nutrition

Winning or Learning – which are you doing?

I’ve been afraid to fail in the past. It’s held me back from trying. And by not trying, I’ve been failing. Anytime I want something, I always have that internal fight with my brain. As I’ve grown and developed emotional maturity, I’ve learned to anticipate that resistance and move forward anyway.

When we don’t try, we fail ahead of time. When we make excuses and don’t try, we fail. When we constantly talk about moving forward but allow ourselves to stay “stuck” or pretend that we’re taking action when internally we know we’re just going through the motions, we’re also failing. We’re failing ourselves.

When we try something new or we think we have figured out the “how” in doing something and try it, sometimes we don’t succeed in our goal. We learn that that approach, that action didn’t quite work.

I tried at least 10 different diets over the years. I learned a lot of ways to lose weight that didn’t work. I kept trying. I didn’t give up. And when I learned the way that did work for me, I succeeded.

What if I had given up after 1, 2, or 5 tries? What if I just accepted the belief that I was overweight and I was doomed to be that weight or heavier forever?

If I had given up coaching when my prior company was on hiatus, I wouldn’t have learned that I could start my own business. I wouldn’t have learned ALL the very interesting (and yes, sometimes tedious) tech stuff that I need for my business. I wouldn’t have met the amazing people that I have been meeting. I wouldn’t know anything about blogging or marketing or business at all! I’ve always been a leader, but as an employee.

Do I know everything I need to know? Hell no. Just like with weight loss, I’m learning as I go. I have goals for my business. Very lofty goals. I’m still taking massive action daily to get myself to and past those first few goals.

Does it scare me? Yup.

Do I doubt myself sometimes? Yup. Do other people doubt me? Of course.

Am I winning? I’d say not yet. But I know I’m learning because I’m taking action. And I’m failing. Massively. Every dang day. It gets frustrating. It feels lonely.

I know that we all have these feelings (whether we admit them or not). We’re all human. We all bleed the same. We all feel the same ways. We all think in similar patterns. Half of our lives are not happy or positive. And that’s okay.

Do you let that stop you? Do you fail ahead of time? Or do you get up every day and take action toward the life you want? Toward the body you want? Toward the goals that create joy in your life?

Do I know everything about running a business and losing weight? Nope, not yet, but I’m taking massive action every. damn. day. to be the best version of me so I can meet you where you are to help you.

Do I know enough? Heck yeah! Can I help you lose weight and learn to love your body and your life? Without any doubt. I’m winning at learning and I’m looking forward to helping you.

Click here to start today.

Let’s stay in touch.

Cravings, and Urges, and Desires, oh my!

My urges ALWAYS are for sweets

Everyone has desires, and when those desires are overwhelming, especially around food, we call them urges.

It’s easy to stop doing something (over eating, drinking, smoking, etc).

However, dealing with the urge or the craving to restart or continue the prior behavior is what is truly uncomfortable.

Your thoughts create emotions which create urges, which DEMAND your attention.

You can resist an urge, which requires willpower and causes mental stress.

You can give in to an urge, which causes a feedback loop in your brain that makes it stronger each time you experience it (just like a child who throws a fit to get their way).

OR, you can have a game plan and prepare and DEAL with the urge, accept it, expect it, and lean into it… and it will get easier and eventually resolve and not come back.

Learning how to allow and move through an urge or a craving is one of the keys to changing habits permanently – and if this interests you – I’m here for you! I teach all about it in my program. You can sign up and start today!

Otherwise, you can start today practicing on your own. So, when you find yourself wanting a snack while watching TV… acknowledge it, sit with it, firmly tell it that it’s okay and you aren’t going to be indulging in it and allowing it to be there and then fade without acting on it.

It gets easier with practice.


I’d love to know – when do you find it most difficult to deny an urge?!

Let’s stay in touch.

Commitment

Commitment is “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc” according to the dictionary.

We all have our own interpretation of what commitment means, what it looks like, what actions we take that prove we are committed to something.

Commitment to me is taking action to move forward toward a goal or outcome.

I remember being afraid or doubtful about my capacity to achieve something.

One example for me is that I remember debating whether I could walk into a new gym, sign up, and complete a workout when I was out of shape and awkward.

You may scoff at this example, but, being an introvert, the fear of new places and people held me back for years.

It’s taken coaching, practice, and courage to become who I am today.

I made a commitment to being healthy that helped me overcome my excuses to stay where I was because it was familiar and comfortable.

