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Realistic Right Now

Realistic Right Now

Bodies are complicated. Even people, who take the time and energy to learn about being healthier, may struggle to get healthier. While it is a huge accomplishment to learn what to do to be healthier, knowing how to implement the steps into your daily life is a different obstacle. 

Many times the reason health-conscious individuals aren’t implementing the health strategies they want is because the steps aren’t realistic for them right now. For example, someone who has been inactive for decades is more likely to injure themselves than improve their health if they suddenly start trying to complete an hour-long HIIT workout every Saturday. Just like you wouldn’t expect to get promoted from intern to CEO if you only showed up for work one day a week —even if you worked as hard and you possibly could. 

It is important to start where you are and implement healthy habits that you can consistently maintain. Once you master these healthy habits, you can begin to climb the health and wellness ladder and add even more advanced healthy habits that get you to your goal.

Getting started can be particularly tricky. While it’s tempting to draw off of past experiences, make sure to question whether those experiences are still relevant. It is likely that your teenaged body and current body react differently and need different things. If you need help creating and implementing realistic healthy habits for where you are now, I encourage you to reach out to me or another fitness professional. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month!

Free Food! (?)

Free Food! (?)

Does free food tempt you? I mean really tempt you!? I once worked at a job where ultra-processed snack food was always available, and the best (actually maybe worst) part of it was that it was completely free. Walking into the small staff room, I couldn’t miss the huge bowl of candies, chips, and fruit snacks. Extras were crammed into the few available cupboards, and any time a snack would dwindle, more would be promptly ordered. Seeing these wrapped snacks in the bowl was one thing. Watching my coworkers unwrap and then enjoy them was another. It was extremely tempting.

Sometimes a good strategy to prevent yourself from succumbing to temptation is to either remove the thing that is tempting you or remove yourself from the situation. Neither of these options were available to me. The job was in the caring field and didn’t pay that well, so the free food was a perk that my coworkers embraced. They definitely wouldn’t have been happy if the free food suddenly disappeared or wasn’t as convenient to get to.  Furthermore, it was impossible to avoid the break room because that was where we had to clock in and clock out. It was also the only place where we could store personal belongings.

In order to prevent myself from gorging on chips and chocolates, I came up with a strategy. First, I made sure to never arrive at work hungry. When I’m hungry, everything looks much more appealing. Secondly, I set myself up for success by always making myself a satiating lunch. Yes, I could abandon my lunch and eat the snacks instead, but knowing that I had already prepared my lunch made me think twice. Finally, I reminded myself that these foods weren’t really free because I would pay for them later. Instead of paying for them directly with money, my body would pay for them in the form of blood sugar crashes, inflammation, stomach aches, and acne. I would then spend actual money to try and relieve some of these ailments — Pepto-Bismol and ZAPZYT aren’t inexpensive. 

If you are struggling to overcome the obstacle of free food – please know that it isn’t easy, but it is possible with the proper preparation and mindset. If you need some support, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or another health professional that can help you create a strategy that works for you. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month! 

A Proper Chance

A Proper Chance

I recall the last time I went to Ikea for more than a few knick-knacks. With virtually no furniture, I had just moved into an apartment. I spent almost a whole day checking out the various showrooms and testing out tables, chairs, desks, and sofas. After somehow cramming all the choices into a car, driving to my apartment, and hauling everything inside, I still had to assemble the furniture. It took several days to complete. In the end, that was the most challenging stage of the whole event. Even though it was tough, the furniture came together bit-by-bit — and my apartment started to feel like a home.

When you put effort into some things, you may be able to see instant results  — like furnishing an apartment or cooking a meal or cleaning a room. Other things take quite a long time and require much more time to see or feel he results. I could be wrong, but I think most people agree that drinking water instead of soda is healthier. Unfortunately, you may not be able to feel or see the difference if you choose to drink water instead of soda for a meal, a day, or even a couple of weeks. If you’re in the habit of enjoying soda, making this change is tough – and not having any tangible results makes it even harder.  

