Perspective: Friend or Foe?

I was thinking about new beginnings, contemplating what makes us stop things we’ve started? Was it because it was hard? We got busy? Life does actually get in the way at times, but by and large the biggest reason we quit is because we’ve lost perspective on why we were doing it in the first place.

I was struggling this weekend with motivation. The get up and go to do some of the things I am responsible for, had got up and gone… I mentally struggled with what I wanted to do versus what I needed to do. Well, actually I didn’t want to do anything.My husband looked at me and said…

“You need to remember your why.”

My WHY. I haven’t revisited it in a good long while. Why am I a coach?Why do I exercise? Why do we homeschool? All of these are valid questions and important priorities in my life. It is important for me to remind myself of the reasons why they are important.

Why is the driving force. It is the purpose and desire behind the activities we do. When we know WHY we do something there is more passion, more drive, more commitment to the activity. It is especially important when we have a certain goal we are working toward yet we feel so far away from attaining it or the motivation to work of it.

When we know WHY we want or need something the motivation is natural and organic. We won’t have to create it out of thin air and we will feel more purpose in the journey. More purpose will produce more satisfaction and therefore more motivation. How we think can work us toward or against our goals. Our perspective can help us or hurt us. How is yours treating you?

Celebrate!

It is an amazing thing, this life we live. We have so many opportunities to enjoy life, but we often get caught up in the chaos and frustrations that come our way that we miss the good stuff. We can lose sight of the blessings that we have because we are focused on the struggles we experience. I feel like this is not only true in work and relationships, but also in our health and fitness journeys.

Many of us start new programs and meal plans only to become frustrated with not being able to perform the moves perfectly or that the meal plan is “too hard,” “too strict,” or that we are just “no good at this healthy thing.” I often hear people talk about doing a workout for two or three days only to be “so sore” that they couldn’t keep going or when they miss a day they just stop and say they will start again on “Monday.”
WARNING: Tough Love Moment!
These phrases are just not true. They are simply excuses to quit something that is hard for us. Yes, they are legitimate things that need to be addressed, but they are not reasons to throw in the towel.

Our mindset is what moves us forward. it is not our physical abilities or that we are simply “good at” whatever the program requires. It is what and how we think, fueled by our inner dialogue.

So, let’s talk about what we can do to create a mindset that moves us forward in our journeys.

Pursue Progress
When we focus on perfection we lose sight of the small steps of progress that we are making. Every day we can choose to see the small steps that we have made that move us in the right direction. In our workouts, we can modify a move and then watch the progression towards doing the move without modification. We can make small choices daily that move us closer to eating in a healthy way. These things all take practice because they are skills not natural talents. The good news is that skills are learnable and we can get better at them because we can practice.

Surround yourself with Positivity
Ever heard the phrase “you become the sum of the five people you are with the most?” This might be an exaggeration but I do believe that the people you spend time with the most do contribute to your mindset, to whether or not you see possibilities or problems. Positive people have hope and tend to be able to inspire hope in others. Now, I’m talking about people who have hope and the ability to see solutions, and are willing to encourage others in their pursuits, even if they don’t entirely agree with you. If you don’t know anybody like this, start reading personal development books and creating the positive mindset inside yourself!

Give yourself grace
All of us are going to fail and make mistakes. None of us are perfect. We are going to choose poorly, miss a workout, or eat something (aghast!) not on plan. When we do this we often berate ourselves or even give up. This is more detrimental than the small mistake or choice we made initially! Choose to give yourself grace to fail. Choose that when you fail or make a “mistake,” because you will, you will choose to just pick yourself back up and make the next choice a better one. Don’t give up when you fail, use it to try to become better.

Celebrate!
This is my favorite one. Celebrate your victories! Celebrate small progressions in your physical fitness. Celebrate lifting one more rep or jumping one more time. Celebrate your ability to meal prep for one more day. Celebrate eating healthy for five days in a row. Build on those small steps, don’t just wait to celebrate when you “arrive” at your goals. Healthy is a lifestyle not an endpoint or destination. Celebration builds happy hormones and will help keep you motivated to keep going.