 A lot of people talk about wanting something or wanting to achieve a goal or outcome. They debate whether one path or another would be good, they even express their dreams verbally, but then they remain stuck in place. They can picture where they want to be, but, for reasons only known to them, they don’t ever act to achieve this desired outcome.

I hate to break it to you, friends, but talk is cheap. You can talk about something all day long, but, in the end, if you’re not taking action toward your goal, I call bs. You don’t really want it.

That’s where commitment comes in.

When you are truly committed to a goal and bringing it to life – you can plan, you can talk about it, you can visualize it all you want, but, at some point, you need to act.

This is the single most important step. What makes you take action or stay complacent? Your thoughts and feelings about achieving your desired result.

It’s as simple as that. Y

ou hold yourself back. I’ve done it, many times.

I can tell you exactly why too.

I was scared. I felt safe and comfortable where I was. I wasn’t ready. The scales hadn’t tipped enough to make me want to tip that balance in action toward my goal. Sound familiar?

There is never going to be a best time to change your thoughts, feelings, or actions. There will always be some excuse that will allow you to stay where you are. It may sound legitimate. It may sound comforting; this excuse may seem like a fact. I’m here to tell you that it’s not. An excuse is just that, an excuse. Either you are taking action when you want something or your brain is giving you reasons not to.

Commitment is recognizing that your brain will give you resistance. It will supply a multitude of reasons why you don’t act, even when you think you really are serious about wanting something.

I know from experience that if you want something, you take action to get it regardless of your fear, your doubt, your excuses.

The people who are truly committed to achieving their outcome are taking action.

They may fail (we will cover failure and what it actually is…spoiler alert – it’s a learning opportunity) repeatedly but they don’t give up until they achieve their goal. They learn as they go but they keep moving forward.

Decide what you’re committed to today and work for it.

I challenge you to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Fear + action = courage.

Courage + action = commitment.

Let’s stay in touch.

You are a Star

Did you ever dream of being famous?

I sure did. I used to watch Star Search and those talent shows (yes, I’m showing my age here… I like to think of it as maturity). I daydreamed about singing on stage with a fancy costume, hair, and makeup. Everyone would know my name.

Then I grew up. Le sigh. My dreams changed but I always kept that spirit of wanting more, wanting to entertain, alight smiles, and be somebody.

A few years ago, I realized that I had, in fact, achieved all of my dreams that I had set for myself around middle school age. I had a career that I loved, I had a beautiful family, a lovely home, a sexy husband (who does the dishes… yes, I’m bragging, but he’s mine so back off).

Then I hit a lull. I wondered again about what drives us forward other than necessity (food, shelter, Netflix). I realized that I had completed a stage in my life and I had to evolve.

I set new goals, bigger dreams, moved forward. But some of those dreams felt shallow, uncertain. I realized it was because they were self-focused. While I wanted to grow, I have always wanted something bigger than me. A legacy, a life that helps to touch and transform others. To pay things forward with love and kindness. Volunteering has always been part of my life, I continue this even today.

I now know that we all have a star inside of us. It just needs focus and nurturing.

When we find our purpose in life, we can’t contain it.

Working on that selfie with timer

It bursts forth from us.

I know how to teach people to optimize their health. I want to shout it from the rooftops. It excites me and fills me with passion.

My clients and patients know this – they can see it (and I know because they tell me).

My greatest joy in life is teaching other people how to overcome the obstacles that are holding them back from being their healthiest – in mind, body, and spirit, whatever that means to them.

This is my gift. I want to give it to you. Please let me teach and inspire you. For I want to teach these gifts and have you pay them forward so we can create a healthier world, together.

Contact me today to get started.

Let’s stay in touch.

Honey Child get off that merry-go-round!

Do you wonder if you can hate and shame yourself into doing or not doing something?

I used to get disgusted with my self-sabotage. I’d plan to “be good” and eat a certain way, exercise, clean my closet, whatever, and then I’d inevitably end up doing something else. Then I would go through a cycle of blame, shame, self-flagellation, and then rinse and repeat.

Sound familiar?

I finally started to get off that merry-go-round when I heard several times that you can’t hate yourself to change.

Whether it’s your body, you home, your relationship, or your self-esteem, our thoughts and beliefs are what drive our actions every day.

Think about how you treat people you love – your kids, your pets, your spouse, your friends.

Do you shame or blame them for being stupid, lazy, or selfish when you’re showing them love? No! That would be ridiculous. And yet we do it to ourselves all the time under the guise of “love”.

Think about how you talk to yourself. Not out loud (though it was once said that was the only guaranteed way to get an intelligent conversation…).