You may be coming into this new year thinking that you have tried it all to get healthier, but that nothing has worked. Like putting together furniture, these shifts are hard, and it is very tempting to give up. These newfound changes are challenging, which is why many people give up before they feel or see the results — but they most certainly are important and require that we try hard for a while. However, when you consistently make these good choices, improvement will happen. If you need support I suggest you find a fitness and health professional who can guide you through the tough moments.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month. 

How to be a Model

How to be a Model

When I was younger, I was not fond of reading. However, I really liked my reading buddy- an older girl at my school. My 2nd grade class had partnered with a 5th grade class, and every week a bunch of 5th graders came to read with their 2nd grade buddies. My buddy was a great reader, and she was always very kind and patient with me when I struggled – and I struggled a lot. I doubt she knew what an impression she had on me, but I wanted to be just like her when I got older. When I reached 5th grade, I happily spent some of my recesses helping younger students read.

We are in the midst of holiday season, and many of us are spending more time with family and friends. This also means that there might be some people looking to you for guidance. What kind of role model do you want to be? If you want be able to role-model a healthy lifestyle, but need some support or guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or another health or fitness specialist.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.

Changing Your Routine

Changing Your Routine

We are in the midst of Autumn. The leaves have changed colors and begun to fall, but that isn’t the only thing that has changed. Our lifestyles and habits have changed as well. The hum of lawnmowers has been replaced by the buzz of leaf blowers. Shorts and t-shirts have been replaced by pants and jackets. Iced coffee and iced tea have been replaced by hot coffee and hot tea. 

However, when it comes to our exercise routines, many of us our reluctant to change. I once met someone who was on their third year of doing the same physical therapy home exercise plan. While their home exercise plan was good and really helped them right after their surgery, those exercises were no longer that beneficial.

We know it’s good to mix things up with the various seasons, and our bodies will benefit from periodically varying our exercise routines too. Moving and strengthening your body in different ways helps to prevent overuse injuries and increase your strength, flexibility, balance, and cognition. This is why many professional athletes cross-train. If you’re not sure how to do this or want some support, don’t hesitate to reach out to a certified fitness professional. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month. 

Looking to The Long-Term

Looking to The Long-Term

When I was in elementary school, I was taught a phrase to help me learn my times tables. “I eight – and I eight – until I was sick on the floor, eight times eight is sixty-four.” Unfortunately, that phrase resonated with me.  I had a tendency to eat long after I was already full, especially if there were chips involved. My parents, to their credit, normally didn’t have chips in the house, but chips always seemed to be present on special occasions. 

When I was in the midst of consuming too many chips, it felt like the right thing to do. I relished the crunchy texture, the sound they made as I bit into them, and the salty flavor. It was a special treat after all, and it might be a long time before I got the opportunity to eat them again. Before the main course was served, I was full. However, because it was a special occasion, the food was way too delicious to pass up. I would pile as much food on my plate as possible. Then there was dessert, and I think I had a special stomach that appeared when dessert was offered, so I also ate it. After dessert my one stomach (there was no special second stomach) sometimes felt so uncomfortable that I wasn’t able to fully enjoy the special occasion. It wasn’t until I had made the same mistake numerous times that I was able to stop stuffing my face with chips.

Sometimes things that may feel good in the moment are detrimental for our health in the long-term. This can be overeating, staying up late, and being sedentary. If you are starting to recognize some of these patterns in yourself, but struggle to break them, I encourage to seek some help. A health coach or other health professional can help you devise strategies so that you can have more good days. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month. 

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Walking along the beach, I saw a photographer taking family portraits. The family was lined up in the water – with their backs to the ocean.  Even though the water was calm that day, each of them winced every single time a wave hit. Because they couldn’t see the waves coming, every wave was a surprise. Their photographer took shot after shot and didn’t seem happy. Even from a distance, the frustration was palpable.  

