FAQs and the Gifting Club “Gotcha”)
There is no paper trail – email addresses are set up with hushmail accounts, calls are held using free conference call numbers and members either only use their first names or go by “Love” or “Moon”. If I was out $5000 it would be A LOT of work for me to try to get any of that back, especially if I gave my money in the form of cash or a money order.
I personally would feel embarrassed and ashamed for being so trusting and gullible and probably just write it off as “tuition in the School of Life” and just try to pick up the pieces and move on.
Transparency and INTENTION
In the desire to be as transparent as possible, you may know or have gathered from my site or Facebook page, I AM in a Direct Sales/Network Marketing company. I think this hit home because so often I hear from people “I don’t do Pyramid Schemes” or they say “is that one of those pyramid things?” and the answer is NO. Here is a little article on that. There ARE some flaws to Direct Selling/Network Marketing but they are NOT the same as these illegal pyramid schemes. I also get that our economy is flawed. This isn’t an post about that, and believe me, this brings up many questions I have about how I run my business to make sure it is ethical.
My intention is to simply help to educate women who may feel it in their gut that something isn’t right, but who want to TRUST and BELIEVE their dear friend who is inviting them to this secret group. I’m willing to bet that your friend who invited you is NOT trying to scam or dupe you, that she DOES love you and wants the best for you. But what I HAVE learned is intention and action are two different things. Women WILL get scammed and duped by the actions of those involved in gifting circles no matter HOW PURE their intentions. The ACTIONS are what will be looked at, NOT the intentions. Also, money changes people. Makes us do and say things in a different way, not always positive.
MY WISH FOR YOU
Beautiful, smart friend – I wish you peace, I wish you connection, I wish you community, I wish you abundance, I wish you empowerment, I wish you love. They are all the things I want as well, we are not that different.
Here are ooooodles of links for you to do some of your own research on circles – I just put them together in one easy place for you to look through.
This woman spoke the words I wish I could have said as well as she did.
This Washington State Gov document has a diagram that REALLY helps me to understand the math -
Willful Blindness – we believe what we want to believe
If you are IN a circle and want support to get out: How to Gracefully Leave a Gifting Circle
Thank you for reading.
Do you hate the scale?
Do you wonder how on earth the numbers can change sooo much in such a short period of time?
Why is that number soooo important to us when we really have such little control over it?
I’ll admit I can be a bit baffled by the scale and for the longest time I actually never owned one. Then the airlines started being strict with baggage and it was time to get one to keep track of how much my suitcases weighed. My scale sat in the bathroom but even then I hardly ever weighed myself.
Until recently. Now I’m on it multiple times a week (and sometimes more than once a day) just to see just how much my weight does change. It’s crazy isn’t it? I can see that number change 3 pounds in 24 hours – it all depends on when I ate, how much I drank, what salty foods I had, when I last went poo, how much salad I had, if I did a crazy intense workout, if I had pasta for dinner the night before, or maybe if I am about to start my period.
Even if my scale says I “gained 3 pounds” I look in the mirror and can’t see any change. And yes, I may be lifting weights but there is NO way I can gain three pounds of muscle in 24 hours. Seriously.
First of all this article is GREAT when it comes to the many ways that your weight fluctuates and why. The original question came from a woman who “gained four pounds in a 24 hour period”. Which, unless she consumed an extra 14,000 calories would not be possible to gain 4 pounds that quickly.
Here is the link to the article -
Some of the bullet points in the article had to do with
- water retention through muscle repair, a carbohydrate heavy meal, or mild dehydration
- Hormonal changes throughout the month (especially for women)
- Sodium levels
- Even long distance travel
Remember the number on the scale is just that, a number. Is a lower number TRULY going to make you happy? You know how they say that money can’t buy happiness? It’s the same concept with the scale. Will being a certain “number” make you happy? What would it mean to you if it was lower? If the number on the scale was lower would it mean that you are sexier? Smarter? A better wife/mother/friend? Does it mean that you will have more luck finding a guy?
Or will FEELING a certain way make you happy? Feeling light and healthy. Feeling like you can keep up with your kids, feeling comfortable in your own skin. Feeling like your weight or fitness level doesn’t hold you back. Would feeling confident in your own skin make you feel sexier?
Guess what – that’s not a number. That’s in YOU, and it doesn’t weigh a thing.
You are not a number. You are a human being, at least last time I checked.
The number on the scale will tell you ONE thing – how much you weigh, right now – that includes things like bones, water, organs, brains, blood, skin, fat and muscle.