You CAN live a healthy lifestyle with grace and hope. I completely believe in you!

 

You Are Free to Eat

Have you ever seen the movie, Kung Fu Panda? The story follows a large panda named Po pursue his dream of becoming a Kung Fu hero. Po, unfortunately is not adept at learning Kung Fu early in his endeavors. He spends his time failing daily, his “mentor” abhors him and doubts his calling, and his peers believe him to be hopeless.

In an effort to comfort himself, Po eats. A lot. In fact, he is amazingly clever and adept at finding any and all food to appease his desire. Shifu, his mentor catches him climbing cabinets in the corner of the kitchen in the middle of the night. Can any of you relate with Po here? Hiding? Eating to ease the pain of failure and feeling left out or in the wrong place?

Shifu, being the clever and inventive mentor, now knows that he can use food as a motivator in Po’s training regimen. If Po performs well, he gets a delicious reward, if not, he cannot eat. The training montage continues, rewards of dumplings fill Po’s motivation and belly as he perfects Kung Fu. It culminates in what really is my favorite scene…
Po finds Shifu sitting at a table with a bowl of dumplings and says…

You are free to eat.

Po, is surprised, looking for the catch and then sits to eat. Every time he tries to take a bite Shifu snatches the dumpling out from under him, every time uttering…

You are free to eat.

Po responds with “Am I?”
to which Shifu says…

“Are you?”

The battle for the dumpling is epic! Flips and kicks and chopsticks. Oh my! Finally, Po is victorious and goes to eat the dumpling. But in a surprising turn of events he plops the dumpling down in front of Shifu and says…

“I’m not hungry.”

How often do we make our life about food?
Celebrations of every kind. Rewards for grades, chores completed, goals attained. We obsess about tacos, peanut butter, chocolate, the list goes on and on. We go to it when we feel sad, angry, or left out. We fill our bellies to soothe our hearts. Or we punish ourselves by withholding food because we don’t look like what we would like or because we splurged and ate something off the diet. We use it as a motivator and a deterrent, and a punishment/reward system, just like Po and Shifu.

Are you held captive by food?
Sometimes, without noticing we start going to food first. We allow our emotions, circumstances, beliefs, happiness and fulfillment to be affected by food and our manipulation of it. When we go to food first to feel better we have created a false god out of something God created to sustain us and for us to enjoy. Yes! He wants us to enjoy food! Why do you think he gave us taste buds anyway?

Alisa Keeton says in her book, The Wellness Revelation
“Remember, it is never about the food. The food is not the enemy. It is something deeper. Our relationship with food is broken because something deep within us is broken. God wants to heal us in those deep places!”

In Isaiah 61:1 it says that He has come to bring freedom to the captives, that’s us! When we learn to seek God first for our emotional, physical, and mental needs we learn to put God in His rightful place in our hearts and restore balance to where food is placed. It will take time to retrain our brains and hormone systems that food is indeed enjoyable fuel but not god. The journey to freedom comes through worshipping the One true God and not our bellies or our bodies.

Yes, we must learn to care for our bodies in self and God honoring ways. Learning to fuel our bodies well and enjoy food is sometimes a battle but one that is so definitely worth it and rewarding in the freedom we can find and the ability to say that we’re not hungry when what we really need is Jesus.

You are FREE to eat.

 

Start Something and Finish It

Summer has officially begun here! There is a whiff of “what-ifs” and I think I cans swirling around. We talked about staying motivated the other day, but what should we be motivated to do? Only you can decide what is important to you but the greatest thing is that you actually have the ability to choose! So, how about making a plan to fit your goals? Here are a few steps to create your own plan.

Decide what it is you want to accomplish
Do you want to feel healthier or get in shape for the swimsuit season? (Nothing like the glare of fluorescent lights bouncing off dressing room mirrors to motivate you onto a new meal plan!) Do you want to be able to swim across the lake or hike through the trails this summer? Decide what is important as a priority to you, not just “oh it would be nice if…” kind of thing, but something that really hits you deep that you would love to accomplish.