Think about what thoughts we have about ourselves in our day to day lives (you’re definitely have > 100 of these thoughts per day).

Once I stopped and truly did this exercise and then wrote out my thoughts – I cringed. I felt…ashamed. I realized that I was trying to punish myself constantly.

We all do this to some degree but anyone with a body image issue, self-esteem problems, anger issues, or an unhealthy weight –> we do this far more frequently.

And it’s got to stop.

It’s not healthy.

Health begins with our thoughts. Thoughts we have about ourselves. It starts with us.

Even very highly functioning, emotionally intelligent people can have these thoughts. And they damage us.

Self-deprecation? Not loving at all. It’s self-hate disguised as a joke.

Research has proven that even if we jokingly put ourselves down to others, it’s a form of low self-esteem.

So what’s your point Debbie Downer?

It’s this: if we don’t truly love ourselves, we don’t take care of our health, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

So take a stand! Starting today.

Practice being aware of your thoughts.

All of them (yes, ALL of them).

And at the same time, practice being curious about them.

Coming from a place of curiosity about your thoughts will help to stop the judgement and the blame-shame cycle that so many of us have.

It takes practice but once we can become aware, a whole new world of health and change opens us.

Get off that merry-go-round of blame, shame, and self-loathing. The ride is over.

Have a beautiful day my friends.

My doggo loves the spotlight

Let’s stay in touch.

Unicorns and Yetis

If you’ve been reading here for a while, I thank you – I appreciate your interest and loyalty!

I posted during the holidays about putting one foot in front of the other. Small changes truly do add up. I believe this from my core.

I don’t believe in overhauling everything at once, especially when you want to make long-term changes. It gets too confusing and too overwhelming and uncomfortable and frankly, it doesn’t tend to stick.

We all know someone who had a health scare or just woke up one day and quit smoking, started exercising or completely changed their nutrition and never looked back. These people are rare and tend to be the exception, rather than the rule.

Most of us want to think, take a step forward, maybe “feel things out” and wallow for a while before we make a change. It’s human nature. It’s the way our primitive brain feels the safest.

This method can take years. Years we may not have, especially when it comes to health. But it is never too late you and you can always START NOW and improve daily over time.

As our small changes add up, they do this consistently – over time.

Time is our biggest asset besides our minds. If we can train our minds to continue to move forward, we can achieve almost anything (still working on telepathy and flight over here).

Think of your bank account. If you put money in savings, it will compound slowly but it takes time. We may not see the interest adding up but one day we get a statement from the bank that says we made xx amount while letting that savings compound over time.

Think of your health the same way. It’s so much simpler and easier to make permanent change when you’re doing it with:

  1. Small steps
  2. Consistency

Weight loss and improving health are not unicorns. They are possible for everyone. As you have read previously, if you believe it, you can achieve it.

So, what small step are you taking today to improve your health? If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, start here and contact me when you’re ready for help!

Where my inspiration hits me… in nature. No unicorns yet though.

Let’s stay in touch.

What you believe… you can achieve (or insert other corny inspiration here)

SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based.  

Did that just make your brain hurt? Me too, my friend.

I really wasn’t going for the whole 80’s-pose-with-your-pet-style but here ya go.

Setting goals and taking steps to achieve them doesn’t have to be scientific, boring, or systematic. However, knowing certain details CAN help, even if you’re not into googling acronyms like I did to sound smart for this post (see what I did there?).

Achieving a goal is a simple task, especially once it’s broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

First, set your goal.

Then set mini-goals in smaller intervals.

Last, schedule the actions you will take on a day-to-day basis to get you to your goals.

Sounds simple, right? It actually is.

It’s the mind drama that we experience in real time that keeps us from getting those day to day tasks done.

Have you set a goal in the pat and then wallowed in confusion or doubt? I used to let those Henchmen stand in my way constantly. I would get stuck in that mental swamp. And sometimes swim around for a while, and, in the meantime, my goal died a slow death.

Sad, really.

Truly though, pick a goal, set your parameters:

  1. What is your measurement of “done”? In health goals we often pick weight on scale or steps achieved for a week or inches lost or planning food consistently (measurable – an objective parameter)
  2. When do you want to successfully complete your goal by (time based)?
  3. What smaller steps can you break your goal into (what can you do EVERY DAY to move closer to your goal)?

If your feet are stuck in the mental swamp of indecision or confusion, I have the rope to pull you back to safety. Let me teach you how to set and achieve your goals so you don’t ever feel stuck again.