The number on the scale wont tell you the following
- How you make your coworkers laugh and smile with your goofy sense of humor
- How proud your parents are of you
- How much your kids look up to you
- How much value you bring to your husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriends life
- How many people think you rock!
- How many days you worked out this week
- How many healthy changes you are making in your life right now
- How much you increased the intensity of your workouts and lifted heavier weights
I took this picture of my scale this morning with some of the things I love in my life. Some of the things that matter WAY more to me than the number. What would your scale say? By the way – I have a whole collection of these awesome magnets – I get them from www.YayLife.com. Go check em out – they rock.
Still stuck on the scale?
If you absolutely can’t get away from weighing yourself daily or even weekly then I encourage you to do something very important. This was a tip from one of the guys in my challenge group a while back (yes, even guys join my challenge groups). He recommended taking an average for the week or the month. Go ahead and weigh yourself every day but don’t freak out over a little increase one day, it will all average out over the course of the week, especially if you are using your nutrition guide and following your workout calendar.
Want a handy little tip to see it go lower overnight? Change it from pounds to kilograms!! Woohoo!!! Look at that number drop! I feel lighter already!
But seriously – are you obsessed with the scale? How often do you weigh yourself? What would the number mean to you if it was lower? I’d love to hear from you.
Well, it sure isn’t helping!
Do you feel like this guy??
Are you sucking down coffee to wake you up each morning and then drinking wine and chocolate at night to help you calm down?
Are you reaching for sugary snacks mid afternoon to combat stress, cravings and that afternoon lull??
Are you stressed, overworked, underpaid, under appreciated, rushed and drained?Are there too many things on your to-do list and it seems like things just keep getting added to it?
Is this affecting your weight or the ability to lose weight?
Actually – it very well can be. And not only your weight but your health in general.
Have you heard of the “stress hormone” cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone that assists in regulating blood pressure and your body’s ability to use fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It helps with metabolism, releasing insulin for blood sugar maintenance and inflammatory response.
Normal levels of cortisol will help increase energy and metabolism and helps to regulate blood pressure.
Even small increases will help improve memory, reduce sensitivity to pain and help sustain energy.
Cortisol is secreted in higher levels during the body’s fight or flight response and during high levels of stress. This all sounds good, right? I mean if a normal level helps with increased energy and metabolism then wouldn’t that mean more stress = more cortisol = increased energy and metabolism?
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which is realeased when you are under stress and pressure) can cause
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Increased blood pressure
- Decreased bone density (high levels of cortisol is a primary cause of osteoporosis)
- Blood sugar imbalances (blood sugar imbalanced = cravings for sweets, salts, fats)
- Lower your immunity
- Lower inflammatory responses
- Slow down the healing process
- Hormone imbalance – the more cortisol the higher the need is for other hormones like thyroid, insulin, estrogen and testosterone
So what’s the solution?
We need to reduce stress in our lives. Of course this is easier said than done!
Next week I have over 70 ways to deal with stress – that don’t include eating junk food!
There is no magic pill to reduce stress but there is an amazing ingredient in Shakeology that
- improves learning, memory, and reaction time
- reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
- stabilizes blood sugar
- lowers cholesterol
- reduces brain-cell degeneration
- offers anti-inflammatory benefits
Do you know what this amazing herb is? It’s called Ashwaganda. Ashwagandha works as an adaptogen, promoting the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis and resist stress and everything listed above!
Those of you who are already using Shakeology are already getting this amazing herb daily, not to mention over 70 other whole food, healthy ingredients to help you
- lose weight
- gain energy
- lower cholesterol
- reduce cravings
- improve digestion
- just feel better
Still unsure about Shaekology? Grab your bag and try it risk free for 30 days!
If you don’t like it you can return the empty bag for a full refund, no questions asked!
Those who order Shakeology on Home Direct on or before Feb 18th, 2013 will automatically be invited to participate in my upcoming 21 Day Clean Eating Challenge held on Facebook (just add me as a friend!). I’ll provide weekly meal plan options, daily support and tips to help you eat clean for 21 days. Just place your order and make sure we are friends on Facebook!
Keep your eye out for an upcoming blog– I already have over 70 tips to help you deal with stress. I’d love to know what your favorite way to deal with stress is that doesn’t involve junk food, cigarettes or alcohol! Will you help me get to 101 ways to deal with stress? Leave me a comment and I’ll have a little prize for my favorite one!