Reverse Engineer Your Goal
Take whatever it is that you decided was your priority and figure out the things you would need to do to be able to reach that goal. Make a list of the necessary things and steps. Your list may include things like buy new hiking boots or invest in a set of weights or Beachbody On Demand.

Create your Plan
You can create a plan on your own or seek the help of someone who has experience in your particular goal. If you don’t know how to swim, you would obviously start with finding an instructor to teach you lessons. If you want to become more healthy and fit you could ask the help of a coach, like me, to help create the plan that would provide the best path to reach your personal goal. This is a great step because coaches also provide accountability which is part of the next step!

Share your goal with someone who will help you be accountable.
Accountability really works! Find someone or join a group that understands your goal and will help keep you motivated and on track. Having to “check in” or tell someone else how you are doing creates a sense of consequence to go with your choices, both good and bad.

Start your plan and follow through to the Finish!
Start strong. Take each day one step at a time. Focus on your desired outcome, not the obstacles and you will find that you are fully capable of reaching your goal!

What Keeps You Motivated?

Hello! Welcome to June! It’s finally summer time! Although, you can’t really tell since it’s been raining so much. This is about the time where people who have started a new health and fitness routine start feeling their motivation wane. Are you feeling that way? One of the ladies in my 80 Day Obsession support group asked what keeps me motivated to work out and stay on plan and it got me thinking… what does motivate me? What about you?

It’s About the WHY
I’ve seen many many people start new programs with great goals and passion but fall apart after a few weeks. What makes this happen? I believe that it isn’t really about the goal. Yes, goals are important because they help you focus where to put your energy but the reason behind your goals is the clincher. If you choose something that isn’t a deep seated reason to stay within the fight, you will give in every time. There’s not enough at stake to keep you in it when the going gets tough and it will get tough. I’ve found that if you just want to look better or fit a certain size, there isn’t enough “oomph” into your why. it needs to be something deeper and intensely important to you like you want to be healthy enough to play with your kids or you need to lose enough weight to avoid a serious heart issue. These are the kinds of things that give you the desire necessary to fight for yourself. So, ask yourself what is actually important to you?

Be the Kind of Person Who
Okay, I know this sounds weird but I actually read it in a personal development book (which I can’t remember at this moment). It talked about becoming the kind of person who does…<insert whatever it is you want to accomplish> So, if you want to be someone who stays on track with your health and fitness plan you would start talking to yourself and behaving your way into actually becoming that person. So, obviously to do this, your internal dialogue has to be one of positivity and pure conviction of your original WHY.

Recognize How You Feel
This one takes a little bit longer than the others, mostly because in the beginning you can be really sore! Think about how you feel after the workout, do you feel a sense of accomplishment? Do you feel the endorphin rush when you push yourself through a hard workout? I know that staying on track with my health and fitness routine keeps my depression managed well and that makes it worth it to stay in it for me! It also makes me a better wife, mom, and friend because I think clearer, sleep better, and have better emotional health all around!

 

Still need help feeling motivated? Join our 80 Day Obsession support group! WE help keep each other going when we just don’t feel like it. 🙂

Your Best Weapon

“You are fat.”
“You are ugly”
“You will never amount to anything”
“See that lady, she has it all together. Look at how she looks down on you.”
“Why can’t you get it together?”
“You’ll never get the weight off.”
“You’ll never fit in, never have friends, never be enough”
“Nobody could ever love you”
“They love you because they haveto.”
“Your own… father, mother, kids, spouse... doesn’t love you, why would anybody else?”
“Sure, you’ve got the weight off, but you are still nothing.”

How do you feel reading these words? Are they familiar to you? Do they sound true? Do they hit that secret doubting space within your heart and soul?

