Use this one exercise to let go of the negative self-talk and cycle of internal shaming.
Life can get pretty routine. Which is nice because we don’t have to think too hard about things.
The problem is when we don’t think about things we aren’t engaging as much in our lives and we tend to stay on auto-pilot.
While at an athletic training symposium this week, I heard a talk on sport psychology from an ATC who works with elite athletes. He mentioned that everyone has a super bowl they are training for. When an athlete goes down with an ACL tear, their eyes get fixed on getting back on the field, or winning a championship on a restored and healed leg.
We “regular folk” aren’t necessarily playing a competitive sport. But we are in the game of life.
Good athlete’s don’t get that way because they sat around thinking about it. They got better and excelled because they took action on a daily basis with tenacity to fight for it.
How much have you side-lined your personal goals and dreams because of a nagging injury, or fear of putting yourself out there to accept a physical challenge?
There is always a way to find victory in your pursuit toward your own Super Bowl moment:
1) Get empowered: Find a way to get inspired and find hope again. This step is one of the hardest, and yet in the end the most simple. Say yes to taking the first step. You are capable.
2) Fail: There is no better way to get over your fear than to fail and realize you can get through it. Failure is what helps you learn. It’s not a weakness.
3) Celebrate your milestones: Find ways to reward yourself with the little things. Never miss an opportunity to find appreciation for progress.
4) Surround yourself with the Positive: Constantly reinforce your positive thinking by finding people who will encourage you, listen to inspiring music or podcasts, or share your journey with social media as a way to document how far you are going and to get accountability to reach your finish line.
5) Lean into the Magic: you have to be in constant touch with your hopes and dreams. Keep your vision and your super bowl moment top of mind by creating vision boards, putting pictures on your screen savers, talking and reading about it with whomever will listen.
“Capacity, audacity, and tenacity will take you to your mountaintop” –Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series.
Your dreams and goals are worth pursuing. If you need a helping hand to get started, give me a buzz and I will help you create your first action steps!
For the second time in the last 6 months, I am cooking 100% vegan for at least the hubs and me. The first time I had to call it quits when I got super sick about 2 weeks into a 3-week program. This time, I am going strong with 1-week left of an updated three-week program.
It has sincerely been awesome to eat more veggies, lentils, beans, and to cut back on meat and dairy.
If there is one surprise many of my clients have when they start taking a look at what could be holding them back in their diet is that they are typically low in getting in the daily recommended intake of proteins for their unique needs.
When you are trying to increase energy, lose body fat, increase lean mass, or balance your hormones, one of the best things you can do is to get your protein intake up to an optimal level.
In case you don’t know how much protein you should be getting, the RDA recommends getting no less than .8 grams per kilogram body weight. However, if you are highly physically active, over the age of 65, are attempting to lose weight, or are recovering from an injury, you will need more protein. The exact amount is variable, but most nutrition experts agree that getting somewhere between 1.0-1.2 grams per kilogram is a good estimate.
You can calculate your protein intake needs using this calculator.
And here is a list of my favorite veggie based proteins you too can start adding to your repertoire! Protein values are per single serving.
- Tempeh: 16 grams in 3 oz
- Red Lentils: 18 grams per cup
- Split peas: 16 grams per cup
- Northern Beans: 15 grams per cup
- Kidney Beans: 15 grams per cup
- Lima Beans: 15 grams per cup
- Black Beans: 15 grams per cup
- Garbanzo Beans: 14.5 grams per cup
- Quinoa: 8 grams per cup
- Pumpkin/squash seeds: 8.5 grams per ounce
- Almonds: 6 grams per ounce
- Hemp Seeds: 9 grams per ounce
- Chia Seeds: 4.7 grams per ounce
- Green Peas: 7.9 grams per cup
- Spinach: 5.3 grams per cup
- Squash: 5 grams per cup
For some awesome recipes that I love, you can check out Kris Carr’s site here.
I’d love to hear how you are using this list to make some additions or substitutions to your normal protein intake! Send me your photos or recipe loves, and I will repost for all to share.
After interviewing some the most successful people on the planet, experts know that the majority of these highly successful people have an intense dedication to movement and exercise.
They know what we know about the benefits of exercise, but they will dedicate time to make sure it gets done regardless of what else is on their plate.
Exercise improves memory, focus, our sense of organization and recall, sleep, and most importantly it improves our mood.
So how do we get motivated to keep our workouts a top priority, especially when work and family life are already so full?
Routine. Not just a schedule, but a ritual that makes the process of moving a part of our existence that we realize we cannot live without.
A world-class dancer, Twyla Tharp says it like this:
“I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I workout for two hours.
The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.
It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it — makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.” – The Creative Habit
Twyla doesn’t always start out motivated. She finds motivation once she has started her ritual.
James Clear, author of How to Be Motivated Every Day says,
“The key to any good ritual is that it removes the need to make a decision.”
If you are struggling with consistency or motivation to workout, find a routine that gets you in motion. Once you get started, more often than not you will experience that an object in motion will stay in motion.
