This Weeks' Guest
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow
This week I'm chatting to a person I worked with for years, but never really had a proper meaningful conversation with. It's mad, really, that it takes one us getting cancer and two of us starting podcasts to end up having a deep and meaningful, but we get into that!
Georgie Crawford is the host of the Good Glow Podcast. She's a cancer survivor and now a health and wellness advocate and ambassador.
Georgie was 32 when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. That "Earthquake" in her life led to a complete transformation, from someone who hated being outside (her words) to someone who now literally (occasionally) hugs trees.
Find out how Georgie cultivated a new life full of healthy habits first to help keep her alive and win her battle against cancer, and then, well, because she wanted to.
It's a really interesting perspective on habits, how they can transform your life, and how to start small and make sure you succeed.
Look, I'm biased, but I think it's great!
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Quotes of the Cast
But I always say to people to start with healthy habits and that's what my whole life is built around now. I didn't go on any fancy diets. I didn't become a vegan or vegetarian or, start these crazy things. I literally just started to adopt healthy habits and it has completely transformed my life.
So I say to people start small, and then there was little, tiny habits, they just become lifestyle choices that you make what I think. And then all of the time you can just pick up new, healthy habits along the way. And all of a sudden your life is different
The Good Glow
So it is about balance because I think if you take on extreme habits or try to like, I'm going to get up at 6:00 AM and meditate before my kids wake up. No, that's not, maybe it will work for some people, but for the majority of us, we're wrecked, we're trying to juggle it all. That's just not obtainable for me. So I think balance is really important not to give yourself a hard time, enjoy yourself like life is for living too, but you want to be around for a long time. So it's about balance.
The Good Glow
I said that actually Ray Darcy was interviewing me one day and I said, it's. It's weird to say, but it's one of the best things that ever happened to me. And he did a double take and he said, wow, what do you mean? I said, it's given me so much perspective as a young person, I could have been living my life till I was 60 and not realized any of these things or not valued my life as I should have.
And I do now, and although it's been hard and I had to hit rock bottom to build my life back up, I've rebuilt it the way I enjoy it. And I love every day.
The Good Glow
What You Will Learn
Here's some of the key lessons from the podcast with Georgie Crawford
My (great) thoughts:
The interview with Georgie was quite a long one. And there's a lot in it to think about and to digest. It's always easy to latch on to things guests say that you agree with, but there really was a lot in this chat that resonated with me. And having listened back to it again since the recording, I got more out of it on the second listen.
But, one of the things that was most interesting (now, with the benefit of hindsight) is that as I listened to the podcast editing it, I re-heard our whole conversation about making time for healthy habits, and putting yourself first, and the 'bad' habits Georgie had before her cancer diagnosis.....I had skipped lunch because I was on work calls all afternoon, and I skipped dinner and gorged on high sugar junk food to edit the podcast and get this episode up and online. It's 1.30am now, I am 40 with three kids under six who like to (a) wake up in the middle of the night and (b) get up early, and I haven't eaten anything substantial or of any health merit all day (I don't eat breakfast most days).
You'll have to listen to the podcast to get why that's counter-intuitive. And that raises some questions (which I may have to have Georgie back on to answer!)
Have a listen, if you work hard and/or are ambitious or career or goal driven, I think you're going to relate to a lot of what Georgie says....and probably freak yourself out, like I have just done. Which is probably a good thing.
Let me know in the comments!
The Full Interview with Georgie Crawford of the Good Glow
The Habits Habit
The Habits Habit - Brian: Let's get to it, for background, myself and Georgie have known each other in one way, shape or form for a long time in the sense that, we must have met, is it like 15 years ago? Maybe?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Like I, I think I started in Spin. When I was 20-21. So I'm 35 now. So yeah, we go back years and I loved working on your show.
I loved you on the radio. I literally could have listened to you for hours on end. So we were really sad when you left.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Oh, thank you very much. That's very sweet. It's also fair to say that we worked together, but we never really interacted outside of work. So we were more, colleagues than good mates really?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. And I think we were in Spin. We were like family, we used to kill each other in there. We'd have, big arguments about the content. I don't know if you remember the wall, which was this kind of healthy habit that our boss, Jamie, tried to introduce at the time is where we'd all sit down and after the breakfast show and talk about, what content we were bringing to the table that day.
And those are really good times, and days and I think, by the end of the week, we were all sick of each other and dying to get home to our othe lives.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah, that's a fairly neat summary of, of how life was in spin, but it's. It's interesting. And I will come back to it in a minute in terms of the habits, of, being a radio presenter, because it does I was thinking about this earlier and it's interesting. but for anyone, one of the things that I think we're all guilty of, particularly in media, so I, you may or may not agree, but once you've seen something on Twitter, or when you're in that industry, you assume the rest of the world has seen us or know about it.
And you we have this mentality where if you're not first you're last and that's already on another website, so we're ignoring it. and so I suspect. I just assume everyone knows who George Crawford is and everyone knows the Good Glow and everyone knows your story, but of course that's silly everyone doesn't. For anyone who doesn't, can you give me the cliff notes version of, you and way I'm probably talking to you today?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. So I guess, I went to college, studied journalism. I went into Spin as a Spinny, as many of us started there. getting to know our audience face to face, which was really beneficial then when I went into the newsroom and, I was, the breakfast news anchor and I was the entertainment editor, and I just bopped around in there for, many years.
And then when I was 31 I got pregnant with my first child, Pia. I had her in February, 2017. Reluctantly went off, maternity leave, like my whole life revolved around my job. As I said, we were like family in there. I didn't know how I live with without everyone for so long. But. we were in the middle of buying our first house at the foot of the Dublin mountains.
Then my husband Jamie left his career in media after 12 years. So there was a lot going on, in my maternity leave and I was getting ready to go back into the workplace, Pia seven months old and I found a lump in my breast, one night and I was so shocked, floored, devastated. I just really felt like it was bad news. I hadn't been feeling well over the couple of weeks beforehand. And five days later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and still to this day, I can't believe it some days. I still can't get my head around it. My two surgeries IVF, five months of chemo, four weeks of radiotherapy and please God now I'm coming up to my three-year scans on. Hopefully they will be clear.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Just even hearing about it is, you've obviously told this story many times and many people have heard it. It's mind blowing and I think one of the things that's scary for all of us, is.
You're like, God, forgive me. When it's someone you don't know when it's removed, it's easier when it's someone, and they're in a similar position situation to you, you can't escape the fact that this could happen to you, to anyone, to all of us. And it, it's hard to deal with. did people, did you find that like people who were close to you didn't really know how to cope with it?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: So I was diagnosed in October, very early stages of October. And obviously I just told my family and my really close friends, and I was really aware that people in work might start to find out like Dublin is small. And I knew that this is news that people maybe wouldn't be able to keep to themselves. And I really wanted to find out that my cancer hadn't spread before I really discussed it with people outside of my immediate circle, just because Jamie was saying, let's just see where we're at. See what we're up against. And so I had my first surgery and they took out some lymph nodes and those lymph nodes were tested and my surgeon came back and said like your cancer has a hundred percent not spread were sure of it
So that's when I felt like I had some energy to maybe talk to people about it. But I suppose when you're diagnosed with cancer and it took me so long to say, there's a lot of shame and embarrassment, because when you look online or you read the daily mail, you see these things like an unhealthy diet gives you cancer or something that kept popping up for me was negative thoughts give you cancer.
And I was like, Oh my God, are people gonna think that I'm this own healthy person with horrible thoughts in my head. And because I was on maternity leave I thought that maybe I could hide it from everyone and work on. Just pretend I was taking a year off to be what my baby, because I was quite private.
And when I found out my cancer hadn't spread and I knew that people had started to find out. And I thought about people who are walking around with the signs of breast cancer and had no idea that they might have the early stages of cancer. I thought there's no way I can keep this under my hat. I can't hide.