Maybe these words don’t mean anything to you, but I can be honest when I say that every single one of these statements come from my own thought life at some point or another. Where do these thoughts come from? Some may have actually been spoken over us literally others have been whispered into our hearts, but one thing is certain…

They are LIES

Every single one of them. Who would want us to believe these things about ourselves? Only one that is out to destroy. The Bible says that lies come from the Father of Lies who was a murderer from the beginning.

But how do we combat these lies? How do we convince ourselves that we matter? That we are important, loved, and not only valuable but valued? Even when we do not feel it, hear it, or think it. The best way to defeat lies is with the Truth.

“And you will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you FREE”
John 8:32

Fighting with Truth

1. Recognize the statement as false
2. Rephrase the statement with truth. For example “you are so stupid!” rephrased as “You are created in the image of God.”
3. Memorize scripture that identifies who you are in God’s eyes.
Some great examples….

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephania 3:17

” For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper, for a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“The King is enthralled by your beauty.” Psalm 45:11

Friend, you are loved immensely.I pray that you learn to fight against the lies with Truth and that it provides a freedom to help you become the best version of you possible!

Top 10 Holiday Survival Tips

 

  1. Drink plenty of water.

It is recommended that you drink half your body weight in water daily. Make sure to get it in, we often confuse thirst for hunger.

  1. Control temptation.

Don’t purchase your stocking stuffers or treats too early where they sit and stare at you. If you bake, make sure to share with others!

  1. Cheat a little.

Stay on plan at least 80% of the time. Choose one event/meal to cheat at per week. This makes you focus on what you really want to use as a treat and keeps you from the week long binge. <gasp!>

  1. Move your body more.

Dance while you’re at that party! If you work out daily, add an extra walk before dinner or your event. If you don’t work out daily, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

  1. NEVER go to a party hungry.

Eat a healthy small meal before you go to that event. This will help keep you on track. My favorite go to is a peanut butter chocolate Shakeology.

  1. Substitute healthier versions of calorie heavy holiday foods.
  2. Partner up! Get an accountability buddy or into a challenge group to help you stay on track.
  3. Keep a food journal.

I don’t know what it is about writing it down, but if I have to log what I eat, I make better choices.

  1. Eat more fruit and veggies

If you are at a party, take a small plate and fill it with fruit and veggie options. Eat them slowly as you make your way around the room and talk with people.

  1. Celebrate without food

Okay, this one is hard for me. Play games, go outside, or go cruise for Christmas lights.

The Intentional Habit of Solitude and Devotion

Welcome to the fourth week in our series The Habits of the IntentionallyFit. I hope you have begun implementing new habits in your lives that will propel you toward becoming more healthy and fit. This week our habit deals with our spiritual health, which is something that many of us tend to neglect as part of a healthy and fulfilling life or we keep it in a category entirely on its own. The problem with this is that our Spiritual health affects every aspect of our overall health. While we can be “physically” fit we can be completely unhealthy spiritually. I hope to encourage you to consider this important aspect of your health.

Spend time daily in quiet solitude, reading, and prayer according to your spiritual beliefs and values.

Growing up I remember finding my mom reading her Bible in the morning, every morning. Her quiet time was always consistent and she modeled this throughout my life. She was always busy, being the mom of four highly active children, but this was a constant habit as long as I can remember.

I learned through her example to spend time daily with Jesus. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned for myself that I am a better wife, mother, and friend after I have had quiet time with Jesus. The benefits of being spiritually healthy overflow into all aspects of our lives. These are available to you as well. So, what does a quiet time or solitude look like in practical life? Here are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t feel lost and wandering.

Spend time in grateful reflection

Quietness allows the noise of the world and daily life to subside. Reflecting on what we have been given and cultivating gratitude changes our perspective in life. Being grateful for our lives and the things we’ve been given helps us maintain a positive mindset which allows us to view difficulties with hope and promise instead of despair.

Study Scriptures and Inspirational Stories

Reading and studying scripture educates us in the path that God wants us to take. We will become what we put in our minds, reading the Bible and books that teach us how to study it teaches us to be more like Jesus and that is a fantastic goal which changes us from the inside out.

