Don’t let a 5 year old run your life

It’s been a very busy few weeks in the Anna Marsh Nutrition / Ladies that Lift household. There is just a lot going on.


>> I’m working on an exciting new project or actually, couple of projects – all the be revealed soon!


>> There is the continuous day to day work of coaching clients, admin & marketing that comes with my current business


>> I’ll be running my first ever retreat in Tuscany in 10 days time with 10 amazing women who I can’t wait to meet. It has been fully booked since April so if you’d like to attend one of my retreats then keep an eye out for next year.


>> and finally, I travelled to London this weekend to attend a one day training workshop on body image. (I also did a little shopping in Anthropologie – see picture above – with a gift voucher given to me by my clients as a wedding gift – Thank You Ladies as I know many of you will read this! x)


I must admit, I didn’t quite know what to expect from the workshop. I was worried the information might be a bit old fashioned and not relevant to my client base. I don’t know why I created this story that it was potentially going to be a negative experience but all I can say is…




What an amazing day with so many insights into the mindset behind dieting and weight loss.


There were so many takeaways from the day and I intend to use what I have learnt as part of abody image workshop on my upcoming retreat. It goes above and beyond the scope of a mere email to communicate these learnings to you, but I’d like to share with you a simple gem from the day and maybe another one in a future email…

Don’t let a 5 year old run your life


Within us we all have a parent, a child and an adult. We can be any one of these at any given time although perhaps we may tend towards being more one than the other or, certain situations, or the people who we are with, may influence which one we choose to be.


A good give away to which one we are is the language we use.


I experience this in coaching.


Sometimes I coach women who are “adult”, they use empowering language, they are high vibe and are ready to learn from me but also keen to work things out for themselves and take responsibility for their actions.


A while ago I was really struggling with a few clients and I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong or what I could be doing better to help that person/persons.

I was talking about these challenges with a mentor on a recent Mastermind event I attended. The mentor was actually Mike Savage, one of Tony Robbins team and therefore, probably one of the best coaches in the world! 


He said:


“If you ever feel like it is very draining to coach someone, then you are not coaching their higher-self, you are coaching their child. That person, might need to the tools to move from child to adult”.


It completely made sense to me.


We all speak to ourselves every day. In fact, we talk to ourselves more so than anyone else!


How often do you say “I must”, “I should”, “I’ll try”, “I could”, “I ought to…”


Instead off…


“I’d love to…”, “I will”, “I’d really enjoy it if…”

When you use the former terms, you could be talking to yourself in the toddler brain and oftenthe toddler brain might have a different desire to the adult brain.


It’s like your toddler brain is the brain that wants to binge on the chocolate bars when the adult or parent brain would like to lose 10lbs and fit into a bikini.


I also think it’s the toddler brain talking when I get those all too familiar complaints like; it’s too hard, it’s so much work, it takes so much time,  I just want to go out and have fun with my friends and not worry about food.


Imagine the toddler who throws a strop at the supermarket because he or she wanted a chocolate bar or an ice cream or a bag of crisps.


Is it possible that your brain does the same thing?


There is nothing wrong with having a toddler brain, children are a lot more carefree and naturally open to fun. This is an element that we all probably would love to have more of in our life.


But what happens if we let our toddler brain make important decisions about food, health and our lives.


We might not get the best possible outcome.


If we allow the adult to take over we get;


It’s tough, but I can do this!


It will take time and effort, but it is worth it!


I can still go out with my friends and have fun as well as reach my health and weight loss goals. I will make a plan to make it work.


So the take away from this is – listen to your language. Not just the things you say to yourself, but how you choose to say it.


That’s all from me today, I hope you have a fabulous week ahead.


PS. If you are interested in working with myself and receiving coaching to accelerate your health and weight loss goals AND create sustainable change – find out more about what I offer and what I do HERE. 

Love your legs

One of the questions I often get asked is “how do I lose weight off my legs?”. My top half is leaning off but I always feel that my legs are getting left behind.

To be honest, this is a question I find rather difficult to actually answer. My legs have been the body part that I have battled with most of my life.


According to my memory, I have had cellulite even before I hit puberty and I still have cellulite today. I was overweight as a younger child and I remember looking enviously at the other girls in my class at school with their petite ankles and nicely shaped calves.

And then…

Last week Friday it was a beautiful day. I’d had enough of work for the day, my head was ready to explode, so I decided to shut down my laptop and head down to the beach for a late afternoon walk. I was walking along the beach looking down to avoid looking into the sun and it suddenly occurred to me…

I don’t dislike my legs anymore, in fact I quite like them!

I will never have fine ankles (thanks mom!), I will always have cellulite on my bum, but they are strong, they are shapely and, to me, it doesn’t matter what size they are, but that they look this way.

I will be honest and say the legs I have today, are not the same legs I had 5 years ago and they are probably not the legs I had 5 years before that. They may not even be the same legs I will have in 5 years time… but I think I know what works for me so that I can continue to love them.

My Oestrogen Body Type

In 2010 I went to Sweden to attend a Biosignature Conference by Charles Poliquin. His assistants measured everyone’s body fat using skin folds in front of the entire class!

Slightly embarrassing when the measurement of the skin sitting just under your bum is called out in front of a whole group of people and later projected on the screen at the front of the room!