“Too easy!” The first thing I noticed about traveling in Tasmania was this familiar expression that I heard over and over again throughout our trip from shop keepers and information ladies! Hopefully some of this post will help to make your trip to Tasmania “too easy”.
I just wanted to throw together some highlight of our trip to Tasmania and hopefully give you an idea of what you can or can’t expect to see/do in 10 days.
Tasmania wasn’t ever really high on my list of must see places in the world, I really knew very little about it and only did a bit of research before heading over to “Tassie”. That being said, it has quickly become one of the places I think everyone traveling to Australia and/or New Zealand should check out. From what I gather most tourists only plan on a few days in Tasmania which is enough if you want to see one or two places but not enough to really get a feel for the place.
It’s relatively small on the map but takes a long time to get from point A to B with the winding highway roads with max speed of 100kph/60mph which most of the time you can’t really go that fast safely. It’s about the same size of Ireland, Switzerland or West Virginia, USA. I haven’t been to West Virginia but know I would really need more than 10 days to see all of Ireland or Switzerland. I think 10 days was just a bit too short to see what we really wanted to see without feeling like we were go go go every day. There are islands off Tasmania that we could have easily spent 3-4 days along on exploring, hiking and relaxing.
One thing I find super helpful when trying to plan itineraries is looking at the tour groups and see what they book for their customers. Obviously they include the “must sees” and you can get an idea how long it will take you to “tick the boxes”, understanding that you wont really get a full feel for the place but can go on your LSD tour – your “look, see, do” of the area.
We did use a 2008 version of Lonely Planet to help figure out some must sees but I have to say I was unimpressed with LP itineraries. There wasn’t one route that made a loop around the island – which is what we ended up doing.
Briefly, here was what we did:
Day 1: Arrived in Hobart and had a day to plan, arrange internet (be aware that your Optus or Vodafone will NOT work in Tasmania outside of the two main towns – Hobart and Launceston) It proved almost worthless to have this and we ended up buying a $100 internet stick from Telstra which was a lifesaver or at least a sanity saver! If the weather is clear you can do a drive up to Mount Wellington – our weather never played the game for us.
Day 2: We had another crap weather day and ended up driving West from Hobart. We thought about doing the Tahune Airwalk and Hastings Caves which you can do both in a day. If the weather was better we probably would have opted for a day trip to the Tasman Peninsula or Bruny Island. The highlight of Day 2 would have been Hartz National Park – but even that the weather wasn’t ideal by our summer chasing standars – but seeing big beautiful snow flakes was pretty cool!
The “we sure wouldn’t do that again” was definitely the thermal springs in Hastings. Guess we learned our lesson that thermal doesn’t mean “hot”. It was cold outside and the springs are a mere 28C or 82F – so similar to a lightly heated swimming pool, definitely not what we were anticipating.
Day 3: We started our circumference of the island by heading counter clockwise. We only chose counter clockwise because the weather seemed to be playing the game for the coast. You could do this all clockwise. We didn’t make reservations until the night before when we had an idea of where we wanted to get to. This was a great day that included a stop at Freycinet National Park to hike to Wineglass Bay.
I would have loved to have hiked Mt. Amos but not enough time for both. Wineglass Bay is a MUST do in my opinion. That night we opted for cheaper accommodation in Bicheno and really enjoyed the town of Bicheno. Had a great meal of grilled Trevella that night at the Sea Life Center.
Day 4: We only went as far at St. Helens and the Bay of Fires. Not long on the map but this gave us some more time to explore Bicheno and the coast and the Bay of Fires. This was an amazing day – great weather so the red rocks really stood out against the blue water and sky. Just enjoy exploring and the beauty. These were some of the prettiest beaches we have seen (and we live in Kauai so we see some awesome beaches).
Day 5: This was a big windshield day for us. We saw that there was good weather in Cradle Mountain and since we had little interest in wineries or the town of Launceston we made a few stops but made it as far as Gowrie Park which is about 45 minutes outside of Cradle Mountain but had some cheap accommodation (nothing fancy so don’t expect much) but it was cheap!) Some not to miss stops along the way are the St. Columba Falls on the Pyengana reserve.
The Pyengana dairy was good too but eating that much cheese, milk and fat definitely went against my nutrition plan and my body told me so! Made me know that I definitely need to give the Ultimate Reset a go when I get back to the States!
We also did a short walk through Cataract Gorge in Launceston, which I probably would have enjoyed more had I not eaten like crap a few hours prior.