Meditate for 5 minutes; take 5 cleansing breaths, listen to the same song, sip on tea out of the same mug each day, do 20 jumping jacks.
The ritual doesn’t matter as much as what you decide it does for you to take away the question of whether or not to move forward. As long as the answer is always yes after you complete the ritual, it is the right one.
Get creative and stick with your ritual for as long as it works for you. Be sure to send us your ideas and rituals so we can learn from you too!
Nearly one in every four people have arthritis in the US and nearly five percent of the population deals with debilitating joint pain on a daily basis.
Even if you don’t have severe joint pain, dealing with a painful knee, ankle, shoulder, hand or back due to a chronic injury or arthritis can cause you to alter your lifestyle in a meaningful way.
And that ain’t no way to live.
There’s so much you can do to manage joint pain that most MD’s typically won’t get into because it isn’t something they can easily write on a prescription pad. In part because arthritis is one of those medical issues for which we have no cure. And while science has allowed us the benefit of joint replacement (thank goodness), many of us are far from that stage but still need relief.
So what can you do to not just deal with your joint pain but, rather, thrive beyond it?
- See a doctor. Depending on your level of pain, it is recommended that you have x-rays or potentially an MRI done to rule out any additional disease and to ascertain the extent of your arthritis. Knowing more about the type, extent, and location can help you take a more direct plan of action. Be sure to ask around for positive referrals to local doc’s who are familiar with treating your issue.
- Eat a wide variety of lots and lots and lots of veggies. The goal is to reduce sugar and highly processed meat intake- both of which increase inflammation in the body. Aim for 5 servings of veggies every day. You can always eat fruit too, but vegetables tend to be lower in glycemic index,which keeps your inflammation down. Research suggests eating vitamin K-rich veggies like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale and cabbage dramatically reduces inflammatory markers in the blood.
- Take an omega-3 rich fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement daily. Daily supplementation with as little as 2.7 grams of EPA and 1.8 grams of DHA can markedly reduce the number of tender joints and increase the time before fatigue sets in. Some studies have also noted a decrease in morning stiffness and at least two clinical trials concluded that arthritis patients who took fish oils could eliminate or sharply reduce their use of NSAIDs and other arthritis drugs.
- Of all the arthritis banishing supplements studied beyond omega-3 rich fats, Turmeric and Curcumin (which is the most active constituent of turmeric) appear to be the winners in reducing joint related pain. According to Dr. Weil, taking 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric extracts (available in tablets or capsules) three times per day or as directed on the product label can be a wonderful aide for those with any inflammatory disorders. He directs his patients to look for products standardized for 95 percent curcuminoids. However, curcumin nor turmeric taken orally is well absorbed unless taken with black pepper or piperine, so when shopping for supplements, be sure to choose one that contains black pepper extract or piperine.
- I’ve had four people in my practice in recent weeks who’ve all had severe forms of arthritis or chronic injury who were still able to find ways to get in a total body workout without further aggravating his or her pain. In fact, after nearly every single workout I would get a message saying, “My knee/back/hip actually felt better today after our workout!” It is possible, and even recommended that exercise and arthritis coexist. People with arthritis who exercise regularly have less pain, more energy, improved sleep and better day-to-day function.
So what should you do for exercise? Stay tuned as I will be talking more and more about this in the weeks to come, but for now, the easiest thing to do are those things that are less-impact like swimming, biking, or walking on low incline terrain. Mild stretching is always highly recommended to keep the joint as mobile as possible.
Because here is the thing, movement lifts your spirits, improves your overall health, and will also motivate you to eat healthier too. You don’t have to be a slave to your condition, no matter what it is. There is always more you can do to take back your energy, to move your body, and to find joy in your health.
Please forward this message to anyone you know who suffers from arthritis or chronic joint pain, and comment below if you have found these or any other pain relief options you love and can share.
We have been coaxed into believing the scale is the highest measure of health and fitness. But the scale fluctuates a ton depending on how much water you retain, what time of day you weigh in, how much fat vs. muscle you have on your body, your bone density and more. It’s a pretty crappy way to evaluate whether you are actually getting more fit or not.
While I was vacationing in Mexico this past weekend, I jumped on a treadmill for my usual jaunt. I started pushing the speed button and it was like I was floating. Up and up the miles per hour went until I was gracefully moving at a 11.5 mile per hour pace.
Folks, that’s a 5:13 per mile pace, and the fastest I have ever run just one mile is 5:14.
I kept this pace up for just under 40 minutes. I felt like a BEAST.
Obviously, this treadmill was lying to me.
There’s comfort in knowing the numbers, right? We want to be assured that what we are doing is working and that we have something concrete to prove that our invested time and energy has produced results.
There are many numbers we actually have control over. Things like…
- How many real push-ups or full pull-ups can you do
- In what time can you run a mile around the track
- How long can you hold a perfect plank
- How many glasses of alcohol consumed in a week
The possibilities are endless. But the number that matters the most is the number that resides in your heart.
