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My Journey to Health & Happiness

Get to know me a bit better, and some of the key lessons I've learnt along the way.

Hello, I’m Sian

For a long time I’ve had a burning desire to live my best life.

I wasn’t exactly sure how, but I knew that I wanted to squeeze every last drop out of life. To become the healthiest, happiest version of myself, and to live a life that felt truly free and deeply fulfilling.

This led to years of self-improvement experiments and self-discovery. And along the way, I was able to figure out how to eat healthily, enjoy exercise, build good habits, and direct my life in a meaningful direction.

And, of course, it led me to create Live the Wonderful… so that I could share content and inspire others to live their healthiest happiest lives too!

We all have our own personal journeys to take. And while my journey is layered, like all of ours are, there are a few key lessons I’d love to share with you.

If you resonate with any of them, let’s connect 🙂

Loving yourself isn’t selfish, it’s essential

Self-love is one of the most important ingredients for a happy life.

Since I was very little I was a people pleaser, always thinking about others and give-give-giving. I felt like, if I made others happy I’d be more liked. And I wanted to be accepted, liked and loved.

I didn’t think about loving or accepting myself, and that’s why I never really felt full… When I started to pay more attention to myself and what I needed, and I started prioritising self-care, I started to feel more fulfilled and at peace.

Lesson: When you love and care for yourself, you can truly radiate and share your best self with the world.

When you seek perfection, you lose yourself

Many of us feel like we're not good enough and focus a lot of time on being 'better' than we are.

I used to work hard at ‘being perfect’ – being miss helpful around the house, always saying yes and saying what people wanted to hear, being a teacher’s pet and getting A grades, getting on the 1st sports team, doing more courses to add to my cv…

I was always trying to be better, as if something was wrong with me the way I was. But no matter how ‘perfect’ I tried to be, I never felt like I was enough.

Lesson: Perfectionism is like saying that you’re not enough as you are. When, in fact, there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ and you are, in fact, more than enough just the way you are right now.

Stepping out of a situation is an incredible way to gain perspective

If you feel stuck, doing something totally different can help you see clearer

In 2013 I was feeling unhappy and lost, as though something was missing in my life. It felt like I was disconnected, just going around in circles.

Then, I went on a crazy one-month backpacking trip to India with my sister, and it opened me up to the big wide and wonderful world again.

When I returned to Cape Town after the India trip, it was like I was seeing clearly for the first time in a long time. And I knew that I had to be braver and start making some bigger decisions if I wanted to find true happiness and fulfilment.

That kicked off many changes… starting with moving cities, then moving continents, then careers, and on it went…

Lesson: If you’re feeling stuck, unhappy or confused, change things up. Spend your time on something totally different, or, if you can, travel somewhere near or far. By stepping out of your world into something new, it really can give you fresh eyes, fresh perspective, and the inspiration you need to make change!

It takes courage to be true to yourself… it’s time to FIT OUT

Do you ever try to 'fit in' instead of just being 100% who you truly are?

For a long time, I wanted to fit in. I’d go along with what others wanted and blend in, as a way to ensure that I was accepted. I was seen as easy-going. I was a yes-girl.

But, in the end, I was often ignoring myself and what I truly wanted. And as a result, I felt very lost by the time I reached my 20s. It felt like I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted.

When I finally started to acknowledge myself more – listening to the whisper of my inner voice and taking small courageous actions based on what felt right for me – my life started taking a different direction.

Lesson: You are unique, one of a kind. And that is your superpower. It’s not always easy to do what feels true to you, but at the end of the day, this is what is going to ignite your soul.

It’s the journey of self discovery that allows purpose to unfold

Are you searching for your life purpose?

Instead of looking outside for answers, I started looking inward – Reconnecting with myself, listening to my inner voice, following my curiosities… I started looking at how I could be more me in all areas of my life.

This led me to make all kinds of lifestyle changes – Prioritizing more yoga, quitting the 9-5 work-lifestyle for good and going remote, spending more time with friends one-on-one instead of going out in big groups, embracing keeping my healthy eating super simple instead of feeling like I needed to use more ingredients,  following my passion for health and studying health coaching…

As I explored ‘being more me’ in all areas, my life naturally filled up with more meaning… And essentially, that’s what gave me a feeling of purpose – the feeling of alignment with my life and myself.