I need to face it. My brother really helped me in coming to terms with it and to help my head up high, which is what I decided to do. And then, yeah, like you said, people don't know what to say to you but I have to say everyone in CommuniCore just wrapped their arms around me and it was so comforting.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah, I want to just then, I suppose my whole interest is in habits. Okay. And I'm conscious that I could probably have a three or four, as everyone could, have a three or four hour chat with you about everything. But I want to try and focus on the habits, aspect of this, because I want to explore a couple of things if that's okay.
When you were diagnosed, if there was daily habits that help you get through it, looking at your habits beforehand, and now, and maybe try and tease out some things that worked for you that maybe anyone who's going through something the same or similar might be able to say that's actually something that I could do every day, or I could think everyday or whatever that might help me.
So I suppose to start with, and you mentioned it yourself. The theory that's out there, or that maybe conspiracy theories are better of what bad habits lead to cancer. What I mean, smoking is the first one that comes to my mind. You said bad thoughts. what other ones are there or like when you started looking at this, what habits do people think give you cancer, and what, is there any truth to that? I know you're not a doctor or a specialist, but in your opinion, what's the most toxic that you felt.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I think as I reflect on it on, as I get further and further away from my old life and I have stepped into a new life and my life is like completely transformed to what it used to be. I realized that I was chronically stressed and I was chronically dehydrated. And I say this in my corporate talks that for 10 years, I gave every part of myself to everyone else. I had nothing left in the tank for me at the end of a busy day. I ate breakfast at my desk, I at launch at my desk and when I'd get home, I had no energy to invest in myself so I could never find anything. I was always late. And, Brian, that when I was the entertainment editor, I would sit under a TV that had the analytics of how many people were on the website all day, every day.
And if I went to the shop, that number would drop. It was literally like a ticking clock over my head. And every single person in that building that walked past, it was like, they could see how much of a good job I was doing that day. And maybe of course, people didn't actually think that, but yeah. That's how I felt.
And that was the pressure I put on myself. I had to be the best at everything. And what I was actually doing was I was making myself sick and I, it never even dawned on me that I should be taking better care of myself. I just thought if the more busier I am, I might get that promotion into 98FM into the newsroom and people will see that I'm doing a great job. Yeah. and what I was doing is I was making myself chronically ill.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Do you think, is there an element of, I would, I think a lot of people will be able to relate with that, particularly in their twenties where you think you're invincible and that you'll catch up on sleep. The healthy habits that will come too, you keep putting them off. Would you say, is that what you were doing? You were saying, I'll start eating more healthy once I get this next promotion, or once I get to this point, or once I get to this point, and of course you never get there because you're always striving for the next thing.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: A hundred percent. And my husband, Jamie was diagnosed with MS shortly after we started dating. So our whole entire relationship revolved around his health and not because he made it that way, but just because I always looked at myself as the well person in the relationship, everything went to him. So at the weekends, I would encourage him to go and play hockey or go to the gym.
And I'd stay at home with the ironing and, or clean the apartment and I'd say, Oh, I'm fine I'll survive. He's the one that needs to exercise. And I was just had completely abandoned myself. And there's this like moms talk about it all the time that if they have a tray of potatoes, and there's one burnt potato, who's going to eat the burn to potato? The mum is.
And because we just get so used to putting everyone else ahead of ourselves. And I think I even put everyone else's happiness ahead of myself. So I'd always just tell myself I'll be fine. I'll get through it. I was always working towards the next holiday. that's when I can relax, that's when I can chill. and I really liked spending time in doors, which now I'm such an outdoor person. I don't know how I survived. I was always just hiding under scarves, comfy blankets. I just wrapped myself in cotton wool, because I was trying to recover from whatever I was putting myself through that day.
And when I look back on it now, it's. It's quite hard to see that person. but true counseling. I've learned to have compassion for that person because that version of myself was just trying to do her best.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah. can I give you like from the outside looking in what I thought that person. Was, then, I hope this will be offensive or upsetting or send you back to counseling, but, I thought you were, extremely hardworking and all of the things that you were, but also that it was no, I won't say looking for validation, that's not quite it, but, that you were very concerned. What other people thought of you? Maybe that's the best way of describing it?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. And I'm still to this day, I get really anxious about things because I've put myself out there and now, Jamie's like tries to encourage me, like not to care so much about what other people think. And I think back then, like I was in my thirties, I was talking about one direction every day and who Taylor Swift was dating. And yeah, maybe there was a part of me that was a little bit worried that God, are people gonna think I'm a loser? You know that this is all I care about. I cared about a lot more, but yeah, like I had, pride, I tried to help my head to apply and own it.
But I was seeing all these people that were coming in under me, like Riyadh. why are you like all of these amazing young people with so much ambition? And I was like, God, is this as far as I'm getting, I always wanted to do more, but I, my path wasn't clear. I wasLso wrapped up in the day-to-day stress that I just, and maybe I just didn't want to look at myself, I didn't want to really stop and ask myself the tough questions.
Like I do think about what did people in spin think of me around that time? When I got sick, were they like, of course she was going to get sick living her life the way she did, but I suppose it's just all part of growing up and evolving as a person.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah, but we were all living that life.
If we look at, maybe, if you look at some of the good habits, that we'll talk about hopefully in a little more detail in a second, but like eating properly, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and, meditation, gratitudes, and all of these kinds of things, regular exercise, taking time out for yourself, self care, if I could be, as frank as this, we were too busy for us liking, there was too much going on.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. And I think as well, like I went into the workplace. when I was trying to make a name for myself in there and get on in the middle of a recession. So all of a sudden we went from having, four people on the news team to two, and we had to find a way to make it work. And technology was evolving and social media was evolving and we had to make that work too.
And, what are we doing down in the shop sitting outside the shop when there's a million things to be done and you haven't made your video for the day. I need to go into the bathroom and pile on the makeup for 20 minutes and then put yourself out there and it was just non stop. And the fact is that we loved it.
Like we really believed in Spin. And I think that's what made spin so special is that, we fully believed in what we were doing every day. We were all on the same page, trying to get to number one, trying to beat FM104. We were passionate about it, on your right, just too busy to think about anything else.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Okay. So when you look at it now, with the benefit of hindsight and everything you've been through, like I'm reluctant to say, would you change anything? But could you have done the job you did but with the healthy habits you now have, or are they just so incongruous that you just couldn't imagine that life with these habits?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: It's funny because the week before I was going back to my job, as the entertainment editor of Spin, having had a baby and, having been diagnosed with cancer and having year of treatment. My bosses rang me and they said, look, there's a job going as the breakfast news anchor of 98FM we would love you to go for it, we think you should. And this is the job that I wanted for 10 years. And here I was standing right in front of it and I thought, but I've been gone for a year and a half. How on earth could they be considering me for this? Or do they feel sorry for me, because of everything I've been through. And I realized that actually what I wanted happened was I went away for a year and I invested in myself for the first time in my life. And I was putting out a different energy into the world. So having for 10 years put all my energy outwards. Yeah. I had to put my energy inwards for a year and that I changed and everyone and work came on the journey with me. So it's not like I was this stranger going back. They were all following, you know what I was doing on social media.
I was wiser, less stressed, calmer. And that was the reason why they wanted me to do the job that actually I tried so hard for 10 years. I interviewed for it many times, never got it. Hung around the 98FM newsroom, waiting for the shift. Never got it. And, yeah. I really believe that investing in yourself instead of putting everything outwards would really pay off.
So in hindsight, if I had to done that back in those 10 years, that I was sitting in the newsroom and Spin, if I had of gone for a run in or taken up a little healthy habit, that made me a happier person that may be, I would have gotten on easier in life.
The Habits Habit - Brian: That's. Yeah, it's an interesting, retrospective, but, one of the things that concerns me most about, what I, learning about, habits and the science of them and change and everything that goes with it is, is it unfair of me? Maybe it is. Please tell me if it is, to say that it was getting cancer, like something as massive of that , that led to this. Do you think, would you have ever gotten to this point in terms of loving the outdoors, being healthy, the person you are today, would that have happened without the diagnosis?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I think for me personally, no. I feel like I needed this earthquake in my life, and I think that's how I have learned to be very accepting of what happened to me because it's changed me for the better. And, I have this amazing life now full of healthy habits, but, when I go into businesses and I do my corporate talk, say for example, I went into a big law firm where there's lots of young people in their twenties. And I tell my story and there is young girls crying because when I described my life before cancer, they come up to me at the end and they're like, that's me. that's what I do every day. I'm too tired. I'm too tired at the end of every day to do anything for myself.