I believe we can all improve our health, one step at a time.

Let’s stay in touch.

The Four Henchmen of the Emotional Apocalypse

Last week we talked about accessing your future self to gain knowledge, insight and inspiration.

When we can picture clearly how we’ll look, feel, and think in the future – we know what thoughts will get us where we want to be.

Then we come back to the present. And our current reality. So what the heck is the way to get from here to there?

So many people talk incessantly about wanting to change but they remain where they are.

Be honest. Are you one of them?

Do you talk a good game but continue to do the same thing day after day?

Do you dream about your future but not actually take any action toward getting there?

Why?

Think about it for a minute.

Usually when we’re stuck between talking about change, talking about the future we want and actually taking action toward it, it’s because we’re in cognitive dissonance. This is a fancy term for feeling uncomfortable and awkward. We’re in that space between where we are and where we want to be and there’s some mental tug-o-war going on.

And, frankly, it is also because we allow ourselves to wallow in fear, doubt, confusion, and or overwhelm. I’m going to call these emotions the 4 henchmen of the apocalypse of change army. These are the emotions that feel noble and safe but are actually holding you back.

They allow you to wallow. And feel comfortable, because, let’s be real – we’ve all felt these four emotions (some of us daily) and we know what they feel like.

We may not love them, but we know them. They’re familiar. And familiar feels safe, especially when we’re planning for change.

Think of these four emotions (doubt, overwhelm, confusion, and fear) as your primitive brain’s henchmen or army soldiers that are positioned to keep you from moving forward toward change. This is true whether it is change in your nutritional habits, your exercise program, you job, your relationships, or your life.

I’ve talked previously about our adult brain (prefrontal cortex) where we can think, plan, rationalize, and direct our lives toward change, health, reason, and growth.

I’ve also taught you about your toddler brain (primitive brain…aka everything that protects you from danger and leads you toward comfort and pleasure and doesn’t like change).

These two parts of our brain are at odds when we’re in cognitive dissonance. And they begin to dance in a tug-o-war (or fight if you are more inclined toward violent visuals… I am not).

Who will win?

The adult brain has more power, but the toddler brain has more experience and knows the adult brain’s weaknesses. The primitive/toddler brain utilizes these four henchmen emotions to lure us into staying where we are.

Consider this for a moment. How do you feel when you think about doing something new, such as trying a new activity or sport, a new job, or meeting a new person.

Our fight-or-flight response kicks in, at least a little. Our adrenaline goes up, cortisol increases, we may feel a blend of excited, nervous, and anticipation, all at the same time. Sometimes these feelings drive us forward when the outcome benefits outweigh the risks (aka we are able to defeat or move past our four henchmen).

Other times when we’re still in uncertainty and not truly believing our dreams or goals are possible, we talk about our goals and our intent seems noble but it’s actually b.s.

If you are honest with yourself, you know when you are really planning to do something versus just talking about it.

Even if you take steps toward action – you know.

We all do.

Some of us are better at deceiving ourselves and others, while some of us refuse to move forward until that intent is 100% (perfect vs done is a separate topic that I talked about last week on my social media post).

So where’s the disconnect? None of us want to be liars. It’s usually protective and unintentional. Our primitive brains see the change process coming and send the henchmen out to do their bidding. These emotions keep you from changing (because remember, change is new and new is unsafe and could hurt or kill us) but ultimately, keep you stuck.

The fantastic news is that as we become more aware of our unconscious thoughts and how our primitive brain seeks to protect us – we, as rational, mature adults, can access that higher brain power and use it more often and to our benefit.

There will be discomfort – but all change and growth involves that period of cognitive dissonance as we move from what we know and are comfortable with to what we don’t know and don’t yet feel comfortable with. You will feel awkward, you will feel unsafe – that is normal. It is okay. As you believe in what you are becoming, it will feel better, more comfortable and more familiar.

Only when we’re allowing ourselves to be stopped by the four henchman are we doing ourselves a disservice and making excuses.

I propose you decide today – are you in or are you out of whatever you’re wanting to change or do.

There is no right or wrong answer but that choice is yours to make.

You have the power in you. You have had it all along.

You just have to be aware of when you think you’re moving forward and you’re not because of these four emotions. Then you can blow past them or by them and continue on your journey to your goals.

Blow it up my friends, you can do it!

If this speaks to you and you want to learn more about how to incorporate change into your life – email me at: info@thrivearena.com

Let’s stay in touch.

You are getting very sleepy… but not from my review of Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD

Let me first say that YOU NEED THIS BOOK. Here’s a link to it. You’re welcome.