Anyway, if you go by the whole Biosignature thing, higher skinfolds on your legs are associated with higher levels of oestrogen.

Biosignature or not, this is called a gynoid body type – pear shaped as opposed to android which is apple shaped – and this body type is associated with increased risk for hormone-related-cancers which are typically oestrogen driven due to oestrogen being associated with growth (e.g. tumour growth).

I definitely do have symptoms associated with higher levels of oestrogen. If you had asked me this before I moved to London in 2008 I don’t know if I would have been able to answer this. Not because I didn’t, but probably because I was less aware.

But now that you mention it, I did have a benign breast lump aspirated when I was only 15.

How our genes express themselves in dependent on the environment in which we bath them.

When I moved to London in 2008 I was hauled head first into an environment which did not suit my genes and by the end of the year I was hospitalised for a laparoscopy to investigated endometriosis – which fortunately came back negative – because of my extreme symptoms come that time of the month.

I still do suffer with monthly symptoms but I have brought these under control using the advice I gave in this video.

Last year I did genetic testing with 23andme and it did reveal a few polymorphisms in the gene’s associated with metabolising oestrogen. This would mean that I don’t necessarily breakdown oestrogen that well and this would make sense in terms of my “gynoid” body type.

The point of all of this background information is to say these are what my genes are doing. Yes genes interact with the environment and I’ve done a lot to improve the environment with food, lifestyle and supplements, but I am never going to have flawless legs. I CAN make a difference to the shape and tone of my legs and if I can (with my genes!) so can you.

These are some things that I do/have done which really help

  1. Resistance training

I train my legs currently 2 times a week, I also use my legs when I do some sprints, yoga and running but even when I’m not doing these things 2 times a week does the trick. This is usually focussing one session on squats, lunges and more quad dominant movements and a second session on glutes, hamstrings and posterior chain.

I don’t mess about, I lift heavy and I push myself. I have a love hate relationship with split squats and I would definitely say that adding split squats as well as some isolation and activation work into my weekly training has made a big difference in the shape of my legs


  1. Eat all the food

Everyone is different and will be at a different stage in their health and fitness journey. I am a massive believer in personalisation. What works for me will not be the exact thing that will work for you, you may need a tailored version or something completely different.I don’t know, it depends where you are at. For me, if I train my legs hard I need to eat.

On these days I will mostly eat an excess of 2000+ calories and 200g+ carbs. Your numbers might be different but if you want to build shape, you will need the building blocks. Low carbs and low cals probably won’t cut it.

Not to mention that restrictive diets increase adrenal stress which can drive oestrogen up (or at least the relative balance between progesterone and oestrogen creating what is known as oestrogen dominance). 


  1. Moisturise

I have naturally dry skin. I always have. I’ve noticed in the past couple of years that my skin gets even more dry than what it used to. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing or a sun damage thing but it was becoming a problem.

I’m quite picky about what I put on my skin. Because of the whole oestrogen thing I prefer natural skincare products without parabens or phthalates (chemicals which can look like oestrogen to the body). That said, I am also a little lazy with these kind of self-care practises – I’m not really a make-up done, hair styled, toes painted kind of girl! Lately however, I’ve been working on increasing my patience with it and 2-3 times a week I exfoliate and then do a deep moisturising session using bio-oil.


  1. Speaking of which…. Exfoliate

This has been a life long habit of mine. I use exfoliating gloves several times a week to get rid of dead skin and improve circulation and blood flow.


  1. Eat foods that support detoxification of oestrogen

There are plenty to mention but important ones include

  • brassica vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts)
  • pomegranate
  • grapefruit
  • flaxseeds
  • green tea
  • blueberries

I have also supplemented in the past with:

  • DIM (the active component in brassica’s)
  • calcium-d-glucarate
  • vitamin B
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • green tea
  • curcumin

-all of which have been very effective.


  1. Ensure my gut works well

Oestrogen is detoxified an excreted via our bowels. Therefore, you want to make sure you not only have the tools to detoxify oestrogen but you also want to make sure you eliminate it from the body in a timely manner. Fermented foods and a good diet with plenty of fresh foods make sure my digestive system works well.

  1. Manage stress

My life is a continuous journey of stress management. I think everyone’s is. I don’t think we can ever be totally free of stress but we can accept responsibility for the things we can change – I’ve changed many things from where and with whom I live, the relationships I have been in, the way I run my business to who I will or will not spend time with – and change our thoughts to the things which create stress – this is much harder to do!

Stress affects the body in so many ways which I won’t go into the details of here, there will be another blog for that… BUT… what you do need to know is that stress will impact you hormones and your weight.


  1. A little bit of self love…

Self love and compassion is something I aim to teach my clients. It’s not an easy thing to do. However unhelpful it is to berate ourselves, changing this doesn’t come easy as it is often the case of shifting behaviours built over a life time.

I am a MASSIVE fan of giving gratitude. I give gratitude for the amazing things I have in my life and I also have gratitude for the amazing things my body can do (however it looks!).

I love feeling strong.

I love being strong and it is not something I want to sacrifice anytime soon.

I don’t want to be limited in life by being too weak or too unfit. I like my body to be as ready as it can be for anything. So far, it’s serving me well, because I treat it well and I will continue to appreciate this symbiotic relationship we have.

Anna x