I wish my weeks away. I wish it was Friday. And. my aim is to try to get through to people before it's too late. I feel like I was lucky. I wasn't too late for me. I caught my cancer early, but you don't have to get the cancer diagnosis to change. And yeah it is. It is harder to change without an earthquake in your life. But I always say to people to start with healthy habits and that's what my whole life is built around now. I didn't go on any fancy diets. I didn't become a vegan or vegetarian or, start these crazy things. I literally just started to adopt healthy habits and it has completely transformed my life.
So I say to people start small, and then there was little, tiny habits, they just become lifestyle choices that you make what I think. And then all of the time you can just pick up new, healthy habits along the way. And all of a sudden your life is different.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah, that is just the perfect advice. that's really what I'm trying to do. And I have to say, part of this journey is it's a personal thing for me. Like I'm trying to get better at, I'm trying to adopt more healthy habits and I'm trying to talk to people like yourself and other people to find out how the hell to do it because, in a weird way on touch wood and thank God and all of that good stuff, I haven't had the earthquake. So I am struggling with these habits and how to incorporate them. Let's just pick one, so for example, I think you would have openly said you weren't a fit person before your diagnosis, is that like in terms of exercise? I vaguely recall you describing a hot yoga session to me before, but my impression was always, that was less to do with health and more to do with, if I could be, either being skinny or being trendy or being fashionable. I don't think it was a, like a particularly ambitious health plan. Is that fair to say. You didn't like it either, by the way,
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Bang on , yeah, what will I do It was actually with Claie Solan was on this yoga buzz and I tried to jump on that bandwagon, but yeah, only lasted three classes.
The Habits Habit - Brian: So the first kind of awareness I had that you were doing something healthy was when I saw you doing your hundred squats challenge. Was that the first healthy habit? Would you say after your diagnosis?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: A hundred percent. Yeah. So a week before that I started this hundred squats for 30 days.I started it on Instagram to try and get people to I, be accountable for it and make sure I did it every day. My oncologist sat me down. I'll never forget it. It was in the oncology day ward in the Beacon. I had finished my chemotherapy and she sat me down and she said, You have to exercise.
And when I heard that. I put myself in this category, all my life of the non exerciser, I was always quite slim. As I said, Jamie was the sick one, I was the survivor. And when she said that, all I could think about was my little baby who was at home. And she said, people who exercise do better in their recovery and, you have a less likely chance of having a cancer recurrence.
So when she said that, I thought I owe it to myself, my family for everything I've been through to give this a go. And I went home and I, it was hard for me to go to the gym or things like that around then, because my immune system was very low from the chemo. I was really conscious about my hair. and also this is something I've never said before, my toenails were falling off, or not like falling off, they were very loose to a point where I'm putting on a pair of runners would hurt me. And I was worried about, losing some nails. and I thought, what could I do that's easy on me, but, a challenge. So I started the hundred squat challenge.
And ve actually on the last day, it was the day before I was due to start radiotherapy. And we did the squat challenge, in my back garden with my friends, one of my friends stood on my toe. To this day,Ive never told that person that I cried for three days afterwards in pain. Yeah, it was it's little things like that you would never even think about someone who's been through chemo that may be that's the reason why they're not getting up everyday and going for a walk. And it's hard to admit to people are like, my nails are falling off or, I'm so chronically embarrassed by not having any hair to go to the gym.
And so I built myself up that way and then I did join a little gym about six weeks later, two months later, and I tried every class and I tried every machine. And then I just hopped up on a treadmill one day to see if I could run one kilometer and I could. And then I built myself up to four, over a period of two or three weeks, and then I bought a treadmill and I've literally never looked back.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Okay. So I mean like that's. And that's really, I think important because it is how this works. It's how habits work they are foundational, there is something you can build upon. One can lead to another can lead to another. And it's just about almost getting started. So how did you do that?
Because you, you mentioned a word that has come up again and again, in interviews I've done for this podcast and in pretty much every book or blog post or science bit you read and that's accountability. How important is that to keep you moving towards your goals and keeping those habits going, what made you, did you ever miss a day of the a hundred day squat challenge?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: No,
The Habits Habit - Brian: And why not?
Because I had put myself out there and I said, I was going to do this. And I said to Jamie very early on, I need you to keep on top of me, but don't hammer me on this. If I do if we go out for a run and I don't want to run, I want to just walk, don't, you need to just support me in this journey and like almost wrap your arms around me because I really felt like I was putting myself out there.
And I think as I say, a non exerciser, sometimes you're afraid to start because you're afraid that you won't keep it up. And then that's embarrassing. And I used to be embarrassed to run down the road in case people saw me. And that's exactly what you were saying about me before cancer its like really afraid of what people would think of me.
I was afraid people would laugh at me if I took up running all of a sudden, but actually nobody cares. And people have more respect for you if you're loving yourself and looking after yourself in a proper way. So yeah, definitely to start, I needed the accountability of putting it out on Instagram.
And even if you've got three people watching your Instagram stories, that's still three people who will check in every day to see if you're doing something. But, yeah. Accountability is huge.
Interesting. Eh, the angle with Jamie, your husband being, keeping you to task.
I ask because this came up in another conversation yesterday and also because I've had this conversation with my wife Orla and she, for good reasons. She doesn't want to be my accountability partner for my habits. Cause my habits are about like healthy eating and exercise. And she thinks that her being the accountability partner makes her the fun police and that it will end up in conflict or killings between us, thoughts?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Like I, I came home from the gym one day and I had some savings, and I said to Jamie, I'm going to buy a treadmill. And he started laughing. He said, Georgie that treadmill is going to be in the shed in two months. And I was really annoyed with him. I was like, no, I'm not going to give up. This is, I've changed. I'm going to be a runner. I'm going to, this is going to be part of my life. And he was like, okay. You're like, do whatever you want. If you want to buy it a hundred percent, I'll go pick it up. I'll set it up for you. And I put my treadmill into our playroom and when Pia would go for her naps, I get on it and I do it. Guess where the treadmill is, its in our Shed. But because in the meantime, I had this amazing connection with nature and I'd sit out in my backyard and for like few minutes, every day when Pia was asleep and I come in and I couldn't help, but feel happier or calmer, obviously I was still so desperately sad about what had happened to me around that time.
And there was no denying this little lift that it gave me. And I suppose when you're on sick leave, you have all of this time, all of a sudden. So before, when you may not have noticed that something made you feel better, cause you're just onto the next thing all the time. I had lots of time to reflect.
So as Jamie says, I swapped the treadmill for the pavement and out I went with myself. And decided that one of my other healthy habits was sitting in nature. How could I combine these two things and get the benefits of nature and get my exercise in at the same time? So I started to do that and then the park run just became one of our healthy habits as a family.
And we do that every Saturday and it brought pure joy to our lives to get out, the human connection, community spirit, no phones, no TVs and just spending that quality time as a family was amazing for us.
The Habits Habit - Brian: There's a couple of things I want to ask about that. First of all, how much are you looking for the treadmill? And, we might be able to work something out But no, but what's interesting about that. I wonder would you have. I think the treadmill was probably an important part of the journey, because one of the things that they say, and I'd be interested in your thoughts about this, about, starting a habit is that you have to make it as easy as possible.
So the treadmill being in your playroom easily accessible when Peter was asleep, made it easy. to start this habit that you then took outdoors. Whereas if you had started with outdoors and have to be trying to fit your run in, obviously you couldn't go outdoors and run while Pia was asleep. Maybe the habit wouldn't have taken hold in the same way.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: You're so right. The treadmill was such a huge part of us. Number one, because I was too embarrassed to run down the road. Like I said, running in a wig, not great. Running without my wig. I'm embarrassed. I could hide in my playroom and do it. Also I could stop after two and a half kilometers, if I wanted to, I was,
The Habits Habit - Brian: and not be two and a half kilometers from your house.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: And also I used to find exercise so incredibly boring. So I would put on a TV show on my phone and just try to completely ignore what I was doing, and just watch something to try and zone out. But now I suppose, as it became more of a habit and I started to go outside and enjoy it more, I don't need the TV.
