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Why It's So Important to Remove Toxic People From Your Life

If you’re lucky enough, you’ve surrounded yourself with amazing friends. These friends have your back and are an added bonus to your life. However, sometimes, these amazing friends can become toxic. It can happen slowly over time or be wildly apparent from the start. Whatever the situation, this person has infiltrated your life, and it's time they were removed.

Generally speaking, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some incredible people in my life. Most are super supportive and a positive influence on my life. However, I have ended up with a few bad apples. *Please do not confuse those with opposing life views as toxic people. These two are not synonymous.* This has always been a concept I’ve struggled with mainly because I choose to see the best in people. So when you want to see the best in everyone, how do you remove toxic individuals from your life?

The first step is to identify these people. Sometimes, the person just might be struggling at this point of their life. While it is important to be there for your friends, if you are being dragged down with them, it might be time to cut the cord. Other times it can be incredibly challenging to identify these individuals as they can often be extremely manipulative. Their ability to charm those around them while being incredibly cruel behind closed doors leaves their 'friends' confused and in dismay. These type of toxic people may have an underlying, (un)diagnosed personality disorder and rarely recognise themselves as the problem.

Not sure if you have a toxic individual in your life? Here are a few signs you may need to end the friendship:

  • They are frequently asking but very rarely giving.

  • They have the need to always be right. It’s their way or the highway with tiny wiggle room.

  • They’re self-centred.

  • They have a Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde attitude. One moment they’re loving and caring, the next they’re angry, cold, or resentful.  

  • They are always the victim. Whenever something happens, it’s never their fault.

  • They lie...CONSTANTLY. It doesn’t matter how big or small the lie, it will happen. Sometimes, they will purposefully negate information to present themselves in a more favourable light.

It can be hard to sit down and objectively analyse a friendship. If you’re anything like me, you want to see the good in people. Heck, you pray that the little slice of good you see can win and prevail over the bad aspects of their personality (thank you, Disney). But we’re not going to play the victims here. It’s not always about how that person is acting, you could be enabling this type of behaviour. Here are a few things to internally check when trying to suss out the unhealthy relationships in your life:

  • Protection mode kicks in, and you feel the need to save or fix this individual.

  • You find yourself justifying or making excuses for their behaviour.

  • You’re always on edge because you’re not sure how they’re going to respond in certain situations. You may go out of your way to avoid talking about certain things to avoid making them upset.

  • You find yourself feeling guilty but without justification as to why. When they’re angry, you find yourself struggling to understand what you did wrong.

  • Spending any time with them is draining.

Toxic individuals can be emotionally and physically draining to the people around them. Choosing to remove someone from your life can be a very stressful and scary process. It's also not a process that may happen overnight. But at the end of the day, you will no longer be weighed down by their bullsh*t. This can allow you the opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life.

It's ok if you're unable to walk away without extra support. If a toxic individual is abusive, please contact your local support line. These professionals are trained to help aid with short-term support. If you do not feel comfortable calling a support line, Crisis Text Line is available 24/7. Simply text 741-741 to start a conversation.

This post was not as upbeat as what I typically discuss but was an important topic to address. Life is too short to be consumed by those who make you feel bad about yourself. I again would like to stress that if someone is different to you, this does not mean they are toxic. HOWEVER, if the person is causing you some kind of distress or is being emotionally or physically abusive, this person very well could be too toxic for your life.

"Surround yourself with people that reflect how you want to feel inside." 

And until next time...
Stay Curious!

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Dog's Day Out: The Million Paws Walk Geelong 2017

For those who follow my various social media platforms, it is pretty freaking apparent I’m borderline obsessed with my dog. I’m the type of person who walks down the street and loses my shit anytime I see a fluffy fur angel. At this point in my life, I’m pretty sure dogs are better than people. They love selflessly, they’re reliable, they’re cuddly, and they’re basically the shit. I was pretty bummed last year when I was unable to attend the Million Paws Walk because I had to work. It was not going to happen again this year. I would walk with all the puppies.

Instead of going to the walk in Albert Park, we decided to skip the obscene amount of people and go to the Geelong walk instead. I’m not entirely sure why people complain about how far Geelong is from Melbourne. The drive is relatively easy and short. The pups rested in the back of the car but started to get excited the closer we got to the Botanic Gardens.

While there were no signs as to where the start of the walk was, it was quite easy to find. The pups did an excellent job of leading us to find more of their furry friends. Owners seemed to just let their doggies lead the way, and it worked! Prepare for doggy overload!