Lesson: You are your purpose. When you reconnect with yourself and look for ways to align your life with what feels good to you, your life starts to take a much more meaningful shape. It becomes an expression of your inner self.

Food is not the enemy, it is powerful medicine

What is your relationship with food like?

Honestly, I struggled with food for years. I thought I was fat (even though I wasn’t) and food was the enemy. And for years I cycled between bulimia and binge eating, and later on, moved to a draw full of diet pills.

Working on my relationship with food was one of the best things I ever did. I started learning about food and basing my food decisions on logic instead of emotions. And as I ate better, I felt better, and I realised that food truly has the power to change everything. It is natural medicine.

Along with learning more about food, I also paid attention to my relationship with myself. I’d remind myself that I wanted to love and care for myself, and that eating well was an act of self-love. This moved me into a better mindset around food.

Lesson: Food is information, it is life, it helps your body function. When you learn about food and how to eat healthier, and you come from a place of self-love, you can slowly change your mindset and eating behaviours, and find a better way.

Your body is your closest friend

What is your relationship like with your body?

For years I felt uncomfortable in my body. And as a result, I didn’t treat it well. I denied it food and sleep, I exercised hard to the point of injury, I worked ridiculously long hours that often led to stress and sickness… and in my darkest days, I used drugs as a form of escapism, where I didn’t eat or sleep for days on end…

I’d never really thought about ‘loving and nourishing’ my body. It was just there to be used, ‘fixed’ or pushed to its limit. And as a result, in my 20s I felt completely disconnected from my body.

Yoga is what really helped me here. It got me to slow down and reconnect with my body in a much healthier way. It’s encouraged a powerful but gentle mind-body connection that I’d never experienced. And that is why I will forever hold the practice of yoga close to my heart.

Lesson: Our body is our closest friend. And when we treat it well, it works with us, not against us.

You are the master of your own thoughts

What thoughts, beliefs and stories are you carrying around with you?

One of the biggest lessons I learnt was the huge impact of thoughts, feelings and general mindset. When I started paying attention to my inner dialogue, and then shifting limiting beliefs and reaffirming new thought patterns, I felt a massive shift.

I realised that the past doesn’t need to define me, and neither do my thoughts. I can choose how I feel, what I think, and essentially, create my own story.

Lesson: You are not your thoughts. When they pop up, you get to choose what to believe in and carry with you. With this, you can truly reshape what you think, believe and feel. This is foundational if you want to change your life.

Habits are much easier to build when you’re kinder to yourself

Do you struggle to build certain healthy habits?

Building healthy habits is foundational to creating a better lifestyle. But most of us are too hard on ourselves, and this gets in the way. We focus on intensity and struggle to maintain. Or we try to build too many habits at once. And when we don’t stay on track, we feel bad about it.

When I stopped being so hard on myself and started taking MUCH smaller steps, that’s when I was really able to start building habits that actually stuck. This was a game-changer for me and I found myself building habits so much easier – I started drinking more water, drinking less coffee, managing my cravings, doing more exercise, meditating…

Lesson: The secret to building habits that last is to take smaller steps and show yourself compassion, even when you fall off. And that takes courage when you’re an A-personality.

What do I truly need right now to feel good?

Forget what you think you should do... what do you really need to feel good?

My health goals used to be rigid and full of rules. I had an endless list of things I felt I needed to do, and it was overwhelming.

When I realised that it was my own personal journey and I started listening to my body and doing what felt good, it all shifted. One of the best examples is that I started taking more time to rest when I was tired, instead of pushing myself to burnout.

Lesson: It is easy to focus on what you think you should do, as opposed to what you truly need to feel better. It’s your own personal journey to wellness, and listening to what you truly need and building that self-awareness is essential.

Health is so much more than food and fitness

Apart from the food you eat, how do you nourish yourself?

For ages, I focused mostly on food and exercise. To me, this was health. When I started to take a truly holistic approach, looking at how I could nourish all areas of my life – from career, relationships and spirituality – I felt so much more fulfilled. And, I noticed how nourishing one area positively impacted other areas. The question is, what are you hungry for… other than food?