I loved this book despite its meaty depth, the points hit home and pushed me to write my first book review since, well, probably my last 5th grade book report?

Why We Sleep is a book by Matthew Walker, PhD, that addresses research and important discoveries about not only why we sleep but why we should be making sleep a priority for our health, happiness, safety and sanity. This book delves into the scientific understanding of why humans (and animals) need sleep to live and need optimal sleep cycles to function efficiently, effectively and evolve.

Humans are complex beings who require sleep to live (yes, you will die if you don’t sleep for years consistently, he discusses this in the book).

This book entertains as much as it educates about diseases and their relation to sleep. He dives deep regarding memory and hormonal functions linked to sleep. He describes experiments that prove definitively why sleep is necessary for memory and cognitive growth, emotional stability, hormonal stabilization and cell turnover (including weight maintenance, our immune functions, and fertility) and what happens when we decrease sleep to the levels commonly found in our modern society.

A reduction of sleep by only 1-2 hours per night (he cites an average of 5-6 hours versus the recommended 7-9 hours) causes multiple deleterious effects including more rapid aging, insulin resistance, memory and recall deficits, learning deficiencies, and even behavioral issues.

There are multiple studies detailing safety issues regarding driving while sleepy (I became familiar with this statistic as a medicine resident who routinely worked 30 hour shifts then drove the 4 miles home to my apartment). Sleep deprivation causes more delayed reactions and more accidents than driving impaired by drugs or alcohol. Think about the people you know who don’t sleep well and a frightening picture emerges of our sleep deprived majority operating heavy machinery and making life-altering decisions on a daily basis.

Another sad statistic in this book is that we can’t “recover” sleep. A lot of us lack quality and quantity of sleep on the week days and then try to make it up on the weekends. I’ve been guilty of this for years. Apparently this doesn’t physiologically work, which made me profoundly sad. This book has opened my eyes in many ways and also reinforced what I already have been teaching in my Stop Being Stuck program – that sleep is imperative to multiple body functions – including weight loss and overall health. I was not aware of the severity of the impact on insulin resistance, increased appetite (via imbalance of ghrelin and leptin), and the links to decreased immune system function, increased infection risks, dementia, and cancer.

Dr. Walker also discusses the implications of over the counter as well as prescription “sleep” medications and how they sedate, rather than restore quality sleep and alter sleep cycle functions. He brilliantly details what NREM and REM sleep are and why we need both and how either or both can be decreased or missed with late sleeping and early awakening.

He concludes the book with an analysis of the cost to our world that lack of sleep is causing. He discusses from a societal perspective how we could all individually, in companies, and as a whole improve our knowledge, profits, productivity, and creativity by no longer lauding those who sleep less to work more, but sleep more to work more efficiently and intelligently as well as increasing the retention and intelligence of our kids by allowing them to sleep more and in better quality conditions as their brains grow and mature.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It did take me several weeks to read, mostly in the evenings. And yes, several times it did make me sleepy while reading, which, as he states in the book, he takes as the ultimate compliment.

So, in conclusion – go read this book! If you are wondering now how you can sleep better tonight – you can download my free sleep PDF here.

When you’re ready to lose your excess weight, drop your mind drama around food and optimize your health, come join our community and Stop Being Stuck here.

Let’s stay in touch.

Urges

Urges.

We all have them.

Sometimes for food or specific foods (hello, ice cream my old friend, I’ve come to meet you with again).

Other times we have urges for sleep or comfort or alone time.

My urges are usually for something sweet.

I have learned to manage cravings when I bake too.

Something to soothe me.

I used to reach for sugar or a baked good.

It filled me up temporarily but then I felt guilty or empty afterwards.

Maybe you can relate?

Do you feel the urge to do something or eat something on a regular basis? If so, what do you do about it? Do you give in? 

I have recognized that my urges usually have to do with not wanting to feel something or to attempt to fill a void that doesn’t usually “need” whatever I’m craving (example when I’m tired I want to eat… which doesn’t solve my need for sleep).

I have learned to allow my urges. Do they still occur? Yes, but with less intensity and I can allow them and not react to them. If you’re overeating due to cravings or urges, this awareness can help. We talk more about it in my coaching program.

It was simple to learn to allow urges. It also wasn’t always easy.

But the secret is, if you allow the urges without responding to them, they weaken and then resolve.

Pretty neat, huh?

If you’re interested in learning how to overcome your urges – email me at info@thrivearena.com.

Have a fantastic day! 

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