As we approached the start of the walk, we were greeted by the lovely volunteers. At this time, we were given a doggy tag for the pups and an RSPCA Million Paws Walk bracelet for the humans. There were plenty of booths with various doggy treats, information on fostering animals, and even some food for the humans. It was a great way for everyone to socialise a little bit before starting the walk.

The walk itself was a relatively short walk. It was only 2kms which was a little unfortunate. I would have enjoyed a longer walk, but for what it was, it was lovely. The dogs were super excited to meet so many new friends. To be completely honest, I’m not sure who was more excited, the dogs or myself. I found with almost every step I took I was squealing with delight at all the adorable dogs surrounding me. It was heaven or at least the closest thing to heaven on Earth.

It was incredible to see all the owners with their dogs coming together to help raise money for such a fantastic cause. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes. There were pups so small they could hide in their human's jumper and doggos so big you could mistake them for a little pony. What was most incredible to me were the owners that had dogs with disabilities. There were so many three-legged doggos running around like the little champion dogs they were. Some of the most magical sights I saw all day.

After the walk had concluded, there were a variety of activities and contests that both humans and pups could compete in. I wish there would have been a few more little stands that sold goodies and coffee as the line was quite long but it was still there if you really wanted one. We decided instead of waiting in the line we would head to a local pub to grab a pot and some food. Luckily, we found an incredible pub that allowed the pups in the outdoor patio. It was the best way to end a fantastic day!

And until next time...
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Hidden Gems of Melbourne: Laneway Bars and Cafes

Every city seems to have fabulous little cafes, bars, and restaurants tucked into areas only locals seem to know how to find. Melbourne has no shortage of amazing secret laneway eateries. But often, it can be impossible to know where to start looking. Often, you can walk right past the entrance of these bars and cafes with little knowledge they even exist. But I braved the hustle and bustle of the CBD to find some of these amazing, hidden laneway gems.

Spending the day sightseeing all around Melbourne? Are you hungry but not quite hungry enough for a full meal? Tired of being around heaps of people? MoVida is the place you've been searching for! Many people flock to Hosier Lane to see the incredible artwork, but it's quite easy to overlook the little cafes and eateries along this lane. MoVida offers a quiet sanctuary for a quick rest while allowing guests to view the incredible street art. While the menu can become quite expensive, one can quickly grab a few tapas and a glass of wine without spending heaps. This is the perfect retreat to recharge your batteries before taking on the rest of Melbourne’s CBD. 

Lane’s Edge
Do not be fooled by the address; there is a hidden laneway cafe here. There are two entries to this cafe: one being on Bourke Street and the other on Meyers Place. The front section of the cafe tends to be where most enter and stay. But if you walk through a door and down a short narrow hallway, you'll find the secret garden. On most days, you'll be able to enter the garden via a small door on Meyers Place. This place is perfect if you want to feel secluded from the hustle and bustle of the busy CBD. Food is available in both the cafe and the gardens. Perfect for after work drinks or a quick drink when in the city, make sure this is a stop on any trip to the CBD.

Loop Roof
Hidden close to Parliament Station is this beautiful, rooftop bar. Be prepared to walk up a few flights of stairs to reach this bar. Trust me, the walk to the top is well worth it. This bar has fantastic decor, a great view of Parliament, and allows for some pretty amazing sunset views. Worried about freezing during the winter months? Don't! There are outdoor heating lamps to help keep you warm. This bar is ideal for after work drinks or anyone who enjoys photography. Loop Roof has an excellent selection of small share plates, perfect for after work drinks. If you're there during winter, try the astounding mulled wine and a glazed bourbon doughnut. I am a sucker for a good mulled wine. 

Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters
With the abundance of cafes in Melbourne, it can be quite challenging to figure out which ones to try. Hash has found a secret to get you interested in the cafe. Not only do they have amazing coffees, but they also have a speciality hot chocolate! This is no ordinary hot chocolate but a fairy floss hot chocolate! You heard correctly... Fairy Floss Hot Chocolate! Like something out of a science experiment, you're presented with a massive mound of fairy floss and your hot chocolate in a science beaker. From there, you get the enjoyment of pouring your hot chocolate over the fairy floss and watching the fairy floss disintegrate. It's perfect for little ones and adults. I will be 100% honest; I am not one for coffee. It has never been my thing. But I decided to give the ice coffee a go at hash. Holy heck was it delicious! I highly recommend it. 

