055: Sian Leigh/Our Mild Addictions

Sian in a familiar pose. Photo: Melody

“Why don’t people want to change the things that make them unhappy? It takes courage, basically. And people don’t like to be different.”

Episode 055, and for this one I invited one of my oldest and dearest friends onto the show – Sian Leigh. Sian is a health coach, a yoga instructor, a mum, a wife and a snowboarder. You may be familiar with her from work as one of the coaches on Jenny Jones’ camps, for example.

Getting the goods during the best winter Verbier saw for 30 years. Photo: Melody

But what makes Sian unique is her unapologetically positive and joyful take on life and her perspective on the issues we’re all dealing with, whether we like to admit it or not. I described her as a health coach but that doesn’t really do justice to what she does, which is help people find the underlying root cause of why they’re struggling to cope with life, whether physical or mental.

Photo: Melody

What Sian does is bridge the gap been these two realities – the Instagram-friendly front we put on for the world, and the real shit that’s going on behind this veil, where everyone is struggling, we’re all pretending we’re not and nobody is talking about any of it.

Picture: Melody

As somebody who is actually tackling this big unsaid, her perspective is unique and valuable, which is why I wanted to get her on the podcast and why I really implore you to check out this episode. Sian may not have the wider profile of some of my other guests but she’s as interesting and insightful as anybody else I’ve had on.

Picture: Melody

So yep – some weighty themes in this one, although hopefully delivered with the lightness of touch that is the hallmark of every conversation I have with Sian. Huge thanks to Sian (and Ed!) for being such good sports, and to Melody Sky for the brilliant photos that I’ve used for this one. Hope you enjoy it.

If you only have five minutes…

Listen to this section - Why hangovers get worse as you get older

Connect With Sian

Show Notes

  • The gift of silence. 
  • ‘Peeling back the onion’.
  • Sian’s work as a health coach.
  • A typical scenario.
  • Does the mind rule the body or does the body rule the mind?
  • Taking out the fun stuff – sugar, diary, wheat, alcohol.
  • Dealing with scepticism.
  • ‘Let food by thy medicine’.
  • How societal changes have taken away peoples’ ability to take control of their own health.
  • Being Mortal
  • Blue Zones and the power of community.
  • Too much screen time.
  • The concept of self-sabotage.
  • Cycle of health binging, and effecting long-term change.
  • The importance of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ food.
  • When the results speak.
  • Emotional causes.
  • Modern guilt.
  • The physiology of hangovers.
  • The role of cortisol.
  • The global caffeine addiction.
  • ‘Your poor pancreas.’
  • Why it is difficult to make people change.
  • Pressure from friends.
  • Sian’s story – how a bad back led to a permanent lifestyle change.
  • Leaky gut syndrome.
  • ‘I have no off switch.’
  • Coping with a move, a huge career, a colic child and an absent husband.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and finding the cause.
  • Moving to Verbier.
  • ‘Did my mad lifestyle create it? Absolutely.’
  • How the job helps Sian keep balance in her own life.
  • Turning this experience into a business.
  • The Health Shed
  • How you fit these changes into an everyday lifestyle.
  • The power of small changes.
  • ‘I’ll Be Happy When’ syndrome.
  • The NLP benefits.
  • Moving back to New Zealand from Verbier.
  • ‘I’m mourning the passing of time’. 
  • The difficulty of sustaining a marriage when so much travel is involved.
  • Finding your own life within a life.
  • ‘When in doubt tidy up’.
  • Settling into Wanaka.

People Mentioned

Places Mentioned

  • New Zealand
  • Sweden
  • Verbier
  • Wanaka
  • Geneva

Companies/Brands/IOrganisations/Bands Mentioned