Prayer

Prayer is deliberate discussion with God. Taking time to tell God you are grateful and actively voicing our gratitude to the One who has given us all we have reminds us that we are not the center of the universe, but are cared for by its Creator. Listening for His voice will also help you know what you are called to do and what He wants to tell you about yourself.

Prayer is also a place where we can release our burdens. Handing over our stress, confessing our failures or mistakes, and asking for help can all be done through the quiet habit of prayer. When we give these things to God we acknowledge that we need His help and I promise you, He is faithful to provide it!

 

The Intentional Habit of Tracking

Welcome to the third week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! So far we’ve talked about goals and using meal plans. This week we’re going to continue our discussion of the Habits of the IntentionallyFit with an organizational tactic that has changed my own personal health and fitness.

Keep a log or journal of your food and workouts.

Writing everything that you eat into a journal changes your perspective on what you put into your mouth. I’m not exactly sure how it does this, but seeing your food choices on paper really causes you to think of what your goals are and contemplate the consequences for your choices. I hate having to write down poor food choices on my log!

There is accountability in writing down your food choices and workouts. If you don’t see the progress that you desire, you can look back over what you have been doing and tweak changes where necessary.

Writing or logging your food and workouts can be motivating! You can make goals like being able to write down 3 workouts this week or getting enough water in every day. This will help you keep your goals in the front of your mind and help you make choices that move you towards them.

Your journal or log can be on paper or even your phone. There are even apps that help you keep track of everything like myfitnesspal or LoseIt! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to work for you.

Whatever you choose to use as your log, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  1. Be specific. Write down everything you eat, including condiments, cooking oils, and drinks. Include the amount you use, not just what the food item is.
  2. Write down how you feel at the end of each day. Are you tired, hungry, and do you have enough energy to make it through your workout?
  3. Be consistent. It will take time and you will get better at it, but it does take work!

Becoming IntentionallyFit

The Intentional Habit of Using a Meal Plan

Welcome to week 2 of the Habits of the IntentionallyFit. Last week we talked about creating measurable goals. What kind of goals did you make? I decided to create a goal for my business IntentionallyFit. I will offer two accountability groups every month those people I coach.

Today we are talking about the Second Habit of the IntentionallyFit…

Create or Use a Specific Meal Plan

One of the most important things in learning to take care of your body and it’s health is nutrition. Fueling your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and knowing how much of each of those things you need will determine your body’s total health. Nutrition affects your immune system, your sleep cycle, your hormone cycle, your thought processes, and all the other physical and emotional aspects of your life. It’s a huge thing! So, why do we leave it to chance?

Choosing the right meal plan can be difficult. I was at the library the other day and noticed that there are literally hundreds of books on what to eat, most of them focusing on a “diet” or how to lose weight. Healthy fit people know that you must fuel your body well to have it function at it’s best. Remember you can look fit, but not actually be healthy on the inside!

What are some important things to remember when choosing a meal plan?

First, what are your goals?
Your meal plan should work with you to reach your desired health and fitness goals. If you want to build muscle, then your meal plan will need to account for the extra protein and calories you will need to do so. If you are looking to lose weight, does is have a calorie deficit that allows you to work out and not starve?

Does it Include All Food Groups?
I might step on some toes here… does it include all sorts of different colored foods? Does it vilify certain food groups? While there is nothing wrong with eliminating things like processed foods and sugared sweets, there is a danger in saying you need to eliminate all carbs or all fats. We need those kinds of foods for our bodies to work correctly, the important thing is to choose the HEALTHY amount and versions of those food groups. You may need to do research or talk to a nutritionist in some cases.

Is the plan realistic long term?
This is super important! No matter how effective a meal plan is, it won’t be if you can’t stick to it. If it calls for drastic measures or super expensive food, most people won’t be able to follow it for life. A meal plan should move you into a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable for your life. Most diets don’t work because people return to unhealthy lifestyle eating after they have “finished” the diet. People who are intentionally fit do so for the long haul, not just the short term.