Lesson: Health essentially means to be ‘whole’. When you nourish all areas of your life, not just what you eat and how much you exercise, you expand in all directions and you feel a sense of wholeness. And… ‘being healthy’ becomes a lot more interesting and fun!

Slowing down is tough… but it’s what gives life meaning

How often do you truly stop to soak up the beauty of life in the now?

I was always on the go, with an endless to-do list and things I wanted to achieve… And it took me years to learn how to take my foot off the pedal. And it’s through this process that I realised the simple truth that… when you slow down, you enjoy life more. Less truly is more.

Lesson: When you’re an A personality, always wanting to achieve more, slowing down is tough… But as you practice creating more space and stillness in your life, you feel a growing sense of fulfilment and you taste the sweetness of life.

The journey has ups and downs… it’s okay… you gotta ride the wave

Do you fight challenges, or do you welcome them as opportunities for growth?

When I’d fall off the so-called wagon, revert back to old habits, or when things didn’t go my way, I’d get upset that it didn’t work out or that I messed up. When I realised that the ups and downs are all part of life and my growth, I started to let go a bit.

Lesson: Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s often the lows that teach us the most. Embrace all the challenges life throws at you, see what you can learn from them, and show yourself compassion along the way.

Health and Happiness is an Inside Job

Does your journey to wellness come from a place of love and joy?

While there are many layers to my journey – from learning how to eat better or build habits that actually stick – one of the biggest lessons was that it’s the inner work that deeply affects the outer work.

It’s incredible how often we get in our own way and self-sabotage. But, when you work on reconnecting with yourself and becoming your biggest supporter, it all shifts.

Lesson: Take the time to build a healthy relationship with yourself, and let that lead the way. As you build self-love, self-care and health naturally become a priority.

Follow your curiosities... they know the way.

When something sparks interest, explore it. You never know where it may lead you.

Along the way, following my passion for health and self-improvement, I created Live the Wonderful. Excited by my own progress and how much better I was feeling – physically, mentally and emotionally – I wanted to inspire and help others improve their lives too.

It started as a blog on the side. And as my passion grew, I eventually studied and graduated as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

Now Live the Wonderful is a budding wellness platform, sharing content to help you on your quest for health and happiness. And I offer one-on-one health coaching and collaborations too.

And on the journey goes…

Are you ready to live your most wonderful life?

Where are you on your wellness journey?

Are you enjoying it? Or is it an uphill battle?

Regardless of where you are on your wellness journey, I hope that the above inspired you in some way. If you resonated with any of the above, send me an email and let me know.

And, if you’re looking for some support on your wellness journey, check out my health coaching page. Or, if you want to take it a step further, book a free one-on-one session with me and get a taste of what my coaching style is like.

Keep shining
xoxo Sian

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Lifestyle Blog

Get inspired by articles on various topics, from healthy eating and simple recipes, to lifestyle tips and personal development.

Inspiring Resources

Enjoy browsing a variety of wonderful resources, from books to courses, and keep yourself inspired on your journey.

Lifestyle Coaching

I empower my clients to be brave and take the necessary steps to create a life that truly lights them up inside.

The secret to happiness is progress.

Tony Robbins

Trust yourself. You know what you need.

Live the Wonderful

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

Pablo Picasso

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

Rumi

You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Christopher Columbus

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

- Mahatma Gandhi -

Being healthy and fit isn’t a fad or a trend, it’s a lifestyle.

- Unknown -

Those who think they have no time for healthy eating…will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

- Edward Stanley -

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

- Buddha -

If you don't take care of your body, where are you going to live?

- Unknown -

Nurturing yourself is not selfish – it’s essential to your survival and your well-being.

- Renee Peterson Trudeau -

The natural healing force in each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.

- Hippocrates -

The best six doctors anywhere and no one can deny it are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet.

- Wayne Fields -

Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.

- Astrid Alauda -

The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system.

- Robert C. Peale -

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

- Albert Einstein -

I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.

- Voltaire -

There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.

- Unknown -

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

- Hippocrates -

Health is a relationship between you and your body.

- Terri Guillemets -

The greatest wealth is health.

- Virgil -


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