Day 6 and 7: We had a BLUEBIRD day in Cradle Mountain – two days in a row so we took full advantage and did A LOT of walking! A few gripes about Cradle Mountain… first of all not all the hikes are listed when you get to the visitor center. You get the short ones and the LONG ones but not the 3-5 hour hikes for people like Chris and me! The fist day we hiked to Marion’s lookout – we chose the steep and tough trail (glad we did – I like stairs!). After getting up there I knew I wanted to do more hiking in the area! Instead of heading back the way we came we took a longer route that spit us out at a different shuttle stop and took us by Cradle Lake and through some lovely rainforest.
On our way back to the visitor center after our hike we stopped at the “Interpretation Center” where they have a 3-D model of the park with walking trails outlined on the model. Why isn’t this in the visitors center? We didn’t get off at the Interpretation Center because if we had we wouldn’t be allowed back on the shuttle going INTO the park – only going OUT of the park. Seriously?? We saw some other travelers get really frustrated by this fact – its not really explained or sign posted well enough IMO.
For our second day we decided that if the weather was nice we would head back to Cradle Mountain and do a BIG hike that would take us 1/2 way around Dove Lake, up to Lake Wilks, to the saddle between the two main peaks, across the face, around another mountain and to a couple more lakes (Twisted and Hanson) and then back to the start. It was a GREAT hike! Really good bang for the buck!
Because accommodation was booked at Gowrie Park we had to find another option and chose a pub in Waratah, also about 45 minutes outside of Cradle Mountain but on the West side. It was my first time staying in pub accommodation Waratah ended up being a pleasant surprise. The pub was across from a nice waterfall and we heard of another hike to do in the area – Philosopher Falls which was also very pleasant.
After our second day of hiking we decided to head all the way up Northwest to Stanley for the night. We didn’t make too many stops since we knew we would be back through the next day to explore if we wanted. We did consider going from Stanley around to Arthur River and though the Tarkine but heard the road was rough, would involve a ferry crossing and it would take a LONG time so we chose to double back.
Day 8: Another big windshield day. These are almost more exhausting than the hiking days! I’ll take hiking days over windshield days any day!
We started in Stanley by hiking up to the top of the Nut! Definitely worth the walk! (Or you could take the chairlift but not us!)
We had a couple stops at Rocky Cape, Sisters Beach and Boat Harbor Beach. All lovely but after seeing the beaches on the east coast these didn’t quite compare – although Boat Harbor Beach was pretty special.
The stops didn’t take long but we really did just stop, have a look then carry on, not really soaking in and enjoying the area. We wanted to make it to Strahan that night in time to check it out a bit. We also wanted to see Montezuma Falls but messed up by not planning enough time for the three hour hike. Next time!
Strahan just isn’t our cup of tea – sounded like the highlights was a pretty boat trip that is special because of the reflections in the water. We skipped this (you would need a 1/2 day- whole day at least to do this trip) We checked out Ocean Beach and McQuarie Headlands and called it a night.
Day 9: Another BIG drive. The drive from Strahan back to Hobart is LONG – about 5 hours but we wanted to stop a few times for a couple short walks. We really only wanted to get as far as Mt. Fields or Westerway for the night. We did a couple of the short walks, Nelson Falls and the lookout were both nice and worth the stop. We arrived in Mt. Fields to do Russell Falls which was REALLY nice. Definitely worth the stop – it was a really good falls, and an easy short walk! We could have made it back to Hobart but ended up staying in New Norfolk when we drove past another pub, apparently the oldest continuously licensed pub in Australia. It was similar to staying in the hotel like the Shining! We were the only guests, it was old, but no kids playing in the hallway.
Day 10: We headed on the rest of the way to Hobart – we were going to stop at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) but it was closed on Tuesdays and we were going to drive up Mt. Wellington but you guessed it, cloudy! So we carried on and went to the Tasman Peninsula. I would suggest spending more time on the Tasman Peninsula – I don’t think we gave it nearly enough time. However, the Port Arthur historical site I wouldn’t head back to – expensive and boring, of course this is just my opinion – some people spend two full days there. We spent about 90 minutes there and were out $32 a person. Ouch! It would have been nice to do a boat trip or some more walks or spend the night out there. We headed back to Hobart (about 75 min drive each way so a doable day trip)
Day 11: It all depends on the weather it seems! We hoped Mt. Wellington would play the game but it didn’t so we tried MONA again. I really enjoyed MONA but Chris breezed through it and thought it was just a bit too weird. There are some very “interesting” (read: odd, controversial, out there) exhibits. It is meant to make you think, give you something to chat about and maybe even make you feel a bit uncomfortable. Read reviews on tripadvisor.com to decide if you want to check it out or not! We were feeling pretty tired after the 10 previous days so checked out the Botanical Gardens and called it a day to get ready to fly out the next morning.