I don't need, something to distract me. I actually quite enjoy it. Now, I'm not putting on my runners and big smile on my face and waving off to my family as I go and run 10K like a moaning the whole way out the door still. Like I hate it. But the feeling at the end, gets me out the door. The feeling that I know I'm going to have at the end makes me do it.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah. And from my point of view, it's, I'm really focused on how you start a habit, how you start that process so that it builds to the point where you get out. So there's really interesting studies in terms of people who go to gyms. And so the distance you are from your gym has a huge impact on how frequently you go.
And, for every kilometer further away the amount of time people goes, drops through the floor. So it's amazing how a small barrier, to your habits can make or break us. And we saw that with the treadmill with you, you know that without it, you may not have gotten further. One of the other habits you mentioned way back at the start of this chat is another one that's come up all the time. And it's something that I find fascinating that I neglected for 30 years or ever since I was old enough to drink. And that's staying hydrated, which the science is like indisputable. being dehydrated is bad for you.
Full stop capital letter. There's nothing else to it. And yes, almost all of us don't drink enough water.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: It's crazy. So when I had Pia, I'd have three coffees a day, and I remember really clearly around that time saying, what are you doing to yourself? You haven't drank any water today. And when I had that tought I still wouldn't go to the sink and get a glass of water.
It was like this form of self-harm, I don't know what I was doing. My every part of me was screaming to drink more water, but I just didn't. And now, in chemo drinking two liters of water became one of my healthy habits. And now I can tell when I'm dehydrated, I think I was for 30 years, I was dehydrated. And I just didn't care enough. but now it's funny when you listen to your gut and you get to know your body and you take time to listen, what you notice. So now yeah, water has become a huge part of my life, actually drinking water makes me a happier person. It sounds mad, but when I'm hydrated, I feel so much different.
And I heard this, Paul, O'Connell the rugby player. Apparently in his corporate talks or when he goes out to do talks, he speaks about the fact that he sleeps beside a pint of water instead of his phone. And when he wakes up in the morning, the first thing he does is he drinks that pint of water.
And he says, while everybody else is reaching for their phone and scrolling, I already have a pint of water down and that's the way he starts his day and what an amazing, healthy habit that is. So when I went back into work, then I made it my business during a pint of water before my coffee, just to that was a healthy habit for me too.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah, I actually do the same, as Paula O'Connell who knew I, myself and Paul had so much in common. Yeah, no, I, the first thing I do every single morning is I drink, it's actually, it's a bottle of water. It's about 750 mls and I just down it with some vitamins and stuff. and. I suppose I, people are gonna think I'm obsessed with water, but I tell you why I'm so focused on water.
I came up with a, as part of this project and part of this journey, I came up with a list of habits that I wanted, and some of them are, if you go into Google and say, habits of healthy people, successful people, whatever. eh, getting more sleep, meditation, journaling, a gratitude practice, exercise, a morning routine, reading more, all of these kinds of habits.
And I wrote them all day in and I, it's typical of the way I do things. I did, eh, Spreadsheets. And I did graphs than I did, all this kind of stuff to figure out what I was going to do. And what I wanted to try and find was one habit that I could start, that I was 100% certain that I could do so that I could start to feel more confident in myself that I could build good habits and that I could go on.
And the first one that I picked was water. And hydration. And so what I did was, and again, I'll be interested to hear if you had to go to these extremes. Because I genuinely had to do, to drink more water. I had to do a couple of things. I have to set a countdown timer that went off every hour. To remind me to drink water.
And I bought new water bottles that were colorful and attractive and caught my eye. And I put them right in front of me, so I couldn't miss it. And then what I would do was the alarm would go off. I would finish whatever was in the bottle, go straight to the sink and fill it back up so that the water bottle was full in front of me.
Again, start the timer again and repeat. And I had to do that, I think for maybe four or five, six weeks. Before, and this is something that you said it was only after about six weeks of doing that I could then tell. Oh, I'm dehydrated or I need to drink. I didn't have to rely on the clock anymore.
My body, me again, bizarrely for the first time in my life knew I need to drink water now I'm properly, bouts to be dehydrated because they do say if you can feel it, you're probably already dehydrated, but at least then. You're doing something about it. Was it that difficult for you or is it, am I just being a thick in terms of it's really difficult for me to do things.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Oh, a hundred percent. I'm still to this day, like it might be three o'clock and I'm like, Oh God, I haven't drank any water today, but I'll make sure that I get my litre and a half to two liters in every single day. But yeah, I, 100% have to have water trackers. I have to set myself goals. It's, I'm exactly the same. and as well, with my five to seven portions of fruit and veggies a day, if it's three o'clock and I've only had two portions of fruit and veg, and I feel like eating a biscuit I will eat a piece of fruit instead, and that's a little way for me to be accountable to myself is just to give myself that five to seven target a day.
And, some days on my, on a Saturday, I might only get four in, but then maybe on a Monday I'll get nine. it's really, it's about balance. It's about giving yourself achieve achievable goals. like you said, you read out that big list that you made, and instead of trying to take on everything, you did the best thing, which was to start with the water, get the water under your belt.
Okay. Now what else can I do? What else can I introduce? And that's the way. It works for me.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Did you, Did you look in so it sounds like, you have an awful lot of good habits and healthy habits, like such a nerd. I'm such a habit, nerd, like I've read loads of books about habits and how to form them and the science behind them and the, what happens in terms of cue and response and all this kind of stuff. Did you do any of that or did you just figure it out yourself?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I definitely just figured it out. And, just because I knew that I needed to change desperately and chemo was a great way for me to make those little changes that just continued on, I was really healthy during chemo to try and keep my bloods well every week and try not to get sick.
And then I just continued on because chemo went on for 23 weeks. So the habits were formed and I've never really lost them since then. So that's been really important for me. I was listening, there's this great podcast. Tom Brady on armchair experts with Dax Shepard. And he spoke about what you're putting your energy into.
And so I was putting, I've noticed over the last kind of six weeks that I haven't felt as happy as I have previously. And obviously COVID has had a huge impact on all of our happiness, but I was getting into bed every night and I was scrolling on my phone for an hour, looking at other people's lives, comparing myself. Wondering if I could do a better job. Why aren't I as successful as that person?
The Habits Habit - Brian: Because you're lazy Georgie.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: So Tom Brady was saying like, if you're putting all your energy into one specific thing, you're not learning anything else. And I thought, when did I stop reading in bed and, discovering things about the world we live in. So I've got rid of my phone at night and now I have a book that I am loving and learning so much. And it's that was just a bad habit creeping in, I think just to acknowledge it, not give yourself a hard time about it, but just more on how can I change this? How can I have, am I evolving as a person?
Am I learning something new every day? Because. That's what happened to me in spin for those 10 years, I wasn't evolving. I wasn't doing new things. I wasn't adapting healthy habits and I just got into this terrible rut. So I think it's just becoming aware of things and how you're living your life and little things you can do to improve on your happiness.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah. what's really interesting. One of the reasons I asked the question about whether you'd read any of this stuff is, you're pretty accurately describing exactly how habits work like. There's tons and tons of scientific research about how it works in about gradual improvements and about starting small and attainable goals and building on them and, accountability and habit tracking and everything.
Like you could almost rice the book, and perhaps you should. But what I think is really interesting is, you know that it works. That you're an example of, without knowing the science, you just did us, you found a way that works for you, but as it happens is pretty much the way it works for everyone and it has been completely transformative.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. And I read Oprah's book what I know for sure in chemo. And there were so many things that she said, and not that I was like, Oh, she speaks about aha moments, which is the moment like the penny drops. And I think in that book, she almost gave me permission to take better care of myself.
It was like, I needed someone to tell me, it's okay to miss bath time with your kids and go for a run. You're not as selfish asshole if you do that and it, yeah, like that book just transformed my relationship with myself, my relationship with cancer. And in it she says, taking care of your body, no matter what your age is an investment.
And when she said that, I thought. Jeepers, was I waiting my whole life to get sick, to change? Yes, I was. She says, if we don't make time for our health someday, we will be forced to make time for our illness. And I think for anyone listening, who hasn't had the earthquake, just start, don't wait around, don't wait around waiting to get sick. You know that giving up cigarettes ad when they're like, what are you waiting for? Are you waiting for lung cancer? Or what is it exactly you're waiting for? And I think I spent the first half of my life waiting around, and I'm so happy and it seems so hard and I've had to dig deep so many times to get my head around the fact that I was 32 and I got cancer , but it's allowed me to start living this amazing life. I was given that was at my fingertips for so many years and that I never really put my energy into discovering the world or discovering what I was capable of.
The Habits Habit - Brian: One of the things I suppose, that's counter-intuitive about us about people is that we don't always, and quite frequently we don't do the things that are good for us.
It's a bit of a, excuse my French. It's a bit of a mind fuck that.like I find it mad for example, that you smoking one of the places smoking is most prevalent is among doctors and health workers. And you kinda think like that can't be right. if anybody knows that you shouldn't smoke. It's those people.
So it is very difficult. That's the kind of what you're up against. You're up against human nature to take the path of least resistance or to do the easy thing the whole time. And one of the things about habits and why it's important to start small is because, building good habits,let's not kid ourselves, or unless you tell me I'm wrong, its hard.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. It is. You have to change how you think about everything? Like I got a text from my friend the other day when Neil Martin was talking about lock down and going, I just don't think we should let this affect our lives. Now not in our behavior in terms of I'm not going to be seeing my friends, see my family, but how much am I going to let this impact my little bubble and my happiness within my family.
So we decided to make happy list. And write down all of the things that make us happy and focus on that instead of being like, Oh, lock down. we're cooped up for six weeks. We can't see anyone. Where can we put our energy into? Are we going to sit around moping for six weeks or are we going to do things that what we love to do as a family, or maybe take up a new, healthy habits, a yoga class that we can do together, something like that. But yeah, it's hard. None of us are perfect and we're all trying to juggle things it's even harder now than it ever was before to look after yourself and make time for yourself.
But I think it's to know that you deserve it and you can't reach your full potential if you're giving everything to everyone else all the time.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Very you're very wise, Georgie, you know Ive always I said that about you
Sorry. I've just actually caught myself there where I said, building new habits is hard.
It's not always for example, Again, thinking things in small, like reading in bed at night instead of scrolling on your phone. Its not hard in the sense that there's no like physical effort, it's just, it's a change it's, and you might have to do things like leaving your phone downstairs or whatever.
I've gotten a little extreme on that. I've actually gotten rid of my smartphone. I've bought a dumb phone. Yeah, I just, I couldn't, I tried everything. I tried, like installing apps that would limit the amount of time I could spend on certain things and doing all that. And then I just thought, do you what I'm just going to get rid of it. And I found a kind of dumb ish phone. It's a Nokia phone, old school. but it has WhatsApp on us so I can make calls. I can send texts and I can Whatsapp from that phone. And that's it, and then I'm trying to limit any of the other online stuff too, when I'm at my computer.
So I'm purposeful about trying it. Perfect. But trying
I'm just like, I'm curious about, what you would say is the best habit you've picked up or where people are going to be looking at, right if I'm going to follow this advice of Georgie or Brian or whoever, and I'm going to start small, I'm going to pick one habit to start off.
What would you start with or what was easiest for you? And then following on from that, what's been the hardest. Good habits to pick up or bad habit to drop,
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. I think my favorite best habit that I have is going outside. I did this podcast about nature and the benefits it has on your well-being and your happiness.
And, I think the biggest gift I've given to myself over the last few years is to enjoy time outside. So now, we're all working from home. It's pretty tough going, sit on your front step or go out your back garden and wrap up really warm. Don't bring your phone and just go outside for a few minutes and just listen.
And that has been so transformative for me. Like when I went back to work, after I got better. I made sure I went outside every single day for 25 minutes for a walk around town, just because going outside can completely transform your mood. It lowers your stress levels. It makes you happier. so that's definitely been my favorite one.
The hardest one to keep up is, God, that's a tough one. It's probably. I suppose just taking it, being easier on myself. Like I'm very hard on myself and, thro counseling. I've had to learn how to have compassion for myself and not beat myself up if I eat a biscuit. and I'm getting much better at that.
Before I wouldn't be able to eat a biscuit in public because I was so afraid that people were judging me. So I suppose that's been the hardest one just to be kinder to myself and not to judge myself for, doing things that I would see as bad, like eating something bad. So just to have more compassion, I think.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah. I think that, eh, the first of all, the getting outside thing is one of the other interesting things I've discovered personally is how effective some of the really small things are. So we talked earlier about hydration that going outside thing as well, there's, as I'm sure, cause you sound a lot more about it than I do.
there's scientific studies as well. Lots of them that show just five minutes, like five minutes outside can have such huge positive benefits. And it's not necessarily like up the Dublin mountains or whatever, it's just outside, anywhere in your back garden or anywhere. Which has been really interesting.
And also for me, what I discovered was if you go outside pretty much anywhere, even in the city or anywhere and close your eyes, you can hear the birds singing and, So that's what I do when I go outside, I try and hear the birds and it just brings me a bit closer to nature and that element of things.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Oh, it's amazing. And I go forest bathing now, which is really new concept. and it's creeping in and in Ireland and the benefits, obviously we're all talking about nature at the moment. So go forest bathing and. It's actually prescribed in Korea and Japan, because it's proven to make you feel better and just spend time outside.
And now if I have a corporate talk, instead of looking over my notes, before I go in and cramming and wondering, you know what they're going to say? And we're like, come across well where people like me, I go outside for five minutes and I always do a better corporate talk when I have a few minutes in nature beforehand, because I'm more connected with myself and you know who I am and what actually is important here.
So yeah, nature has been just an incredible healer for me. And then it was so funny because before I got sick, I hated going outside. I hated being cold.
The Habits Habit - Brian: My abiding memory of you and work is constantly cold and wrapped up and looking for hot water bottles and things to put on you to keep you more warm.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I know, Oh my God. So embarrassing when I look back, on that. But yeah, I ran 12 kilometers in the Swiss Alps in January, combining two of the things in my life I always taught, I hated, which was being outside cold and running. And it was the greatest thing I have ever done. And another quote that gets me through the tough days is you have a right to change your mind, give yourself permission to change and, changing for me and thinking differently about things has been the greatest gift that I gave to myself.
The Habits Habit - Brian: And that concept of not being too hard on yourself, I think is really important when you're building habits as well. Because, you talked about habit trackers and people will talk about habit streaks, and your 30 day challenges and all these kinds of things. And you're going to miss a day.
And I read something recently where someone said, that the real test of your habits isn't in the streak it's when you break the streak, what happens next? Do you get back on the horse or so I was terrible for, and I still am, like I hasten to add I'm I think I'm at the very early stages of this journey of hopefully transformation, but I was a devil for let's say I started a diet or a new plan or whatever the hell it was on a Monday.
If kind of, I fell off the wagon on Wednesday or Thursday, I would say. I'll start again next Monday. And really, it's you are going to break the streak, you are going to have bad days or your diet's going to go to hell or you're not going to be in the humor for ruining. And it's really to not throw everything away on that one bad day and kind of say, fuck it
I'll start again next month. Next year, next, whatever.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah, and I was the same. So you say, for example, I was getting married in 2015 and a month before the wedding, Oh, Jesus. Better start hydrating myself, get my skin in order for next month. And I drink what two liters of water every day for a week. And then I'd look in the mirror at the end of the week and go, I look absolutely no different.
And I'd forget about that new habit that I had tried to take up. And then when I was in chemo, or about to start, they bring you into this room and it's literally, they sit you down for an hour and a half. They take you through all the side effects. They basically give you a book leaving. And at the end of it, you're just all your positivity is gone about Chemotherapy. Cause you're like Jesus Christ. They told me that I was prescribed 22 weeks of chemo. Don't be surprised that could turn into 30. And I said, why? And they said, you'll come in on a Monday to get your chemo and your bloods wont have bounced back from the week before. So we'll send you home to rest for an extra week and you won't get your chemo that week.
And I, in my head, I was like, there's absolutely no way Im letting that happen to me. So I really, that was the day that I changed my diet, that I was eating kale, spinach for breakfast, spinach again for lunch, big hearty meal in the evening, chicken fish carbs, two liters of water a day. And every week I would go in to get my bloods done and they'd go, Georgie your bloods are amazing. My bloods never dipped for the 22 weeks. And that was the first time in my life, and as Isaid at the start of the podcast that I'm quite an analytics person. That's why I sat under a TV with the analytics of the website. And so when I was going in every Monday and seeing that my bloods werent dipping, it was the first time in my life that I actually saw the proof that what you put into your body matters. And the healthy food does pay off.
So that was a great bit of proof for me. And that's what kept me going with those healthy habits. And I suppose that's why I continued them because, the proof was there.
The Habits Habit - Brian: And I think that's, you, again, like you're fortunate and unfortunate, obviously. I'm not saying God, isn't that great you got cancer all the same Georgie that's worked out great for you. But most of us don't get that instant proof that what we're doing is working. So this is one of the real difficulties with any healthy habit, you want to lose weight, so you eat the salads for a week and then you look in the mirror or you get on the scales and, you're half a pound lighter or whatever else, and you're looking to lose a stone or whatever it is.
And it's to try and get into your head that you know what you're doing today, you'll reap the rewards of ages down the line and it might be, it doesn't have to be ages, but like that you have to keep going. There's a tipping point where you start to notice it, like in weight loss, for example, for again, I'm doing a podcast interviewing you and I'm talking to an awful lot about myself, which I'm sure I'll get in the comments section, whatever, like when I started running, okay, my body is in a jock, it's not designed for running. I have bad knees, bad ankles, bad shin splints bad back the whole lot, but I wanted to run. But what the physio, a friend of mine is a physio said, look, the load that you put through your joints is directly proportionate to your weight. So for every extra pounds you are that's, I dunno, three pounds of force or something that you're putting on.
So I had to lose a tonne of weight, I lost three stone, eh, and I've now stopped running and I have put back on three stones. What happens is you don't really notice it. And then one day someone says to you, God, you look very skinny and you realize that you have, or that you've changed, but like you can't see it day to day, or even sometimes week to week.
It's just there's a moment in time where you go, Oh, these jeans don't fit anymore. Or, I look ridiculous or whatever it is, And I don't really know what the solution or how you like in your corporate talks had you encourage people to keep going when they aren't seeing those immediate results?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. And it's the immediate results and it always comes back to healthy habits with me. Like that's the solution for me is healthy habits. And it's funny because when I look, I find it really hard to look at photos of myself before cancer. cause I don't recognize that person anymore.
And that's why my podcast is called the good glow because people, when I started to get better, people were like, Jesus, you're glowing. You look great. And that meant so much to me because it meant I washealthy I was alive. But all of the good food, all of the healthy habits we're starting now. I didn't take up any of those healthy habits to look better physically, but that was one of the side effects and that was one of the payoffs. So I felt better hundred percent better on the inside and feel better than I ever have in my life. But actually it started to pay off in how I look on the outside, which is, was never my intention. And I think when you do something for a long period of time, drink your two liters of water, but give yourself six months doing it before you're expecting to see, an improvement in your skin or, with your five to seven portions of fruit and veg a day, maybe your skin is going to get worse before it gets better, but it's just, don't give up because you have, we all have the power to change and the power to transform our lives and the power and the choice to start again.
And I think, it comes back to what are you waiting for? And that's, what's in the back of my head all the time is, do it now because, we never know what's around the corner and my intention where people, when they say like, how can I change or how can I keep it up?
It's you owe it to yourself. You don't want to be like me and have cancer when you're 32 and you can't go on to have another baby, you've got one child and, whereas the sibling and all of that stuff, you don't need to get to that point. And that's just my message. It's to try to encourage people just to mind themselves.
Sorry if that's a bit waffley.
The Habits Habit - Brian: No. I mean like that makes perfect sense. I suppose I will be there that the voice of Joe public, because. I get all that. I agree with you a hundred percent and I don't want to have to wait for cancer either, but like I still know theres a jar of biscuits downstairs that I have my eye on, and that I feel like I'm going to go down and horse a few in a few minutes when I get off the call.
When this works for me is when I break things down into tiny pieces that I think, I can't get this wrong. And I'm wondering, did you do that with cancer, with the therapy, this kind of, did it help you be more present? And one day at a time, one week at a time one, whatever, which is, again, you didn't you didn't know the science of it. You weren't trying to do these habits, but again, that's how they work.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. And I think for me it was about balance. So I knew that the type of person I am, I like to have a good time. I like to have a glass of red wine. I love a steak on a Saturday. So for me looking at my life after cancer, I couldn't give all that up. That's who I am in many ways. And I didn't want to become this like super clean Gweneth Paltrow type person who, is so different to the person I was. It's all about balance. And, like I do eat biscuits and I do have the odd splurge now and again, but I absolutely enjoy every second of that. And I used to say to my counsellor, I'm embarrassed to eat a pizza or pasta in case people are judging me. She's eat the pastor. Chew every bit of it enjoy every second of it and the actual guilt about eating something is doing you more damage than actually eating it. So I knew that I could never be this new and improved perfect person, like I'm new and improved, but I'm not perfect.
So it is about balance because I think if you take on extreme habits or try to like, I'm going to get up at 6:00 AM and meditate before my kids wake up. No, that's not, maybe it will work for some people, but for the majority of us, we're wrecked, we're trying to juggle it all. That's just not obtainable for me. So I think balance is really important not to give yourself a hard time, enjoy yourself like life is for living too, but you want to be around for a long time. So it's about balance. And I think, if I'm getting a pizza or something, I'm like, you know what I had seven portions of fruit and veg every day, this week, the pizza isn't going to kill me. so I think it's to take it easy on yourself as well.
The Habits Habit - Brian: I'm just, it's something that's just after occurring to me just while we were talking. and what you were saying that hadn't occurred to me before, which is, the social pressure, of doing it all.
And that's actually something that we talked about at the very start. that's part of, potentially. I'm not saying it caused you to get cancer or anything of the sort, that lifestyle of trying to do it all, that can actually happen on the other side, on the healthy side. Like you say, you Google healthy habits. You don't get a healthy habit, you get a list of 10 or 15, and then you feel the pressure to get up at five and do the meditation and go for the run and do the thing and do the thing. So it can work against you as well that people can say, I am now going to be healthy.
And that means no junk food. No, this, all the exercise, all the things. And if you try and do it all at once, there's no way you're going to succeed. I don't think there is anyway.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Exactly. And then how do you feel at the end of that? You feel like a big loser because you weren't able to do it. And that's why I. Didn't take on any crazy diets or anything like that. Cause I knew I wanted to change for the rest of my life. So me giving up red wine, given up this meat, giving up all the fun things, was never going to be. I could never do that forever. I knew that. and I think I'm reading this book called "How to live well" and it's a brilliant book and it speaks about if you have enough of the good stuff in your reserves, in your body, they'll fight off the cancer cells. they'll do their job, they'll keep you healthy. And when you have some junk food, they have the, all the good stuff that you've been doing to fall back on. So I think it's about understanding that and, to give yourself like obtainable goals.
The Habits Habit - Brian: We've talked a lot, about habits in the kind of, physical sense that the food did you put it in your body that the running, you do, the whatever else we've talked a little less, about the mental habits or the psychological habits.
We have a bit in terms of being kind to yourself and compassion and those kinds of things. Are you, consciously or unconsciously, are you doing any more of the kind of mental things that are typically taught to be good habits like journaling or a, gratitude practice or in America in particular they would call them affirmations in the morning.
Mindfulness meditation is it is. Have you adopted any of those? You also mentioned forest bathing or something, which we need to talk about a bit more about what the hell that is.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. So there's many things that I do. So I'm not the person that's meditating for 40 minutes a day. Never have been, never will be.
And I've accepted that. I'm just not that type of person. I did this great podcast with Dermot Whelan. He's a meditation teacher and he showed me how to meditate in 16 seconds, which is just about enough for me. And I felt different after that 16 second meditation. So I was really grateful that I can do a little bit of meditation.
And just because I'm not doing the 30, 40 minutes doesn't mean that I've failed at it. So I think it's picking out little things that can work for you. Gratitude is huge part of my life. And again, that came very natural to me having survived cancer. But I used to make an effort to practice gratitude, but now I do it without even thinking about it.
So I could be just walking down the road and I'll just stop for a minute. You're going to laugh at me, but feel. A tree or a leaf
The Habits Habit - Brian: I'm laughing with you. Not at you just to be clear, but yeah.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I will just stop and I will look at the leaves and
The Habits Habit - Brian: no, but you know what like it's, it is so interesting and I, I don't think people will get this until they do it. I was driving out of our estate where we've lived for eight years about a year ago. So at that time, seven years, and I said to my wife, Orla, and it like, and it's such a stupid thing to say.
I was like, has that tree always been there. This is a fucking massive 200 or 300 year old tree, which has obviously always been there. I never even saw it, like when you stop and look or look for it, what's there is quite surprising.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Absolutely. And that's a little form of gratitude that you probably did without realizing that you saw the three and you're like, Whoa, what an amazing tree.
I live on the same road as this tree. Like how lucky am I? They are the sort of torts that I have now every single day. Like I made this risotto a couple of Sundays ago. And everyone, my little baby and Jamie was eating the risotto and I was smiling and Jamie's what are you smiling?
And I was like, I'm just so happy that I just spent half an hour making this it's really nice. And now were all eating it. And he like looked at me as if I'd lost my mind, but it's just the little things like that, make me so happy that I never ever would have thought about before or given myself the time to think about it before,
The Habits Habit - Brian: Do you think, that there's a, they're part of our mentality. Our Irish mentality is militates against this a little bit. I'll give you a very specific example. I was listening to your podcast with your friend, Audrey, and at the very start of the podcast, you're being very sincere and honest and genuine about your friendship and how much she means to you and how grateful you are to have her in your life.
And instantly as an Irish person, I was like, it felt a little bit uncomfortable. For me it's I'm not used to people being that open and honest and appreciative, eh, about each other in public. And I was like, that's really interesting to me that people being loving and open and honest in that way causes this reaction or feels what it was it felt unnatural to me, to my shame. Like I was like, God, I wish I was more like that, but that I even noticed, I thought that's interesting. And I just wonder with gratitude, I've always felt sometimes these things feel a bit what I would call a bit American a bit like, I'm so grateful and thank you for this. And you're like, alrights settle down there? Do you know what I mean? Do you think, are we as a nation, just a little slow to do some of these things, which, ultimately, as we know are good for us,
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I think, yeah. It's like, you know, who you can do it with and maybe who would run for the Hills, that sort of way.
And I think, I'm really lucky that Audrey, has been through some stuff in her life too, in terms of going to LA and hitting rock bottom and then building her business and she lives her life full of gratitude too. And then I say, for example, I interviewed someone like Amanda Byram and she's you are a fantastic, amazing female. And even that would make, she says that when she looks in the mirror, I'd be like, Oh God, I don't think I would do that. So I do think there were evolving at different stages or discovering things of a gratitude in the world, but I think we're all open to us, which. I love, I think there's a, the conversation is getting wider and, the people that maybe I would have not had those conversations with before and now I am, but I think because I put myself out there and laid it all out on the table, people feel like they can open up to me and tell me things, and that's helped.
The Habits Habit - Brian: And can I ask then, eh, this is a very practical question, was there a point? So I had a recent conversation where I was talking about, needing to be successful at something before people bought into it. Let's say you're on a health journey, Have people got more and more invested the further along your, that you've, I don't know how quite, how to explain this other than, let's say it's not, you let's say it's someone whose journey as a weight loss journey or they're, they've created some new diet plan or whatever.
what I'm thinking is how much weight do you have to lose or how, you see these transformation before and after it, people are. In a corporate sense in a kind of how to make a real world different sense. it's actually, it's quite hard to impress people, Oh, I've stopped eating a bar of chocolate.
I've become vegan. I've lost seven stone. Well done. is there, were people like that with you or was your situation different because of your story and because it was cancer?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: It's funny because when I got better, loads of people started to unfollow me. Um,
The Habits Habit - Brian: Really?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. Yeah. So I think I had I dunno what, say 27,000 followers, when I was sick and then I got better and I just started to go back to work and things, I just, became a normal person again. I started to see that people were unfollowing me. And I got this message and I'm, I've been really lucky that I don't get any trolls or anything like that. Like people, don't troll the girl that had cancer, but I did get this message from this lady who, I'd become a Fitbit ambassador, which was such a huge thing for me to have gone from someone who didn't exercise to this amazing brand, like Fitbit wanting me to be their ambassador, cause they do the park runs.
Like I thought that was amazing. I was really proud of myself. So I was on like talking about something and this girl sent me a message and she says "you've changed I could relate to you so much better when you were sick". And, first of all, I'll never forget getting that message. Cause I was like, does this person like one to me to be sick, like surely this person should be happy for me that I get to get my life back and get this amazing job and have this podcast but I suppose when people start following your journeys,
Terry McAvoy said this on my podcast and I need to go back and listen cause I've been thinking about it a lot recently. And she says, be wary of people who only clap when you're down. And I've been so lucky to have gone on and created my podcasts since my diagnosis. And I have this amazing community of positive women, the Google community is amazing, but that always sticks with me that be careful of people who are only there for you when you're in the wig and the chips are down and who aren't that happy when you're back and healthy and living your best life again.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah. I mean that is fascinating to me, but, in a way, in the weirdest of ways I can relate to it.
I'll tell you why. One of my worst. And I don't know whether it's a habit or it's a character trait, or I don't know what it is. It's something I'm not proud of. It's something I try very hard to avoid and to change. I am a very jealous person. I look at other people, particularly other people's success and my gutteral it's in me, it came from somewhere when I was younger. I don't know what it is to think I could do that, or I could be as successful as that, or I'm as good as that. And there's just this weird bit of me that it's not that I'm unhappy for them, or I don't want them to be successful, but it makes me feel bad about myself that they've got the success and I don't.
Does that make any sense to you?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Absolutely. And I think that is such, a brave thing to admit, because I think there's a little bit of that in us all. that's just probably part of being a human, and I have this quote that I live by, which is happiness creates success. And Im this course, through Yale called the science of wellbeing.
And it's really helpful in understanding that stuff doesn't make you happy. And it, there's all of this scientific research behind it. You would probably love this course.
The Habits Habit - Brian: I will get the notes off you
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Its about what we think will make us happy actually. Doesn't and okay. So for example, Suzanne Jackson, right, who we both worked with, who was gas craic in the office, I love the fact that she's never changed but off she went to be a millionaire. And I think some of us, but I definitely was like, why couldn't that have been me?
And, we're so lucky that Suzanne has kept in touch, she didn't forget about us. We look at her life now and. we would presume it's perfect. We presume Suzanne Jackson, that's a perfect life. PippaO'Connor has a perfect life. All of these people have perfect lives, but actually, they don't and they come on and Suzanne has been really open to say, I've made it, but that doesn't mean that I'm just happy out in my mansion. And I think we need people like that, to be honest and say things like that, so that we're not getting wrapped up in the things that we think might have make us happy. I think we all need to be open and honest about it actually in fact, what makes us happy is our family and our kids. And I think we learned that through COVID.