Being caught off guard is jarring. Surprises are inevitable, but we can often make small adjustments and set ourselves up for success. Had that family decided to scoot closer to the dry beach, they still would have had a beautiful background and probably could have gotten a better picture in a fraction of the time.

Is there something throwing you off kilter?  What adjustments can you make? If it seems like your less-than-desirable situation is inevitable, I invite you to request an outside perspective. A health coach or trainer can help you explore other options, make a plan, provide accountability, and get you set you up for success in a fraction of the time. The surprises will be minimized, and the ease will be maximized.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month!

Are You Putting In the Necessary Work?

Are You Putting In the Necessary Work?

A while back I was talking to a newly graduated yoga instructor. At that point, I had been teaching yoga for several years. Knowing this, she asked for some advice on how to modify several yoga poses – with and without props.  She explained that some of the locations she taught at had many props, but others provided her with no props. I was able to help her with some teaching strategies, but she also ended up helping me.

I was impressed that she was able to teach at so many locations so soon after graduation. I had relocated from a town that had a lot of yoga instructors, and thus, was extremely competitive. I had only approached a couple of locations near my new home. I felt very grateful to be allowed to teach at these places, but I wanted to teach more.  While I was putting in a lot of effort to become a better yoga instructor, I wasn’t putting any effort into finding more teaching opportunities. If I wanted to teach more, I wasn’t doing the necessary work.

Necessary work can vary depending on your goals. Sometimes the necessary work is obvious. Sometimes it isn’t. When you are working hard at something, it can be easy to overlook the necessary work. Maybe at this stage in your life you’re not putting in that much effort towards your goals at all, because you’re so busy juggling the day-to-day stuff.

 An outside perspective can often help you. You may just need to have a brief conversation to gain some clarity, or you may need some ongoing support to complete the necessary work.  If you’re not getting closer to your goals, I encourage you to reach out to a professional to get some guidance and support to help you have more good days.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a safe and healthy month!

Beach Body Steps

Beach Body Steps

I recently saw a post on social media that listed the steps to obtain a beach body. This protocol involved two steps: have a body and go to the beach. What I love about this post is that it removes all these obstacles that many of us have created to prevent ourselves from getting started.

By waiting to go to the beach until we already possess the toned body we want, we not only miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the beach–but ironically –an opportunity to get toned. Research shows that walking on the sand activates more muscles than walking on a hard surface. Plus, the softer surface of the sand puts less stress on our joints. This allows many of us to walk longer distances then we might otherwise walk on harder surfaces.

We may not be where we want to be, but we shouldn’t let that limit us from getting started. We don’t need to wait until we are already toned to go to the beach, already fit to join a gym, or already flexible before taking a yoga class. If you need some extra guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a health coach, trainer, or other health professional.

Thanks for reading and see you at the beach 🙂

Hiding the Damage or Getting at the Root Cause?

Hiding the Damage or Getting at the Root Cause?

Have you ever watched someone skillfully apply makeup? I’m no stranger to applying makeup, but watching someone who really knows what they’re doing is quite impressive. It truly is an art form. 

The cosmetics industry has all kinds of tricks up their sleeve so that even their less talented customers, like myself, can look healthier. If someone has circles under their eyes because they haven’t been sleeping, it won’t be as noticeable once they apply some yellow-tinted foundation to offset the blue. If someone is looking pale because they are feeling seasick, some blush and bronzer can give them a healthier looking glow in a matter of minutes. 

While these things can help you look healthier, they don’t actually make you healthier. Putting concealer on doesn’t make us alert any more than putting blush or bronzer on reduces our nausea. Of course, I certainly understand wanting to look nice, and I use these products. However, taking steps to improve your health often has a nice side effect: we look better too.

If you’re ready to improve your health, but aren’t sure where to start, I recommend reaching out to me or another health coach. We can help guide you along your journey to more good days. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month!