Hey gang! Another week, another Weekly Balance. Let’s have a look back at the past seven days in my life and what I’ve learnt from it.
What I’m thinking about…
This week, I recorded a new podcast episode with someone I’ve been following for quite a while now and whose content always inspires me – personal trainer, fitness instructor, author, podcast host, content creator and all round good egg Tally Rye (@tallyrye on Instagram). We spoke about diet culture, obsessions with health and fitness, social media and comparison, and, my favourite part of the episode, intuitive movement and the Train Happy ethos Tally created and follows. Recording this conversation with Tally made me realise how far I’ve come on my own journey. As I’ve spoken about before on my social media and this blog, I spent a large part of my early twenties with what I see now was an obsession with intense exercise and healthy eating. It took a lot of work, but where I am now is something I am both proud of and grateful for – a place of self-compassion where food and movement are part of how I look after, not punish, myself. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t forget to take the time to look back on how far you’ve come. Growth happens inside and out.
Tally is a real breath of fresh air and perspective on thinking differently about food and movement, and I’d really encourage you guys to have a listen to the episode. And of course, let us know what you think if you tune in! You can find the episode and my podcast here.
What I’m reading…
Recently, I finished The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. If, like me, you’re a long-time Jodi Picoult fan, you’ll enjoy this, her latest novel, for sure. The Book of Two Ways was quite different to the other Picoult books I’ve read – it follows the story of Dawn, a woman living in Boston, who we meet as she experiences, and survives, an emergency plane crash landing, a near-death experience leading her to question whether her life has taken the direction she dreamed it would. When, as one of the few survivors of the plane crash, Dawn is offered a plane ticket to wherever she wants to go, Dawn has two choices – Egypt, or home to Boston?
A PhD student in her youth studying Egyptology in Egypt, newly in love with someone, Dawn had to cut this direction her life was taking short when her mother fell ill back home in Boston and she had to move back home. Instead of the life she had dreamed of, becoming an Egyptologist, she married a different man, had a child with him, and became a ‘death doula’, someone who acts as a companion and support to those who are dying.
The book, in the aftermath of the plane crash, follows two paths Dawn’s life could have taken – one where she flies to Egypt, where she hasn’t been in almost two decades, and one where she flies right back home, to a struggling marriage and a teenage daughter she is desperately trying to connect with. It’s a very cleverly written book, and the ending caught me for sure! The book was a very technical in parts in terms of the Egyptology aspects, and that’s testament to how much research Picoult must have done in the process of writing it. It also deals with death in a very sensitive and compassionate way.
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! My current read is The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.
What I’m listening to…
Last weekend I finished Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey (who needs no introduction really), and I absolutely loved it. It’s an audiobook treat, with McConaughey narrating charismatically throughout, acting out the different stories from his life, anecdotes, mantras and what he calls ‘prescriptions.’ It’s a funny, laugh out loud, engaging listen, and I’d recommend listening to it over reading the book itself, purely for the narration by McConaughey.
My favourite podcast from this week was an interview with former USA soccer player Abby Wombach, on the Dare To Lead podcast by Brené Brown. It’s a deep dive into Wombach’s book ‘Wolfpack’, but if, like me, you haven’t read the book, it doesn’t matter in terms of benefitting from listening to the episode. Brown discusses the different leadership lessons Wombach shares in the book, each accompanied by a story from Wombach’s career. It’s an inspiring listen from a leadership, particularly female leadership perspective, and well worth checking out.
Recipe of the Week
And that’s a wrap for this week gang! If you want to get in touch, you can find me @theirishbalance on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I hope you have a lovely week ahead folks – remember, stay informed with the advice from your local health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance and be kind!