Bowery to Williamsburg
This used to be a cute little New York inspired cafe down Hardware Lane. If you stumble down Hardware Lane, you will see Bowery to Williamsburg still rests tucked into the charming brick facade. But do not be fooled. It is not longer an American’s sanctuary; it is now Bowery to Williamsburg Tel Aviv. If you want an amazing bagel with schmear, you’ll need to travel to Oliver Lane. And now I want a pastrami sandwich. Excuse me while I go indulge. 

If you’ve ever been to Melbourne, what are some of your favourite hidden laneway bars and cafes? Do you have any favourite hidden bars and cafes in your hometown? Be sure to share them in the comments below!

And until next time...
Stay Curious!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Never Diet Again

It has been theorised that most diets will fail within the first week. Not only will most people fail at their diet, they actually have a higher chance of gaining weight after. I will be the first to admit, when I was younger I attempted to diet. Actually, let’s be 100% honest, I wouldn’t call it dieting in the slightest. Any time I’ve “dieted”, I’ve actually danced around an eating disorder. My version of dieting, extreme restriction with allocated binge days. Sounds totally healthy right?

After I got diagnosed with my autoimmune disorder, I went to the other extreme. I followed the list of what most people can eat. This did not work for me for one big reason: NOT EVERY PERSON IS THE SAME. For example, most people with Crohn’s tend to be able to eat soy. It’s often encouraged to remove dairy entirely from your diet and substitute it with soy.….Soy is a huge NO for me. I’m pretty sure smelling it causes my body to hate me.

So how was I able to redirect my inherent American nature to cater to the extremes? It definitely took some time, but through a lot of experimentation I’ve found a few tips on why diets simply do not work for me and why I will never diet again:

The body tends to rebel. I may be alone in this stance, and that’s ok. Whenever I try to diet or restrict what I’m eating, I begin to obsess with all the foods I cannot eat. Usually, my body tends to crave pretty healthy foods. In a sense, your body starts to go through a type of withdrawal which can often leave you lacking energy and moody. This tends to occur when we decide to restrict too much at once. An easy way to fix this (if you are choosing to diet), slowly add changes and restrictions. Start the first week by cutting out fast food. The following week cut out soda. Continue to eliminate foods from your diet until you reach your goal.

Eating foods, you do not like for the sake of them being healthy. I feel like I constantly hear people complain about how much they hate what they're eating when dieting. This seems like an obvious solution, but maybe DON’T EAT FOOD YOU DON’T LIKE. If you’re not enjoying the foods you’re eating, the chances are that diet is going to crash and burn fast.

Social Pressure. In most cultures, social gatherings tend to revolve around food. Whether it be nightly family dinners, catching a meal with friends, or going out for coffee on a first date, we tend to reward ourselves with food. When you’re on a diet, this social aspect of your life can be severely hindered. You may have all the self-restraint in the world, but eventually, you’ll be tempted to eat a few chips or have that small bite of cake. From there, it’s very likely that the diet will be destroyed and self-deprecation will set in leaving you feeling like a failure.

The Mental Health Implications. You may be asking yourself, “How can diets cause mental health issues?”. When most people diet, they restrict various things in their diet. They tend to make goals such as no fast food, no added sugars, and no soft drinks. But what happens when you slip up and have a ginger ale? Or when you forgot to grab your lunch one morning and needed to quickly run through a drive-thru? Chances are, you’re going to get upset and beat yourself up because you slipped up. One can often become incredibly frustrated or depressed because of this. Instead of setting goals for what you’re going to remove, you should focus on what you’re going to add. This way, even if you eat a little amount of the food or only go on a short walk, you’re going to feel accomplished and better about yourself.

The final reason why I hate diets is definitely a personal one. I don’t diet because of my autoimmune disorder. I’m already extremely limited on the foods I’m able to eat, why push the envelope and make it worse? I can't cut carbs out of my diet as carbs tend to keep my disorder stable. I can't eat too many leafy greens, fibre, or acidic foods as it tends to exacerbate my symptoms

Unfortunately, western society has very much become influenced by instant gratification. We want access to everything immediately. This is where the appeal of certain diets come into play. We want to lose the weight now and fast. But the weight didn’t magically appear in one day did it? NO! It gradually accumulated. This is why it is important to make healthy, permanent lifestyle changes. It’s ok to eat healthy foods and occasionally have a burger. The world will not end because of it.

What are your thoughts on diets? Have any diets have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!

And until next time...

Stay Curious!

Never miss an adventure by following along on social media: