Tag Archive for #TheNourishedMind

TTT: Not sure how to build a solid nutrition plan? Start with your DBRs.

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Is your diet random or regular?

 

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What are your Dietary Big Rocks—those things you are committed to doing every single day that are in line with your desired health and fitness outcomes?

 

 

If it’s not a question you can answer easily, then chances are you don’t have them yet…which likely means your daily nutritional choices are a bit random…which means in turn that you’re likely struggling.

 

 

 

So how do we move from struggling, and maybe not being able to see the forest for the trees to eating with intention, purpose and getting better results—without stress or another regimented diet plan?

 

 

 

By identifying the Big Rocks in our diets—the 3 things that have the MOST impact overall on our health, wellness, weight, body fat percentage, or athletic performance.

 

 

 

Just a couple of weeks ago, I’m discovered that I’d gotten away from mine throughout the month of May!

 

 

 

Life’s pace picked up, my dad came for a month-long visit (so grateful), the kids both had birthdays and celebrations, I went on 2 short road trips (again, grateful)….Long story short, my diet became more random and haphazard than I’d like or feel comfortable living with.

 

 

 

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One of those indulgent travel meals.

 

 

So I’m taking this opportunity to redefine my own DBRs. But this also means that I need to clearly define just what the desired outcome of my nutrition really is.

 

 

 

I’ve been listening to several podcasts all about fat loss lately, because that seems to be what most people I talk to seek help with.

 

 

 

I found myself trying to change my own eating patterns to comply with those fat loss guidelines over the past few weeks as well, because the advice given was sounds and seemed effective…Except I was starting to get more off-track with my own diet by complying with rules that didn’t fit MY needs.

 

 

 

I didn’t even realize what I was doing (trying to override my body’s signals and needs in order to do ‘the right thing’) until about a week or so ago when it hit me over the head: I’m not eating for fat loss—that’s not MY goal!

 

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I want to be eating for hormone balance (learning as a I go!), maintaining or even creating more lean muscle tissue, and getting stronger/improving my athletic performance. Which, in my personal diet, looks very different than when I’m eating for fat loss!

 

 

 

LOL/SMH….

 

So my updated DBRs with MY current goals in mind, are:

 

*Prioritizing Protein: eating 5-6 servings of roughly 20 grams per day

 

*Getting AT LEAST 5 servings of veggies daily, and more is always better

 

*Including healthy fats (Omega 3s) for their anti-inflammatory properties and because they add taste and fullness to my meals

 

 

 

Then, once I defined my DNC’s then I got to work on putting them into daily actions!

 

 

 

Here’s how I did it:

  • baked a big batch of salmon filets which I ate for lunch with a salad many days
  • added veggies and protein at breakfast via a variety of scrambles
  • made half my plate veggies in the evenings
  • had Quest bars for a snack most days
  • baked a bunch of chicken breasts and boiled eggs for easy to grab protein
  • cooked using olive oil and coconut oil
  • used avocado and cheese as condiments in many of my meals (esp. scrambles, salads and wraps)
  • got bagged salad a couple of times in the week, too, because the convenience is well worth the cost these days
  • had my kids cut veggies in the evenings
  • stocked tuna and beans in my pantry, and whole wheat tortillas in the fridge, so we could have wraps of some kind OR black bean burritos—always a filling and tasty 30-minutes or less meal.
  • **Cooked everything in double batches to save me time making meals later in the week. This is KEY to my success—or lack thereof some weeks!**

 

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A double-batch of grilled asparagus–worth the time and the gas!

 

Once I’ve got the basic structure for my diet, and the ingredients for the next couple of days ready to go, it’s ‘plug and chug’ time.

 

 

Like I’ve said before, I don’t count macros or calories, I count PORTIONS. If it seems like I’m not getting in my DNC’s, then I ‘double-down’ in the afternoon and evening (like having a #BAS—big-ass salad, for example).

 

 

I find it WAY more effective and WAY less stress to focus on what I’m putting IN to my daily diet, rather than what I’m taking (or leaving) out.

 

 

I continue to plan in my indulgences, too, because deprivation and restriction are NOT part of my sustainable eating plan.

 

 

 

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The Spanish Verdejo I’m currently infatuated with.

 

 

 

After I have my DBRs worked in, then I also add in carbs as sides when I wanted them (sweet potatoes, a slice of toast, some noodles—whatever was available/sounded good), and I make sure the foods I eat taste good while I meet my DBRs.

 

 

 

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One of last week’s big batch/DBR-based dinners.

 

 

Every meal was satisfying, had a little variety most days, felt SO much better and so much less bloated after 4 days of consistency. Phew!

 

 

So what changes or goals are you working on in your daily diet right now?

 

 

Whether our goals are to lose weight, lean out a bit or decrease body fat, create more shapely muscles, develop increased muscular strength, speed and endurance or simply to maintain a stable level of health and wellness, our DBRs matter.

 

 

Our success or continued frustration hinge on the daily nutritional choices we make.

 

 

And this is why defining our DBRs matters—they help us:

  1. focus on the DO’s in our diets
  2. focus on Including foods in our diets, not Excluding them,
  3. keep focused on taking positive and proactive steps towards eating and feeling better instead of having us all hung up on avoiding foods or resisting urges or cravings.

 

So I’ll ask you again:

–> Is your diet random or regular?

 

–> What are your Dietary Big Rocks—those things you are committed to doing every single day that are in line with your desired health and fitness outcomes?

 

 

If you’re still not sure, then it’s time to start by defining your goal(s).

 

After you have your goal(s) defined, then it’s time to consider:

 

  1. a) what your biggest challenges are—the things that might be interfering with your goals, and

 

  1. b) what things might be the MOST helpful in getting your eating more aligned with your desired outcome(s)!

 

Wherever you are in the process, look for the lessons you can learn from your mindset about food and your daily behaviors, make sure to celebrate your small wins, and look for the places where you can make the most impact in your diet without making yourself crazy.

 

 

And on that topic, I’m beginning a 10-week email series called ’10 Steps to a Livable Diet,’ which is a condensed version of the coaching I’ve done in my Get REAL Fit lifestyle coaching group AND my ‘Nourished Mind’ program.

 

The Livable Diet email cover

 

 

If you’re ready to stop chasing your tail and beating your head against yet another diet wall, then maybe you’re ready to try creating a ‘Liveable Diet’ of your own.

 

 

Over the next 10 weeks, I’ll be sharing my 10 steps for ditching the diet mentality for good and creating your own flexible, adaptable and permanently effective ‘Livable Diet.’

 

Sign up here to get my ’10 Steps to a Livable Diet’ email series delivered to you:

http://bit.ly/LivableDiet10Steps

 

 

Each Thursday, I’ll be sending out a single step in the process, with actionable tips and even a cheat sheet to help you start on the path to diet freedom and creating your own adaptable, sustainable, effective Livable Diet.

 

 

FYI: there is ZERO obligation to do anything or purchase anything—it’s purely for educational purposes and I just wanted to make sure you had to opportunity to take part and start tuning up your diet and eating habits RIGHT NOW.

 

#TheLivableDiet

#TheNourishedMind

 

the ONE question we need to ask.

There is ONE question we need to ask ourselves.  ONE question that can make a huge difference in our choices, and therefore our results.

 

 

This is THE question we really need to ask anytime we want to make a big change or start something new, and I think it’s a question that many of us kind of skip over in the hurry to just do that next big new thing!

 

 

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I remember about 10 years ago I wanted to change my hair—specifically, I wanted to go red/auburn rather than the blond highlights I’d been sporting for the few years prior. So I did!

 

 

With the help of a quality hairdresser, we made me a redhead in the course of a couple of hours.

 

 

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Awesome, right?!? Hmmmmmm…it was awesome until most of the color had washed out of my hair in the first 10 days and I was scrambling to get the right shampoos and conditioners to make it last longer.

 

 

It was great until the third week when all of my gray hairs came sparkling out for all the world to see—and even at 31, I had lots of them.

 

 

 

By the fourth week, I realized there was no way I could reasonably maintain this hair color without a huge amount of energy and expense. So I went back to the more manageable blond (gray hair camouflaging!) highlights.

 

 

And then what….

 

 

 

There was the time I threw myself into training for a marathon in 6 months—except I wasn’t in shape AT ALL and ended up with a stress fracture 3 months in.

 

 

 

Seemed like a great idea in the beginning, when I was going to raise money for charity and lose 20 pounds of post-breakup weight gain!

 

 

 

And then what….

 

 

 

Then there was the time right after I’d gotten married, and my husband was stationed in Germany while I was still living in Seattle, finishing up the school year before (hopefully) moving to Germany with him, when I felt the need to ‘get skinny’ by exercising more and taking Hydroxycut. This was back when Hydroxycut was the full-ephedra variety—before people figured out this caused cardiac issues.

 

 

 

 

I lost some weight/leaned out a little, but not a ton since I wasn’t changing my diet—the pills were going to do the work for me!—but I gained a nasty temper, borderline anxiety attacks, a manic response to everything which added to my insecurities instead of making them go away.

 

 

 

 

Even so, I kept taking Hydroxycut for a while because it was a great pre-workout stimulant (insert face palm here), I didn’t think I looked good enough, and I was afraid of what would happen if I stopped taking it.

 

 

 

 

In each of those situations, and so many more, I just acted—took drastic action, in fact—without ever stopping to consider what would happen on the other side of that decision—And Then What??

 

 

 

 

It’s like when we go on a diet. We are all kinds of charged up to make a big change in our weight, our appearance and we just can’t wait to feel and look better! We throw ourselves in, full steam, and do what it takes until we finish the program or hit the right number on the scale.

 

 

 

What we so many times forget, or just neglect, to ask is: What happens AFTER I finish this diet/challenge/program?

 

 

 

 

We do the 21-Day Fix, investing the roughly $140 for the kit—because this is going to FIX things!

 

We lose weight and inches.

 

We get compliments.

 

We feel accomplished…And then what?

 

 

What happens the next 21 days?

 

 

 

Do you do another 21-day fix, or do you go back to your old habits and regain all you lost—including some confidence?

 

 

 

We decide we’re going to follow one of the Herbalife or Shakeology plans, complete with all the necessary products, for a month.

 

 

We lose weight—because we’re definitely taking in fewer calories and maybe getting the ‘help’ of some appetite suppressants.

 

 

But the plan isn’t sustainable. It doesn’t account for birthday parties, and social occasions, and it costs a small fortune that really isn’t in your monthly budget.

 

 

 

And then what?

 

 

 

Do we try to find a way to keep up with the cost of these products?

 

 

Do we just go back to our old habits? Do we turn to another, less expensive weight loss product to help us ‘keep it off?’

 

 

 

The one question to ask before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, before we spend a bunch of money on a weight loss kit, challenge, plan, pill, potion or program: AND THEN WHAT?

 

 

 

 

What will we do on the other side of that choice and effort?

 

 

What will we do when the challenge is over, or the diet has reached it’s desired effect?

 

 

If we take a pill, potion, prescription or supplement system, do we plan to take it FOREVER?

 

 

 

When we stop taking the product, and I seriously doubt any of us plan to take a weight loss supplement all the way into old age, WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

 

 

The biggest problem with all these diet and weight-loss programs, products and approaches is that they are simply designed to be temporary.

 

 

 

They were never built, or meant to last. They were created to provide a financially lucrative band-aid.

 

 

 

 

But what about when we start with small habit changes, like we’ve been talking about lately? When we are able to make roughly 26 of those small habit changes over the course of just one year, we can also ask And Then What?

 

 

 

Then we are on a successful, sustainable path towards maintaining a healthy weight and body composition, not to mention sparing our sanity and our pocketbooks.

 

 

 

We are in the process of finding the true-forever solution—the one that fits us best, adapts to our lifestyle, that we like and have ownership of, that’s what.

 

 

We know ourselves, we trust ourselves, we are in charge of ourselves—and it’s freaking awesome.

 

 

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THAT is something no diet, pill, potion, program or challenge will ever be able to give us.

 

#BYBY2016

#beyourbestyou

Why habit change is the best diet in EVER.

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“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

~ Aristotle

 

 

 

HABIT:  An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.”

 

 

 

At its most basic level, a habit is something we do over and over that feels normal to us.  It’s something we do without much thought or deliberation, and this can really work in our favor or against us!

 

 

 

 

Why do habits matter for all of us?

 

 

 

 

Well, it’s like what Arisotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”

 

 

 

If we repeatedly do things that are unhelpful to our health or relationships or overall well-doing, then we are creating an unhealthy way of being—that has both internal and external consequences.

 

 

 

And when we repeatedly do that which is more helpful, or healthful, our whole human being responds—mind, body, spirit.

 

 

 

So what we do, at it’s most basic level (habits) each and every day shapes our experience of life. 

 

 

 

scheduling for the win!

 

 

How many things do you do habitually on the average day?

 

 

 

 

If you really think about it, TONS.  Tooth-brushing alone is a normalized pattern of behavior that has a huge health impact—not to mention it’s part in our appearance.  And most of us have been doing this since early childhood.

 

 

 

 

I’ve spent A LOT of time reading about and considering the impact of habit on the way we eat and live and comparing it with the ‘diet’ approach to living.

 

 

 

Having dieted SO many times myself, and witnessed the ups and downs of friends, family and clients through the classic all-or-nothing, binge-and-restrict diet cycles, I just had to wonder the BIG WHY:  what was it that made these diets fail?

 

 

 

Habit. 

 

 

 

Following someone else’s (hardcore and arbitrary) rules can have some effect for a while.  But unless those diets are adopted at the smallest levels into a person’s daily life repeatedly, they are doomed to fail—they won’t ‘stick.’

 

 

 

 

Really, I have yet to find someone who says: “I’m going on this diet, and I’m going to do it FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.”

 

 

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By contrast, when we adopt little, do-able, agreeable behavior patterns and include them repeatedly in our daily lives—because we WANT to, those changes ‘stick.’

 

 

 

We just end up doing them enough to make them our new normal.

 

 

 

“If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from the inside.”

 

 

 

Now kicking out or ‘quitting’ an unhelpful habit (I’m staying away from the terms ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on purpose) is just plain tough. Ask anyone who’s tried to quit smoking—cold turkey/’just say no’ is very rarely effective.

 

 

There are plenty of studies that have come up with conclusive scientific evidence that it takes between 21 and 60 days to make a new habit ‘stick.’

 

 

To the best of my knowledge, there’s not one that has conclusive measurements for how long it takes to BREAK a habit.

 

 

So the easiest way to make real, helpful, agreeable, lasting changes in how we eat, think, feel and behave is to focus our efforts on making one small behavior pattern (habit) change at a time.

 

 

Imagine you started a systematic approach of changing one small behavior every two weeks for the rest of the year. 

 

 

–>Maybe those new habits involved changing the portion sizes of foods you eat.

 

–>Maybe those new habits involved eating a higher number of fruits and vegetables you eat each day, or influenced how you shop at the grocery store.

 

–>Maybe those new habits involved drinking fewer high-calorie drinks, or prepping your food ahead of time so it was always ready-to-go, or enjoying treats a couple of times a week naturally instead of every day?

 

 

 

What would the impact of those collective changes be?

How would your life be different this time next year?

How would YOU be different this time next year?

 

 

 

This is why I created and structured The Nourished Mind program as a series of habit changes that have a built-in accountability factor (calls with me).

 

 

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Like I’ve said many times before, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater;  we want to make our changes as tolerable and meaningful as possible so that they stick.

 

 

I also want you to feel successful and confident in YOUR ability to continue to make and monitor those healthy habit changes and their positive impact on your life and health.

 

 

 

When you get systematic practice making these changes in the way you act AND think, you are empowered with the tools to shape your own life and body on YOUR terms in a way that makes sense to you and just plain WORKS. 

 

 

If you’re ready to stop dieting and start thriving, The Nourished Mind 12-Week Coaching Program is for you.

 

**LAST CHANCE!  Sign up closes TONIGHT at midnight, PST!!**

 

Check out the details about the program, and get signed up here: http://bit.ly/TheNourishedMind

 

**LAST CHANCE!  Sign up closes TONIGHT at midnight, PST!!**

 

 

 

 

Let me just leave you with one last thought:

 

 

 

If you started making one small habit change at a time, at a rate of one every 2 weeks for the next year for a total of 26 different habits, how would your body and your life be different?

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it worth finding out?

7

Oh SNAP!

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If I’m being completely honest, I’ve been struggling the last few months with a great deal of stress and stress management. 

 

 

Out of all the pieces of the fitness puzzle, stress management is my weakest…so it probably makes sense that I spent so much of my adult life eating my emotions.  

 

Nothing like a quick fix, right?!?

 

 

Our landlord informed us at the end of September that she needed us to move out so her single son, who just finished university, could move in.

 

 

We’d been in our house and town for 6 ½ years, and it was the only home my kids had really known (Taylor is 10 and Dempsey is 7).  We’re pretty rooted in the community, so staying in our town was been a priority, but it wasn’t easy at all to find a new home for a family our size just a few weeks before the holidays.

 

 

The house hunt took almost 2 months to turn up something that would work well for us, and we found an amazing house—only to run into a few bureaucratic hangups in the process.

 

 

It’s been a lot to deal with–the uncertainty, the move the week before Christmas, having family visit from the US right in the middle of all the chaos, the unpacking and readjusting to a new home and new neighborhood.

 

 

 

I’m telling you all this because throughout the entire ordeal, I put my own best advice and practices to use:

  • getting in the small workouts when the main one/regularly planned one doesn’t happen,
  • taking moments to appreciate the small pieces of joy in each day,
  • strategizing on Sundays to keep on track with both my kids’ needs, work responsibilities, doctor’s appointments, vet appointments, and all the usual household stuff in order
  • writing in my gratitude journal every morning and night

 

 

But one of the most useful practices that’s gotten LOTS of use is my SNAP technique—which I’m sharing with you!

 

 

 

 

SNAP is my way of interrupting impulse behaviors and redirecting my energy towards the positive and productive. 

 

 

 

 

SNAP stands for:

S — STOP

N — Notice

A — Ask

P — Pick and Proceed

 

 

 

STOP:  Stop means just that; stop right where you are, stop what you’re doing, interrupt the behavior you’re engaging in/about to engage in.

 

 

 

Stop and pause and breathe.

 

 

 

NOTICE:  Notice how you’re feeling.

 

 

Notice the feeling of your breath—is it rapid and shallow (only filling your lungs), or is it slow, deep and calming?

 

 

 

Notice the feeling in your muscles—are they tense and rigid, or soft and relaxed?

 

 

Notice your posture—are your shoulders ‘up in your ears,’ or are they sitting in a lower, relaxed position.  Is your chest open, or are your shoulders rounded forward?

 

 

Notice the feeling in your true stomach:  are you feeling true hunger cues?  Is your stomach upset? Is it full or is it empty?

 

 

Notice your mood.  Are you happy, sad, stressed, lonely, angry, relaxed or bored?

 

 

 

ASK:  Ask “What do I really need right now?”

 

 

Do you really need something to eat?

 

 

If I’m not truly physically hungry, then what is it I’m hungry for?

 

 

Do I need a break or a time-out?

 

 

 

Do I need to talk?

 

 

 

Do I need to get some stress out?

 

 

Do I need to stop and think for minute?

 

 

PICK and PROCEED:  Pick what course of action you’re going to take to meet your need, and Proceed.

 

 

Consciously, purposefully pick what you’re going to do next, then do it.

 

It doesn’t have to be ‘perfect,’ it just needs to be intentional.

 

 

 

–>The point is to get ourselves into the habit of being self-aware, of interrupting old, unhelpful behavior patterns and tendencies, and to put us back in our own power. 

 

 

 

 

–>The point is to put us back in the position of being the pitcher, not the batter—of choosing the direction of our lives rather than just responding to what happens around us. 

 

 

 

There have been plenty of times lately I’ll find myself wandering mindlessly back into the kitchen, looking for something…a treat, a munchie, some chocolate, some wine…and I then as I reach for a cupboard or shelf, I’ll think ‘Oh, SNAP!’ 

 

I stop.

 

I think: what am I feeling right now?  I notice my physical sensations.  I notice my mood.

 

I ask: what am I really hungry for right now?  I find an answer (it’s almost always not food).

 

I pick what action to take next, and I go with it.

 

 

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I’ll be 100% candid here:  The ASK part is the hardest, especially for us women who are supposed to take care of so many things and people ahead of ourselves. 

 

 

 

We are so often expected to be selfless and serving the needs of others, and sometimes we’re conditioned to believe that when we serve our own needs it’s selfish.

 

 

So we often turn to other means of soothing ourselves—like turning to food—as a way of dealing with some feelings or needs.

 

 

Naming what we really need when we’re reflexively conditioned to turn to food can be a new and unfamiliar practice.

 

 

It can take some extra ‘brain sweat’ at first—the answer to “What am I really hungry for?” may not be ‘on the tip of your tongue.’  It might take a some ‘turning inwards’ to explore your feelings, which can also take time and practice.

 

 

 

It might bring up some difficult feelings. 

 

 

 

 

THESE FEELINGS ARE ALL NORMAL AND OKAY PARTS OF THE PROCESS.

 

 

 

 

But it may be a little scary at first, and you may be uncomfortable with the feelings that come up.  I know I am from time-to-time.

 

 

I encourage you to be brave, to practice self-compassion and set aside self-judgment. 

 

 

 

We are all works in process, and the fact that you’re even reading this shows that you are invested in the process of becoming your best you—that you are committed, brave, and capable of doing the hard work when it’s needed.

 

 

What I’ve found is the more I practice ‘asking,’ the better I get at it.  The answers come more easily and quickly as my self-awareness improves.

 

 

Like riding a bike, the more you do it, the better you get at it and the more automatic the activity becomes.

 

 

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After I ASK, I pick.  Sometimes I walk away, sometimes I drink a glass of water, sometimes I’ll write down my thoughts/feelings, sometimes I’ll call my dad or a good friend to talk out what’s bugging me.

 

And sometimes, if it’s a case of me trying to avoid doing something tedious or unpleasant, I’ll just go tackle that task and get it over with.

 

 

Lately, I’ve been putting my legs up the wall and practicing crocodile breathing if I can’t get outside for a walk, because I know what I’m hungry for or needing is resolution to our housing crisis—and that’s not going to be found through eating or drinking anything.

 

 

So I do what I can to give myself a little more peace, and ‘Legs Up the Wall’ is a quick and easy go-to.

 

But that choice of calming method starts with “Oh, SNAP.”

 

If you’re finding yourself mindlessly or habitually heading for the kitchen or a certain aisle in the grocery store, try using the SNAP technique to break your pattern:

 

 

STOP

NOTICE

ASK

PICK and PROCEED

 

 

 

And tell me how it works for you!

 

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SNAP is just one of the techniques we use in The Nourished Mind coaching program to learn a healthier way of thinking about food and eating, and to cope with issues like stress-eating and emotional eating.

 

 

 

 

**NOW OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT. Sign up ends this Friday at midnight, PST!**

Sign up here==>  The Nourished Mind

 

 

Nourish your body. Nourish your mind. Love the skin you’re in.

 

#TheNourishedMind: The last diet you’ll ever need to go on.

5

 

 

Trainer Tip Tuesday: Strategy trumps Willpower.

It’s Trainer Tip Tuesday!

Today’s Tip: Strategy trumps Willpower.

 

How many of us have started the day with great intentions of eating well/sticking to ‘the plan,’ and done a really good job…UNTIL.

 

Until late in the afternoon, or in the evening when we’re worn out from ‘adulting’–making decisions, responding to other people’s needs, taking care of business, commuting, dealing with homework, etc, etc, and then we could care less about the intention to ‘eat healthy’ or control our portions, or skip the glass of wine while we cook (true story).

 

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We are DONE. We used up all our ‘will’ on other decisions and actions all day long.

 

This, my friends, is where we need to bring in some strategy. And strategy involves some honest assessment of where our weak spots are, and coming up with plans for how to avoid the pitfalls that so often hang us up.

 

If the wheels fall off your best intentions around the same time of day consistently, or if there are certain days of the week that are extra busy or stressful, or there are particular occasions that challenge you–maybe a weekly meeting–we need to acknowledge it.

 

No guilt or shame or berating ourselves, just acknowledging that those are consistent pitfalls.

 

Next, we figure out what we could do differently to get around those pitfalls and feel more successful.

 

Ready to eat the paint off the walls when you get home? Find yourself cramming whatever isn’t nailed down into your mouth before you try and assemble dinner?

 

Maybe having a nutritious snack planned/ready to grab can help. Something like cut veggies and a hummus dip or guacamole that you can munch on that won’t throw you off course while you cook dinner.

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Or maybe eating a quality protein bar in the car on the drive home could help–I did that just last week. And it didn’t impact my overall food intake because I naturally adjusted my dinner portions to meet my needs.

 

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If you have a day of running the kids to practices and extra lessons, etc, and you find yourself feeling worn thin/frazzled by the time you get home, take 3-5 minutes to put your feet up the wall (yoga/stretch position) and practice belly breathing.

 

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Sometimes calming down relieves the urgency of needing to put something in our mouths to calm us…like that glass of wine while cooking (ahem).

 

When we have a plan, or backup plans, in place we don’t have to rely on our will.

 

We know our options, we make quick, stressless choices and follow through on the plan we made when we were rested and saw the big picture better.

 

If you’re finding yourself in a losing battle with willpower, especially at the end of the day, try a little quick analysis and creating a strategy for a change!

 

It just might be the simple solution you need to keep you eating nutritiously and feeling good–both inside and out.

 

#TheNourishedMind
#strategizeforthewin

The FASTEST way to lose weight, burn fat and feel better for good…

Change never fails because it's too early...quote-2

…isn’t fast at all.

 

Hear me out.

 

My husband was in the states for a training not too long ago, and had access to ‘normal’ American TV–that is, TV programming complete with commercials.

 

Living in Germany, we have American television shows broadcasting through AFN (Armed Forces Network), but because of the agreement between the military and those stateside networks supplying the programming, we have only military-created commercials/informercials (or as I like to call it, propaganda!).  So the culture shock of being flooded by a tidal wave of sales pitches and products made an impression on him this trip.

 

“Kate,” he said in one of his first phone calls home, “you would not believe how many diet and workout and exercise equipment commercials there are.  It’s like every other one is for some diet pill, or DVD, or super supplement, or exercise tool.”

 

Seriously, he was pretty shocked.

I wasn’t.

The fitness/diet industry is BIG BUSINESS.

 

These diet/fitness businesses target people sitting at home, feeling dissatisfied and frustrated, offering them a glossy, gorgeous, EASY miracle solution to their difficulties.  And people will buy these ‘miracle’ solutions, too–I know I did!

 

Sitting in my father’s basement TV room while visiting home, 6 months postpartum, with a gorgeous and healthy baby, I was also feeling trapped–10 pounds heavier than my pre-baby weight, wearing a bigger pant size, and A LOT more squishy than I’d been before getting pregnant.

 

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November 2005 kate and taylor playing in the rec room

Prior to this trip, I’d been stuck at home with an infant and very few friends at our duty station in Fort Polk, Louisiana, I was emotionally eating throughout the day and not exercising at all, aside from daily walks with the stroller when the weather (and temperature) permitted.  I was isolated, stuck in the middle of nowhere, had no childcare available to me, my marriage was strained, and I was so desperate to make things better SOMEHOW.

While mindlessly watching some show on cable tv, an informercial for The FIRM came on.  It caught my attention.  The FIRM offered a way to work out at home, provided a DVD workout series to follow, a monthly workout plan, a step apparatus and a series of very convincing ‘before and after’ testimonials from people just like ME.

 

This was the answer to my problems!  If I got bought the The FIRM intro kit and series, I could reshape my body, I could look like them–lean, tight, toned, beautiful!  THIS would make me happy! Hallelujah!

 

 I scrambled for my wallet and promptly ordered the kit that had been promoted.

Following The Firm workouts did get me active again, and helped–for a little while.  But nothing really worked until I was forced to get real with myself, to learn to strength train safely and effectively, to develop a healthier and more balanced relationship with and attitude towards food, to learn to own my thoughts and behavior and take responsibility for my choices.

 

I learned to be the pitcher rather than the batter.  

This process, because true change is process not a product, started in 2006 and continues today.

taylorandkate

June 2006

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March 2015

Some products on tv are pretty decent–such as The FIRM–are pretty safe and reliable, with a positive cost:benefit ratio (low on risk, higher on reward/outcome).  But none of them are a miracle cure.

 

Diet pills are an ‘EASY’ button for a little while–until they don’t work well any longer, or cause a whole host of physical (and emotional) ailments.

 

staples-easy-button

Some training DVDs and programs can create a ‘training response’ for a while, but are often too strenuous or too high impact for a person who is just starting out or those who might have (old) injuries or conditions.

 

And many of the Quick-Fix diets, challenges and programs (21-Day Fix, in particular) only work for as long as you use them (and keep buying them) or follow their rules–usually too regimented and strict to follow for much longer than the 21 or 30 days allotted for the program.

 

Recently, I’ve seen women giving testimonials about the how well the 21-Day Fix worked, saying they were really starting to see results–on their THIRD round.

 

Question for you:

If this ‘Fix’ really ‘fixes’ things, why does anyone need to do multiple rounds to get results???

 

“Sure, any female who’s allotted a point system or given a micromanaged selection of TV dinners will succeed, but only as long as she’s paying up and being spoon-fed. Once she starts thinking for herself in the kitchen, those same vices she wrestled with before become problematic again.” https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/10-mistakes-women-make-with-diets

 

All of these programs, potions and pills do one thing that ultimately sabotages our efforts at losing weight, losing body fat, gaining lean muscle, becoming more shapely, feeling more satisfied and confident in our abilities–they cultivate reliance on THAT program/potion/pill, rather than really educating and fostering the development of self-reliance, because where would the money be in that?!?!?!

 

The ONLY way to really change for good (and even this will continue to be a moving target as we age and change), is to LEARN what your body needs in terms of healthy nutrition and physical activity as well as finding the positive thought processes and self-talk that sustain you through periods of challenge.

 

If you’re kind of at a crossroads, or struggling a bit or feeling frustrated with a lack of progress or just kind of ‘stuck;’ if you’ve tried lots of diets, done lots of ‘challenges,’ and things don’t stay ‘fixed,’ consider these questions:

  • What will you be doing in 10 or 20 years from now?
  • Will you still be ‘fixing’ things with diets, pills, potions and/or challenges, relying on buying a product, program or advice from the representative of a big-business company–or even contemplating something more drastic, like surgery??
  • OR will you have internalized healthy and sustainable eating patterns and movement into your daily life in a way that supports and meets YOUR body’s and lifestyle needs??
  • Will you be grasping at straws or will you be thriving, trusting your own knowledge, judgment, intuition and working in partnership with your body instead of against it?

The FIRM wasn’t the answer for me.  Neither was Herbalife, or GNC diet pills, or the Zone Diet, or the Body for Life diet–or any other handful of extreme, desperate measures I’d taken between the ages of 20 and 30, when I’d sought to subdue my body, to force it to look and behave the way I desired it to.

 

None of these products or approaches was the answer I sought to look and feel better because none of them TAUGHT me anything.

 

None of them helped me better understand how nutrition affected, and could affect, my body.  None of them helped me gain the knowledge I needed to strength train and work out safely and effectively.  None of them helped me learn to think stronger, to overcome the inevitable hurdles and pitfalls in normal life that can so easily throw you off track (if you let them).  None of them taught me to believe in myself–in my own resilience and strength and abilities.

 

Real and lasting change, the kind you can maintain and adjust and adapt throughout the rest of your life, comes from:

  • cultivating greater self-awareness
  • learning how to make healthier food choices
  • learning how to strength train and exercise efficiently and effectively
  • learning how to adapt your habits to work harmoniously with your lifestyle
  • learning how to think stronger and developing resilience

These things take time to develop.

Gandhi pull ups

The gorgeous thing is, once you develop these key areas of thinking and understanding, you have them for good.

You have the tools you need to adapt and overcome, to tweak and evolve as you grow and change throughout the rest of your life.  You have the ability to live with less angst and more joy and peace where food, exercise, how your body looks and feels are concerned.

 

You can’t get that from a quick fix or a pre-programmed diet.

The fact that change takes time shouldn’t be off-putting.  The fact that change takes time means that it is an investment you make in yourself, and just like investing money, dividends or payoffs take TIME.

And aren’t you worth that investment?

 

 

If you’re ready to give up on the quick fix and learn to make changes that will both work for YOU and LAST, if you’re ready to trade in gimmicks and products for solid workout knowledge and plans, if you’re ready to invest yourself in YOU, then The Nourished Mind coaching program is for you.

 

**Opens to the public on January 26, but get on the wait list NOW to receive priority access and exclusive deals not available to the public**
—> http://bit.ly/TNMwaitlist

 

Remember, I’m always here for you.

Keep it real!

Kate

Pills, Powders and Potions: Prescriptions for FAILURE.

I’m going to come completely clean about something:  I absolutely, unequivocally, fundamentally and vehemently LOATHE weight loss/diet products.  LOATHE.

 

I’ve sat on the fence for a while, keeping my thoughts to myself publicly, but it’s time for me to get real, to draw that line in the sand and just say what I really think and feel about weight loss/diet products such as Shakeology, Herbalife, ItWorks, Body by Vi, and a whole slew of other ‘get-skinny-quick-by-taking-this’ lines of products.

 

I might piss some people off for saying the things I’m about to say, but I can’t sit on my beliefs any longer.

 

I.  Freaking. Loathe. Them. All.

 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve witnessed local fitness instructors and personal trainers at my local Army post peddle their wares on the local social media sites as well as within the fitness center facilities themselves.

 

> I’ve seen them use their positions to influence how women feel about their bodies.

 

> I’ve seen these fitness professionals manipulate the need for community that so many Army spouses need when they are stationed overseas, thousands of miles away from their families.

 

> I’ve heard of outrageous recommendations by these same fitness pros, such as taking two Herbalife shakes a day (roughly 200 cals each) and only eating one small meal at dinner.  Oh yeah, I think there were some appetite suppressant products thrown in that mix, too.  These were recommendations made by a personal trainer to her client, who also became her Herbalife customer as well.

 

Wow.  That sounds healthy.  And sustainable, too.

> I’ve witnessed repeatedly, Shakeology 30-day challenges being offered, with one of the tag lines reading “We will also be replacing one meal a day with the healthiest meal of the day, Shakeology.”

 

Healthiest meal of the day my ass.

Other products being offered locally in local social media groups:  another 21-day Fix Challenge Group (“Want to lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days?”);  an It Works 90-day Challenge (“Become a Loyal Customer by signing up for a 90 day challenge and receive that 40% off for life!!! Get started today!!! #‎ItWorks); and more Herbalife products–there are over 100 you know…(“Need energy? Lose weight? Gain weight or muscles? Healthier skin and hair? A better heart or digestive system?”).

 

This is all such bullshit.  And I hate it all.

Here’s Why:

1.  As a fitness professional, if you are actively telling your clients and/or class patrons to take/use a weight loss supplement or product, you are effectively telling them that their training and nutrition efforts are not enough and they will not succeed without your product.

 

–>If you are a quality trainer, shouldn’t your coaching on fitness and nutrition be enough to  create a ‘training outcome?’  Shouldn’t your coaching be in the vein of cultivating better self-trust, self-reliance, and giving people the tools they need to succeed in the long-run, rather than undercutting their personal growth by pushing a ‘cheater’ supplement?

 

2.  Promoting the use of weight loss supplements/products is effectively telling people they cannot trust their bodies and cannot trust their own willpower or judgment.

 

–>If you’re really invested in helping people lose weight, change their body composition and feel healthier, then you’ll be helping them learn to think more carefully about their relationships with food, to regard their bodies as an amazing vehicle rather than an enemy to be battled with and conquered.  You’ll be teaching them to understand true hunger cues, and how to make healthier food choices when faced with cravings, etc, not run to a supplement to suppress these feelings.

 

3.  Promoting the use of weight loss supplements/products is promoting dependence on an artificial means of accomplishing a desired physical change and/or aesthetic outcome.

 

–>If you’re really interested in helping people affect true and lasting change, you’ll be giving them the tools they need to make healthier choices in the gym and the kitchen, so to speak.  You’ll be helping them learn what’s most appropriate and effective for THEIR unique body, disposition and lifestyle, not pushing a ‘fix-it’ product as a quick band-aid.

 

4.  These products only work for as long as a client/customer takes them.  I have yet to meet someone who plans on, or has committed to, taking a weight loss product for the rest of their lives.  

 

–>If you’re really interested in the welfare of your client/customer, you’ll be giving them the tools they need to get healthy and feel good for the long run, not just a supplement as a crutch.

 

Which leads me to….

 

5.  When the client/customer does inevitably stop using these weight loss supplements WHAT HAPPENS THEN???

 

Generally, disappointment and defeat unless they learned to eat effectively and realistically, to exercise in a way that is good for their body and harmonious with their lifestyle.  Generally, there is a rebound, as with any ‘diet’ or temporary nutrition fix, which is pretty much all that those supplements/products are–a TEMPORARY fix.

 

Sure, you’ll see ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures posted of client ‘success,’  but where are the ‘happily EVER AFTER’ pictures–the ones that are taken 5 years after no longer using those products??

 

In stark contrast, I’ve seen plenty of those pictures from people who take the time to make incremental, sustainable changes to their exercise and nutrition habits, who took the time and invested themselves in cultivating greater self-awareness and self-trust….I’m one of them.

 

Here’s the thing:  I know this all, inside out, from personal experience.

I’ve been that desperate person, wanting a quick fix, wanting a change, feeling trapped inside an ‘uncooperative’ body.

 

Between the ages of 20 and 30, I tried GNC diet pills (gave me reflux), Herbalife (expensive, and worked until I couldn’t pay for it anymore), Hydroxycut (kind of worked, but made me really agitated and downright mean), the Zone diet and bars, the Body for Life diet and workouts–epic flops and wasted efforts.

 

So many attempts at quick-fix shortcuts.  And NONE of them worked.  Not One.

Here’s the other thing:  Change doesn’t work when it’s pressed from the outside-in;  change works when it’s developed from the inside-out.

As a Certified Personal Trainer and a Health Coach, it’s my job, my mission, to foster self-reliance in those I work with.

 

It’s my job to promote and help cultivate greater self-awareness and self-trust, to empower my clients with the information and behavioral tools they need to make lasting changes.

 

It’s my job to help them–to the very best of my ability–learn and grow into more of their human potential so that they are better equipped to navigate the waters of their life in a sustainable, successful and satisfying way.

 

Yes, this process is slower than 21, 30 or 90 days.

BUT this process, the one of building yourself from the inside out, of developing trust in your own capabilities, of learning to regard your body as a gift and your ally for life, this process will STICK.

 

Adopt the pace of nature_ her secret is

 

Because by engaging in this process, you’ll learn to live in a way that works for YOU.  There won’t be relapses or rebounds, no yo-yo’s, no excessive pendulum swing in habits and outcomes.

 

You’ll stay the course because you’ll CHOOSE the course–your course.

 

Weight loss products don’t do that.  Weight loss products don’t teach you to trust your body.   Weight loss products don’t teach you to trust the process.  Weight loss products don’t teach you to trust your own feelings and judgment.  And this is why weight loss products ultimately fail.

 

THIS is why I LOATHE weight loss products.

 

*I’m in the business of teaching people to learn to trust their bodies, not fight them.

*I prioritize helping people cultivate self-trust:  to learn how to work in partnership with their bodies, to feel and understand the physical signals of hunger and fullness.

*I help people learn to adopt healthier eating practices, to empower them with nutrition knowledge and effective eating strategies.

*I help people understand their personal history with food, to forgive themselves for their pasts and build healthier futures.

 

**And I balance helping my clients learn to make better food choices without stress while helping them find greater body acceptance and peace with their bodies, as they are right nowwhile working towards where they want to be.

 

If you’re sick of the diet-rebound cycle, if you’re tired of searching for that ‘perfect’ meal plan, if you’re ready to give up on the ‘miracle supplement,’ and you’re ready to make peace with your body and learn a new approach to eating that will stick *for good,* then The Nourished Mind lifestyle coaching program is for you.  
**Opens to the public on January 26, but get on the wait list NOW to receive priority access and exclusive deals not available to the public**
—> http://bit.ly/TNMwaitlist

 

Oops, I did it AGAIN.

348

I felt so strong, and happy, and proud, and ready to take on new challenges after physical therapy.

 

During that session, I was able to fully appreciate how much progress I’ve made in the treatment of my lumbar/SI joint issues since I started treatment in December (2014).

 

I have progressed in difficulty in all of my exercises, I’ve developed an even greater level of body awareness and muscular control, and, best of all–I’ve been pain free for weeks.

 

My efforts are paying off, and that’s a source of great comfort, hope and pride for me.  I walked around like I was ten feet tall the rest of the day.

 

Until….

 

Until I reviewed the proofs from my most recent photo shoot and turned into my own worst critic.

 

Nevermind that those photos showed my strength, nevermind that I was my most relaxed and the happiest I’ve ever been when getting my picture taken, nevermind that there are some gorgeous shots in that collection.

 

The thing my tired mind zoned in on:  all the ways in which I wasn’t CUT or RIPPED or LEAN or….WORTHY.

 

Whoa.  

 

 

I thought I was way past this kind of thinking, of getting my self-worth tied up in, and defined by, aesthetics.

 

I’ve spent the past two years in particular getting comfortable in my own skin, encouraging other women to adopt more positive body images–to love their bodies ‘as is.’

 

I’ve focused on practicing gratitude rather than criticism and comparison and I still fell into the trap of comparing myself, my body, to the images I see so often in social media.

 

Shoot, I even compared myself to my ‘old self,’ which I guess freaked me out even more.  WTF.

 

I went to bed, struggling with myself, trying to ‘right the ship.’  And when I woke up the next morning, I had a moment of clarity:

 

 

These are the only times I feel dissatisfied with my body:

  • When I look at fitness photos of other women and then compare them to my own (or compare my current self to my ‘old’ self)
  • When my body doesn’t feel strong, capable of performing at the level I’m accustomed (and this is usually due to a lapse in training–which is easy to get over, because I’m always actively planning my ‘comeback’)

 

 

The times I don’t like my body the most are the times I focus purely on the superficial and/or COMPARE myself to images of others or to my past body.  HOW FREAKING RIDICULOUS.  It was another reminder that “comparison is the thief of joy.”

 

 

What the most recent pictures can’t show is how much better I feel in my body now than I did in the past.  How much more capable an athlete, person, trainer and coach than I’ve ever been before.  How much more kind, compassionate, understanding and supportive I’ve grown–to myself and others.

 

Understanding what triggers my feelings of dissatisfaction and lack of worth, I turned to the other side of the equation:  when it is I feel most satisfied with my body.

 

 

These are the times I feel the most at peace with, and proud of, my body:

  • When I run
  • When I lift heavy things
  • When I can do difficult tasks safely (moving heavy boxes, tires, carrying my 65-pound dog up and down the stairs, etc.)

 

 

And those times are pretty much everyday occurrences.

 

Here’s what I know for certain:  Focusing on aesthetics (how you look) alone as a motivator and way to evaluate success (and worth) vs. failure (and lack of worth) is a surefire recipe for never, ever being satisfied.  It’s like constantly aiming at a moving target–FOREVER, because aesthetics are transient.

 

I refer to it as chasing the ‘Aesthetics Unicorn,’ because it’s about as possible to ‘catch’ and keep a physique permanently as it is to catch and keep a unicorn.

 

 

Our bodies are always changing, adapting, and AGING.  We just can’t look exactly the same as we did or exactly as we think we should all the time. It’s just not possible.  It’s also permanently dissatisfying.  What a way to live.

 

 

I might have gone there, to that joy-stealing-aesthetic-comparison-never-quite-good-enough place for an evening, but I sure as hell don’t want to live there.  And I sure as hell don’t want YOU to live there either.

 

Here’s how I pulled myself back from ‘the ledge’:

  • I identified my emotional trigger:  comparison, focusing only on the superficial physique, judging myself in a one-dimensional manner
  • I challenged the negative thoughts and examined their validity:  Does my leanness really reflect my true fitness, my message, my skills and abilities?  Is it a good measure of anything I stand for or hope to accomplish?  Am I serving others by engaging in this kind of thinking?
  • I redirected my thinking in a positive direction:  I considered all the things I’m proud of and feel good about.  None of them had to do with having or maintaining a super low body fat percentage.  All of the things I am proud of are performance-based:  pull ups, running, lifting progressively heavier weights, learning new and challenging movements and exercises as I age, setting a positive example for my kids, clients, community of what positive thinking and consistent hard work can accomplish.
  • I expressed my gratitude for a healthy and mobile body.  Not everyone gets or has one of those, I’m going to appreciate mine.

 

==>THIS is exactly why I started choosing to focus on performance-based goals rather than aesthetics-based goals about 2 years ago.

==>THIS is why I continue to focus on performance-based goals as my source of challenge, motivation and worth.

==>THIS is why I encourage my clients so strongly to focus on performance-based goals, too.

==>THIS is why I promote doing things like pull ups and push ups so much.

 

Turning the focus from the outside (appearances) to the inside (muscular strength and endurance) builds a healthier mindset, a more positive outlook, and a more satisfying life experience.

 

My new healthy thinking mantra, to combat any of those icky negative thoughts that will inevitably pop in from time to time:

 

“I work out to be more of myself, not less.”

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#takebackfitspo

 

 

When you have those moments when you feel ‘less than’ or allow yourself to go to that ugly place of comparison, try to:

  • identify what triggers that feeling,

  • stop the negative thought from running away with you,

  • redirect your thoughts into a positive direction–find something to praise,

  • practice gratitude for the body you have,

  • and work your mantra.

 

We all go ‘there’ sometimes, but we sure as hell don’t want to stay there.

Trading in Fear and Angst for Gratitude and Appreciation.

Practicing daily gratitude.

Practicing daily gratitude.

Sounds more like a psychology/counseling blog than a fitness one, right?  I hear you.

 

But a few years ago, I started to really see how much one aspect of living affected the others.

I really believe in a Mind-Body-Spirit connection, I’ve dubbed it the ‘Human Trifecta,’ and that when one part is out of whack, the others suffer.  I also believe that bolstering one aspect of the Human Trifecta can bring the others up as well.

 

 

What does this all have to do with trading in fear and angst for gratitude and appreciation, and where does this fit into a fitness context?

 

Here’s my belief, based on my past and current experiences in fitness and living as a whole:  fear and angst will shut you down, gratitude and appreciation will open you up to the greatness and possibilities that are out there.

 

And in the context of fitness, I’m talking about the fear and angst of not being thin enough/lean enough/hard enough/good enough versus appreciating the body you have and all the amazing things it does already, as well as the amazing things you can become capable of doing.

 

 

Angst will ‘hang you up,’ make you feel like you’re carrying a ton of bricks. It will blind you to the good fortune and abundance of possibilities before you–you will only see what is ‘wrong’ and be preoccupied or even obsessed with what you fear.  

 

 

In a fitness/aesthetic context, this can take the form of always needing to lose those ‘last 10 pounds’ or fixating on your ‘muffin top,’ ‘saddle bags,’ ‘back fat,’ body fat percentage, observable 6-pack, etc, etc, etc.

 

 

How many of us can relate to those feelings, or have had that experience?

 

 

Let me ask you this, has any good ever come out of those feelings or preoccupations?

 

Did putting energy into that fear/angst get you closer to your ‘goals’ or give you any sense of relief?

 

 

 

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
― Jack Canfield

 

 

 

Gratitude and appreciation allow you to acknowledge your gifts, blessings and physical abilities and attributes–just as you are/your body looks at this very minute.

 

 

Appreciating what you have will put a little more ‘pep’ in your step; it will allow you to move forward with purpose and hope.

 

 

Knowing these ideas to be true is different than putting them into practice–believe me, I know.

 

 

In the past I thought once I was a certain weight, a certain leanness, had a certain amount of muscular development, was a legit personal trainer and fitness instructor THEN I would be confident, satisfied–I would have made it.

 

 

Only…it never happened.  

 

 

–I’d reach one goal, then there would be another flaw or fixation to work on.

 

–I showcased my abs and got attention for those, then I felt a massive pressure to maintain them in a visible state (be super lean) or I would be looked at as a fraud.

 

–I started comparing myself to other trainers who had other physical/aesthetic assets I felt I didn’t, and I felt I paled in comparison–which led to some ugly, ego-driven, fear-driven thought processes.

 

 

“Comparison is the thief of joy,” someone once wrote.  Boy, is it ever.

 

 

Comparison is also the fueler of fear.

 

 

So instead of appreciating what I had, what I could do, what I brought to the table, I lived in the place of ‘not enough’ for longer than I care to admit.

 

 

And then I just got TIRED.

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July 2012: the first time I publicly unveiled my abs
Photo Credits to Paige Kimball Photography

 

 

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I chose to change my mind, aside from knowing it was in the early part of 2014, but I do know it came from a sense of exhaustion–just being worn out by competing in the fitness instructor/personal trainer rat race of who ‘looked better’ or was ‘more shapely’ or more popular…I just could not do it any longer.

 

 

I remember thinking “What if…”  What’s the worst that could happen if I stopped being so scared and anxious and fearful of paling in comparison?

 

 

What would happen if I said (and accepted) that I was okay ‘as is’–not complacent or defeatist like ‘this is the best I’ll ever be’–but just that I was at peace with where I was at in that moment.

 

  • Would I gain 20 pounds?
  • Would I stop working so hard?
  • Stop caring about my physical appearance?
  • Would it mean I was less invested, less passionate than my peers?
  • What would happen if I stopped looking at and loathing my ‘flaws?’

 

Maybe it was turning 40 last year, maybe it was enduring another deployment (having my husband in Afghanistan, always being a little ready for that phone call or knock on my door), maybe it was the realization that the fitness center I worked at no longer served me or my needs–and in fact took far more from me than they ever gave me in terms of support and positive energy….

 

 

I think it was the sum and total of it all, and all happening at the same time.  

 

 

Whatever the impetus was, I realized it just wasn’t worth living with that gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach or with the negative/’less than’ self-concept ruling my daily existence.

 

 

So I let myself off the hook and began to try a new approach.

 

 

IMG_0385

 

 

 

I decided it didn’t matter how I ‘stacked up’ against my peers, it mattered how well I felt in my own skin.

 

 

I stopped allowing myself to wonder what other people thought because it didn’t matter anymore.

 

 

How I felt others viewed me wasn’t going to be a motivator any longer.

 

 

I started actively taking note of my strengths and abilities, and to focus more on growing those, on learning more and becoming more skilled as an athlete and a trainer.

 

 

I also acknowledged both the strength and aesthetic aspects of myself that I wasn’t entirely satisfied with and on which I would continue to work.  I acknowledged them, and then made a plan of action and moved on.

 

 

And I realized fully how much I love moving, the liberty of being able to move more, lift more, DO more.

 

 

The results of my appreciation/gratitude paradigm shift?

 

 

NO weight gain, better muscular development–because I do what I love to do, not what I think I need to do to look a certain way–and a feeling of having lost 1,000 pounds off my shoulders, of living with a feeling of peace in my gut rather than a hard lump of fear.

 

 

I can’t even explain adequately the personal liberty and peace this change of mindset and thought processes (now a daily practice) have given me.

 

 

What I can say is that THIS way of thinking, this way of life, is where it is at.

This is 40.

This is 40. After my mindset paradigm shift.

 

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And this is 42, about 3 years after my paradigm shift.

 

 

Recently, a dear friend sent me a copy of The Five-Minute Journal, and it’s helped me to structure my practice of acknowledging the good in my life, and showing gratitude, into daily morning and evening events.

 

 

Making this a daily, regular practice helps keep me ‘in the zone,’ because little fears still try to creep in and it’s this practice that keeps in me an open heart, appreciating what I have, what I offer as a person and a trainer, rather than dwelling on what I am not.

 

 

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Stronger and better at 42.

 

It’s not necessarily easy, and it takes a bit of mental training/practice, but WOW is it worth it.

 

http://www.fiveminutejournal.com

http://app.fiveminutejournal.com

 

So maybe you’ll consider starting your day or your week with appreciation practice, especially if you’re someone who’s been focused on your ‘flaws’ or living with anxiety and fear.  

 

Try this:  Name/list 3 to 5 things you like or appreciate or feel grateful for about your body (or your life in general).

It could be a certain body part, a certain feature, or an ability or talent.

And if it’s hard for you to find nice things to say about your body, it could be as simple as the fact that you’re still breathing, that your heart is still beating, that you’re still mobile/able to move freely under your own power.

 

Whatever it is, write it down.

 

“Cultivate Gratitude: Gratitude is the opposite of depression and anxiety. It’s the conscious experience of appreciation of the gifts in our lives and the results are tangible.”

~ The Five Minute Journal

 

Starting each day or each week with gratitude and a positive self-concept will free you from your fears and angst; it frees you to move closer to your goals and to a more ideal or harmonious way of living.

 

Get gratitude and get busy really LIVING.  You’ll never want to go back.

 

 

#getbusyliving

#gratitude365

#TheNourishedMind