6 Awesome Things I Discovered Last Year

So, 6 awesome things I discovered last year…wait, let me start with last year was a beast for all of us. And by the time I took leave I was deflated, exhausted and uncharacteristically negative. But now after some rest, amazing food, me time, tons of reading and animal cuddles, I look back and realise amidst the nightmare of a year, there were a few highlights, learnings and amazing discoveries that I will carry into this year and beyond. And like any good thing – it must be shared.

Amazing Discovery Number 1: The Menstrual Cup

Okay, this is a little intimate and for some an uncomfortable topic. But the best thing I discovered last year (thanks to a close friend that recommended it) is the menstrual cup. Honestly, I was sceptical and had tons of questions and thought the concept a little gross initially. Despite my hesitation, I got a menstrual cup from Takealot and tried it. And heck, I cannot express how monumentally grateful I am that I did.

Pink Menstrual Cup

It only took me a day or two to get the hang of the menstrual cup. Thereafter, it has remained a breeze and oh my word, the freedom of using it is indescribable. I especially recommend using a menstrual cup if you are active – like going for hikes, horse riding, exercising outdoors etc. You just don’t feel like you are having the trauma of having a period. It’s environmentally friendly and because some of the brands last between 5 to 10 years, just think how much money you are saving by not buying pads and tampons. I mean even Takealot sells them. Read more on menstrual cups.

I highly recommend you try this amazing discovery.

Amazing Discovery Number 2: The FITON App

I used to hate exercising and being active; in fact, if you liked exercising, I hated you (kidding not hated just detested). I found the gym boring. And with Bounce Fit still being AWOL, I didn’t have many “fun” options left that I could do every day after or before work. Then a friend and former colleague sent me a voice note and asked if I know about the FITON app. And the rest (including my wobbly bum) is history.

Screengrab of Fiton App

FITON is a super fun fitness app (even the free version is superb) and because you can schedule your exercises ahead of time, you are more likely to do it because you are reminded to. You get to choose from 10-minute exercises to an hour sweat sesh. You can schedule multiple exercises without limit and each workout has modifications, so beginner or advanced peeps can do the same workouts at their own level and pace. There are low impact and no equipment workouts, band exercises, dumbbell circuits, Pilates, barre workouts, kickboxing and more! They also have super helpful articles and food-spiration stuff to help you on your fitness journey. You can add friends and do challenges together. All with your “own” trainer, in your own home and at whatever time suits you.

I highly recommend you try this amazing discovery.

Amazing Discovery Number 3: Studying

This is rather a rediscovery than a discovery. But I needed the reminder that studying is amazing. I decided to study last year to enrich myself and brush up on the latest developments in my industry. I never thought I had “time” to do this. But when I applied, I made the time (just like exercising). And wow was it rewarding. Not only did I grow in knowledge, but my confidence spiked; it no longer mattered whether people backed me because I backed myself and my creativity and strategic thinking skyrocketed.

Library of Knowledge

I studied online through Red and Yellow. And if you have the budget, I highly recommend them. But if you don’t, there are so many free courses and resources online, which are a Google search away. Just schedule a time each day or night during the week or it won’t happen.

Amazing Discovery Number 4: Getting Help

Life is well life. And everyone that is living through a pandemic, economic crisis, great resignation, petrol price hike, eishkom issues and the like are going through the most. Although South Africans are known for their grit and sense of humour – sometimes you need help and something more than “pushing” through and “being grateful” or “laughing it off”. Sometimes you need to reach out and ask for help whether it be connecting with a life coach, counsellor, pastor, psychologist or psychiatrist. And this is something I am grateful for doing last year and something I will continue with this year. Because each person should be in charge of their health, happiness and success.

Getting Professional Help

Amazing Discovery Number 5: Embracing Change

If a membership doesn’t work for you, cancel it. If a loyalty programme is costing you more than you get from it, stop it. If your work or any professional situation has become toxic, say goodbye (although don’t resign without having another job that’s just silly). Re-evaluate who you allow in your inner circle and the boundaries in your life. Cutting ties, cancelling subscriptions, or making big or small changes may seem more trouble than it’s worth. But take it from me, once you make the change, you’ll feel like you are soaring.

Embrace Change – Make Changes!

One of the biggest discoveries I made last year is that change can be so liberating. I learnt saying goodbye to situations, subscriptions and even relationships that are draining me, can make such a difference to my emotional and physical wellbeing.

Amazing Discovery Number 6: Getting Healthy

Folly – My Horse and Stable Relationship

Last year, after four months of hard work and commitment, I lost almost 20 kilos. I did it with a healthcare professional and an eating plan. But it is a lifestyle adjustment. It’s over a year and I only picked up 2 kilos over Christmas (usually it is like 7 plus) and I know it will come right off before the end of January. Being a healthy weight for my height is great. But even better is feeling healthy, being balanced, and not doing extreme crash diets, or cutting out carbs or food groups (which just makes your weight fluctuate dramatically). It wasn’t easy and it took a lot of dedication. But it’s so worth it.

Do you have anything you discovered over the last year that you would like to share? Please do in the comment section or on the Sparkle Ellie social media pages.

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