The 20 life lessons to transform your body and mind

Your ultimate health guide: PE teacher, 43, reveals the 20 simple diet and fitness tricks she followed to completely transform her body and mind – and she’s now in the best shape of her life

  • PE teacher Belinda Norton from the Gold Coast, shared her top health advice
  • The 43-year-old looks better now than she did in her 20s after taking up weights
  • Belinda’s advice includes moving daily and eating spinach with each meal 
  • She also recommends you cook real food and do eight minutes of yoga daily
  • Belinda said her tricks have helped transform her body and mind over the years 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A PE teacher and mother-of-two from the Gold Coast has shared the 20 life lessons that she has learned that have ‘changed her life and health rapidly’.

Belinda Norton, 43, is known in health circles for looking better in her 40s than she did in her 20s, after she abandoned excessive cardio for weights and completely changed her diet.

Now, Belinda said she often ‘shares these truths’ about both her body and her mind with her friends.

‘These lessons have been on the forefront of my mind to share during our unusual time in COVID-19,’ Belinda wrote on her website.

So what are the changes she has made over the past few decades?

A PE teacher and mother-of-two from the Gold Coast has shared the 20 life lessons that she has learned that have ‘changed her life and health rapidly’ (pictured in her 20s and her 40s)

1. Stop postponing yourself 

The first – and most important – thing the PE teacher thinks you should do is stop postponing yourself.

‘Whether it’s for a time when things free up, for when the kids are not so tiresome, for when your partner is at home, when you turn a certain age – just stop,’ Belinda said. 

Instead, you need to quit waiting for a later and better time, and begin changing your habits today.

2. Value your own thoughts 

In a similar way, Belinda said you should value your own thoughts and draw value from them, rather than letting others influence who you are or what you should be.

‘You know – trust your gut, your instinct,’ she said.

3. Listen to how your body feels from food

Belinda has long been a fan of eating real and nourishing foods, as not only do they make you feel good, but they also contribute to long-term health.

The 43-year-old said she tries to eat as much nourishing food as possible, whether that is leafy green vegetables, lean protein or slow-release carbohydrates.

Belinda said since changing her diet and replacing quick-release snack foods with more energy-dense options, she has got leaner and feels healthier.

Belinda (pictured) said she focuses on getting movement into every day, whether that’s a walk, run, cycle or stretches

4. Move more daily 

While Belinda said she used to obsess over running long distances when she was in her 20s, these days she has a much healthier attitude towards movement.

Instead, she focuses on getting a decent amount of movement into every day, whether that’s a walk, an ‘active break’, stretches, twists or lunges around the house.

‘This makes up a huge amount of activity or inactivity, which is making the body immovable; stiff and unhealthy,’ Belinda said.

Try to incorporate subtle movements into every part of your day.

5. Nourish your brain with positivity 

Instead of thinking negatively, Belinda said you should make time to take the occasional note of your thoughts and ‘flip them’ if they go to a negative place.

Belinda said you absolutely need to cook your own food (pictured) and eat the same as your children so they grow up not thinking that one of you eats differently

6. Cook your own food

Cooking has always been important for Belinda, who said you need to cook and eat the same food as your family.

If you eat differently, she said, you risk the children thinking one approach is good and one is bad.

Try to reduce how much packaged food, she added, and make takeaway ‘a treat’.

7. Speak positively about your body

Belinda said you will never be happy in your body unless you speak positively about it.

Be careful about what you think and do, especially in front of your children.

8. Exercise with light weights four times per week

Belinda said she used to think cardio was the only form of exercise, but now she knows the benefits of weight training. 

These days, she said she works out with light weights four times per week without fail and doesn’t lie to herself if she doesn’t get the workout done.

9. Value your money

Belinda’s life advice doesn’t extend to just health and wellness, but also your finances.

She said you need to budget and value your money and how you spend it – and only purchase items that you love.

10. Believe something beautiful will happen every day

‘Always believe something beautiful will happen daily. We then tend to look for grateful moments and feel ultimately fulfilled,’ Belinda said. 

Belinda said she used to think cardio was the only form of exercise, but now she knows the benefits of weight training (pictured in her 20s when she did cardio and now)

11. Slow down

The benefits of slow living have been extolled in recent years, and Belinda is no exception to seeing just how powerful it can be. 

She said while it’s okay to be busy, you should also allow for some time to sit and be with your thoughts.

12. Eat slowly

You should also eat slowly and chew every mouthful at least three times.

This will help with telling you when you’re really full.

13. Drink a variety of water options

We hear a lot about drinking two litres of water per day, but Belinda said it’s not enough to just drink one type of water.

Instead, she said you should mix up your daily H20.

She recommends cold water, slightly warm water, mineral water and coconut water daily.

Belinda (pictured) recommends drinking cold water, slightly warm water, mineral water and coconut water daily

14. Eat baby spinach with every meal

She also makes sure she has a little baby spinach with every meal, whether that’s with her eggs in the morning, her salad at lunch or her dinner.

15. Walk every morning

The mum-of-two said she makes it a priority to walk daily, especially at sunrise.

She said by making sure she sees sunrise five times per week, she feels energised.

16. Avoid carbohydrates after 5pm

Belinda said she makes sure to avoid carbs after 5pm at least four nights a week. 

17. Eat pasta for lunch once a week

While you might expect someone as healthy as Belinda to avoid carbs in the middle of the day, she said by eating pasta at lunchtime once a week, you will create ‘pure happiness’ and prevent cravings later on in the day.

18. Eat the rainbow

But even if you are eating pasta, Belinda also said your plate should be filled with rainbow colours.

Ideally, it will be half vegetables, one quarter lean protein and one quarter slow-release carbs. 

19. Try yoga

Even if it is just eight minutes per day, Belinda said yoga will still help to ‘lengthen and strengthen’ your muscles.

20. Become fearless

Finally, Belinda said you need to become fearless – both in who you are and your values.

‘Trust your instincts. Smile. Give eye contact, it’s strengthening and remember – love is bottomless so spread that good stuff around,’ she said. 

To follow Belinda online – where she shares much of her health advice – please click here

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