We learned about all the things that we can live without the trips to Dundrum, to Zara the stuff, and what it comes down to is. Your health, your family, your relationships, they're the important things in life.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Is it in that order? I ask because it is for me. So like I have a list of four priorities and it's health, family, friends, and legacy.
Those are my four things in those order under, in that order for me, because without your health, you got nothing. So that's why I put health above everything else. If it's gone, everything else falls with it. Do you have them in any particular order?
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I think family, for me, like someone asked me where like what defines you on a podcast?
And I was like, Oh my God. what a question that is totally putting me on the spot. My answer was my love for my family and their love for me. That's for me, I wouldn't be here today. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be healthy today if it wasn't for them, because everyone in my family's life stopped. My mom, everyone just dropped everything to be there for me and get me through the chemo and keep me well and keep me positive.
And I believe that everything I've built since then has been down to them. I said, put, when you, for me, it's family, it's health. Yeah. I would definitely, I think poor family, number one for me.
The Habits Habit - Brian: It's interesting. I like, I. Find myself w one of the things that's interesting is in all the chats I've had with people.
So I've talked to Keith Barry and Fergus Connolly and a couple of other people. And I say interesting the whole time, eh, which is probably a bad habit I need to get out of. But it is all of this is really interesting and I really do hope that, people listening can take something from it and not, as you say, wait for the earthquake or wait for whatever it is, but also learn everything like you said a couple of things that, just go to show how in one way simple it is. And in another way how complicated it's. So family comes first, and love your family and all that kind of stuff.
But also it's okay to go for a run and let Jamie bath Pia, again, we put such pressure on ourselves to be perfect, including, and in particular to be the perfect parent, like I said, and I didn't mean it in the literal sense, but like my five-year-old yesterday, I said to my wife said, I'm going to fucking kill him.
And like it's a, before you have kids, no one tells you how, sorry, your parents tell you, but you don't believe them how bloody hard it is. And again, like to be kind to yourself and say, I lost the head. I think I thought before I had children, I would never be one of those parents who would get, get cross, like not, wouldn't spoon or hit them cross, but just go, even raise my voice slightly, not changing, but just, getting angry at them. And I totally am that person. I couldn't believe it, but I don't know if there is any parents that aren't, unless they're stones the whole time. I think that's the only way you could not get cross with your children
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: yeah. I think at the moment, we're all spending so much time together and we're like digging deep, to just stay positive and put our basketball forward and, like I felt, even though I'm on the phone to my mum, my friends, I'm at home with the most loving family, Jamie and Pia like, I'm still lonely. Like I feel lonely in this world at the moment and that's being very truthful. I had a little cry on Sunday because it was my, Godchild's birthday and I couldn't be there.
And they're the things that make me happy. And. I think, yeah, like you said, like skipping bath time and doing something for yourself, especially in these times, like they are, the things that we have to do for ourselves, because you're losing in the rag with the kids. It's because you're, you need to go off and fill up your tank a little bit. I think.
The Habits Habit - Brian: Yeah, the last thing Georgie, I might just ask about, it's not, I don't know if you could call it a habit but it's something that I have been very conscious of recently. and it's something I heard for years and years, but I never really paid too much attention to it. It's about surrounding yourself with the right kind of people and letting go of toxic friendships or relationships or anything like that. and only surrounding yourself with people who the phrase I use now is lift you up. So I want to spend my time with people who lift me up and who I lift up. and anyone that doesn't take that box.
I think I don't really need you anymore. I'm past that. I won't say, did you do a purge of friends when you had this transformation, but it. When you're trying to please everyone, we all know that we have, I have friends that aren't particularly good for us. They're still friends.
They're still nice people. They, all of that good stuff I personally have just reached a point where I'm like, us, there's only X number of hours in the day. I'm not seeing enough of the people that make me feel good about myself. So I'm just going to have to pare things back a bit and focus on what's good for me and what's good for them.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: Yeah. And I think because I got sick when I was 32, a lot of my are, people in our age group haven't had a friend that had cancer before. So many of them didn't know what to do. And many people, would say I better leave he r e and let her deal with this but it's the calls, the texts, the dinners on the front step. They mean more than you'll ever know. And Claire Solan and a mutual friend of ours, knocked on my door one day. I hadn't seen her in three years, like ballsy thing to do when someone's in Chemo, but it was amazing. And, I'll never forget that day. And I think, yeah, I try my best, not to judge people who maybe just freaked out and didn't know what to do around that time. I don't dwell on it and there's definitely people that I'm not as close to. There's more people that I'm actually closer to than before if that makes sense. Just because of the time thing, you have time to think about what really matters and time to put into the more important things I think.
The Habits Habit - Brian: But do you know what I also think here's some of my great thoughts, Georgie, that you didn't ask for. And I think, some of this stuff makes you appreciate, people that you didn't, I suppose you didn't really appreciate before, or you didn't realize that they were the kind of your kind of person or the kind of person that lifted you up or whatever it is that you When you start to look a bit deeper than a, is this someone I can have crack with, or could I get a drink with, and who is this person really? What are their values? what do they believe in? those were questions we didn't ask in our twenties, what's your purpose, what's your mission? What's your goals. You didn't care either. You were a good Cracker. You were, and that was reading the sole basis for friendship in many ways, or was for me anyway. Whereas now there's a deeper kind of this person is on a similar journey to me, or has a similar vision for the world or for their legacy or for, it's, the potential for a far deeper connection exists when you're thinking about things in these kinds of ways, and maybe that's just age or becoming a parent or having cancer or whatever it is.
But I do feel myself that I am. Just by my nature, far less shallow, and so far more interested in people in a deeper way.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: It's such a good point. And there's so many people that stood up for me when I got sick. and I was like, Whoa, I didn't really pay any attention to these people before I got sick and look at them now, being here for me every single day. And it's not that I wasn't paying attention in a mean way, but I was probably very wrapped up in myself. And, maybe they they've been through something. And I wasn't there for them. Cause I think when people have been through something, like they get it. And so say for example, now that I've lived through such a horrible experience with cancer, I feel like I'd know what to do if someone, got diagnosed with cancer and I know how to communicate and I'd know what to do. So there's lots of people, that haven't been through something and don't know what to do, but yeah, my point is that there's so many people now that I value so much more than I ever did. And that's why there is getting diagnosed with cancer. Isn't all that bad. It teaches you so much about the world.
I said that actually Ray Darcy was interviewing me one day and I said, it's. It's weird to say, but it's one of the best things that ever happened to me. And he did a double take and he said, wow, what do you mean? I said, it's given me so much perspective as a young person, I could have been living my life till I was 60 and not realized any of these things or not valued my life as I should have.
And I do now, and although it's been hard and I had to hit rock bottom to build my life back up, I've rebuilt it the way I enjoy it. And I love every day. And I always say that Mondays aren't so bad when you've been through cancer, and to wake up every day and just to be grateful to be alive, it has been one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given in my life.
The Habits Habit - Brian: And thank you for all of that, Georgie, what I'm going to take from this is that, I almost, you can live through people by proxy or, the kind of, I don't want, and I, that nobody wants. To get cancer to get this wake up call or to have any illness or anything befall them.
But maybe to listen to you and realize that we, you don't have to get it to get the gratitude or to be grateful or to start, what are you waiting for? Like that sentence is probably going to be the thing I take away from this whole conversation the most. Cause I want to start, eating healthy or I want to start some of the next habits and if I can just, if all I ask myself is, what are you waiting for?
It's going to give me a kick in the arse every time to go nothing, now is good as I believe one radio station that we never, I certainly never worked for, they never took me Georgie used to say and listen, George, I really appreciate your time. It's been a really interesting chat, and in truth probably, certainly a deeper and probably also a longer conversation that we've ever had in all the years that we've known each other. And I'm really glad that we had it.
Georgie Crawford - The Good Glow: I know me too. And I was just going to say, with this podcast, like you're going to trigger aha moments for people, and that is such a gift to give to the world. And like you said if each person that listens to this picks up one thing from the podcast, then your job is done and you've done something good. I think it's such a good idea for a podcast and I wish you all the success with it. And I can't wait to listen to your other guests.
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