Click the Fat Car – even a Porsche doesn’t look good with extra pounds
So the cliff notes version of our trip
~Pay attention to weather to plan your route
~Highlights were Cradle Mountain and the East Coast beaches
~Would come back to check out Bruny Island, Maria Island and Tasman Peninsula more. Maria Island is expensive to get to so spending a couple days would make sense to me.
~Get a Telstra phone! It'll be more expensive but what good is a cheap phone that doesn't work!
~Get a parks pass for eight weeks. Otherwise each park is $24 for 24 hours.
Email me if you have questions. I know I am not an expert in Tasmania, just a traveler like you trying to see the sights and make the most of it!
This week on my Facebook page I asked a question. What is your biggest hurdle when it comes to eating healthy. I wanted to answer some of those hurdles and offer some solutions. Is your hurdle in the list?
1. Emotions ~ Honestly, I didn’t think of myself as an emotional eater but you know what – last week I learned that I am. I eat when I am bored. By simply recognizing this I realized that when I am not engaged in something I open the fridge looking for something to do. Emotions are the toughest hurdle, in my opinion. Recognition is HUGE. Now that I recognize my emotion every time I head to the fridge I can ask myself – Am I bored? Is it TIME to eat? Am I hungry? Maybe your emotion is sadness, anger, loneliness, etc. What other ways can you deal with that emotion? Call a friend, write, exercise, find a hobby that doesn’t include food. I know when I am busy in an activity I struggle to pull myself away from it long enough TO eat!
2. Planning/Preparation ~ I’m a planner by nature. I LOVE to plan, so this comes very naturally for me. I would LOVE to help you with your plan. Some things I do is make multiple meals at one time. I’ll make turkey meatloaf – sometimes two at a time while I make a mixed bean chili.
I’ll boil a batch of steel cut oats for the week while I boil some eggs and grill some chicken. My favorite meatloaf recipe is on my Facebook group page – Get Fit with Mandy. I can mix up the ingredients, pop it in the oven and workout while it cooks. Plus it makes GREAT leftovers.
3. Convenience/Time ~ This goes hand in hand with number hurdle number 2. I keep HEALTHY snacks on hand so when I am short on time or rushing out the door I know I can grab some sugar snap peas, carrots, celery or peppers, and hummus (already chopped). Same with nuts, yogurt, fresh fruit – my basket always has options. A protein bar and of course Shakeology are great options for lack of time and convenience.
4. Avoiding sweets ~ I KNOW this one first hand. You may remember last year I challenged myself to 30 days of no cookies, no cake, no sweets, no treats. It wasn’t for the rest of my life, just a short period. I wanted to prove I could do it. Can you avoid sweets for ONE day? Of course you can! Take it one day at a time. Get the JUNK out of your house! Keep home SAFE! At work – how – many of your coworkers can you ask to have a sweet free week? Or AT LEAST Monday-Thursday! Offer to bring in a bag of fresh fall apples to replace the candy on the desk. Instead of cupcakes for every birthday fruit skewers – yes some can be even be dipped in chocolate!
5. Cost ~ I have sent some emails about this- if you are ready for me to send it again let me know. You CAN eat healthy and not spend a fortune. A healthy breakfast can literally be less than a dollar. You can feed a family of four dinner for $2 a plate. YES – it IS more expensive to buy all organic- but the more in demand it becomes the cheaper it will become. YES it is cheaper to buy a soda and a candy bar and call that lunch – but REALLY – are the long term affects “cheaper”? Don’t you deserve better? Compared to other countries we spend very little on our food. Why do we value quantity over quality food? It’s killing us and making us unhealthy. Eating whole foods, prepared at home is cheaper and healthier for you.
6. Family ~ I don’t have kids, so I am not always aware of all the struggles parents have. What I have read about getting your family on board is tricks to “sneak” veggies into meals – like sauces, meatloaves, etc. And don’t make a big deal about it. When cutting out the junk a major announcement doesn’t need to be made. Small changes over time and your family will get used to it, and they WILL start feeling better. Did you know that life expectancy rates are dropping due to obesity rates. This means that today?s younger generation will have shorter and less healthy lives than their parents for the first time in modern history. That breaks my heart. We can do something about it – but we have to start making changes and STOP making excuses.