I am not saying to ignore the hard and fast, tangible proof, what I am saying is that we need to dig deeper.
The best number to track to get fit and improve your health is to use The Joy Scale.
Yes, I know, I know, fitness is all about getting more physically strong, racking up a better VO2Max, holding that long yoga pose to improve your flexibility. But the REAL end goal of doing these things is that they actually provide us with the capacity to live life more fully engaged. Which is to say, that you are able to find deep joy in your day-to-day activities and being because you are getting stronger and connecting with your physical strengths. Getting stronger helps us to sustain our energy and to act upon our passions so that deep joy bubbles up in us.
Are you workouts both bringing you joy and allowing you to open yourself up to more joy in your life overall?
If not, here are some suggestions that can up your joy through movement:
- Consistently workout whether you feel like it or not.
- Listen to inspiring music while exercising.
- Get curious about how much your body can actually do. Push yourself to the outer boundaries to let it show you what you are capable of.
- Surround yourself with people who encourage and uplift you during your movement.
Movement can reduce depression, it can clarify your mind, it can improve your immune system, and boost your confidence.
Of course it’s great if you can bust out push-ups, rock a deep squat, and run a 5 minute mile- but using movement to increase your joy is a wonderful motivator and method to make your whole life better.
And regardless of what that treadmill told me, I felt absolutely amazing running on my vacation. Joy welled up in me in ways I don’t get from any other thing.
The number on the screen was irrelevant.
Where do you find your joy in movement?
I adore author and speaker, Brené Brown. This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend her live event on Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice.
She has discovered some common traits in men and women who rise up after a fall. These people include spirituality, among many other qualities, to get back up on their feet again. They use their setback to make them even stronger in the end.
Have you had a setback in your life that you desperately want to turn into a comeback?
Me too. But first, let’s talk about getting even.
This might be a simplistic example, but today my son punched his brother in the stomach. He did it because he was angry with him about something that had nothing to do with his brother- he was tired, hungry, and took his emotions out on his bro.
Brené talked in depth about how our emotions can literally be the key to our health.
Sadly most of us can only own or identify about three emotions when we are faced with circumstances that light us up (good or bad). However, in order to be emotionally healthy and deal with our feelings, we need to be able to tap into the full range of thirty emotions possibly stirring in us.
That’s a big gap of missed connection. While my son is still only four years old, wouldn’t it be great if he could instead express what he was feeling instead of abusing his body and those around him to get out his emotions??
Because emotions are expressed IN THE BODY.
Emotions are feelings. We FEEL first in the body and then the mind interprets what is going on. When a cop turns on his lights behind you, you heart begins to pound, you get sweaty palms, your thoughts start to race, and you grip the steering wheel tighter.
The faster we can put an accurate label on our feelings the quicker we can address our needs and deal with them. Or pull over and actually find what we need.
It’s paralyzing to deal with the same setbacks all the time. No one wants to stay in a place of defeat, hopelessness, fear, shame, or frustration.
We were born to use our strengths in this world. So why let our emotions hold us back?
The more we stop to pay attention to our bodies, the more we can actually tap in to what we are feeling.
The more we move the less likely we will be depressed and the more we will actually toughen our brain so that stress has less of an impact on us.
That’s right, there’s a biochemical reason that exercise will help you reduce your urge to punch people. Which is at least good news for my family. (Journal of Neuroscience, 2011)
Want to increase your grit and resiliency so that you can rise up after a fall in your life?
Take these 2 first steps:
- Stop and figure out what you are feeling when you are triggered by observing what is going on in your body.
- Once you know what you are feeling, get beyond the emotion by moving it through you. Choose a form of activity that feels right to express yourself (without hurting others). Write down what thoughts and emotions come up for you or talk through it out loud while you are moving. I promise you this is the best form of free therapy I have ever experienced.
When you can express yourself and own your emotions, you are liberated from the junk that holds you back- or from having to sit in time out.
Proverbs 4:23 reads: “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
If you want to get stronger, don’t wait until you feel like it, or until you’re ready.
Movement will ignite the power in your heart to keep going.
Motivation is the driving force behind everything we do.
It’s your “why”.
Most often our motivation is tied to a fear of failure, a fear of disappointment, a hope of increased joy and satisfaction, or our innate desire to accomplish a purpose-filled life.
In any case, having ample motivation is important if you want to make a change in your life - especially when you aren’t particularly in the mood to push past your comfort zone.
When you get really clear on what motivates you the “why” overcomes the suffering and makes taking more painful steps a little easier.
But what about when you get stuck and can’t seem to find your will?
The silent killer that destroys our ability to focus on positive growth and change is Envy.
Coveting what someone else has will always leave you feeling like you are not enough, that your life somehow has less meaning, or that everything you do doesn’t measure up- so why bother anyway??
In our world of social media and sexualized images everywhere we turn it’s easy to find plenty of things that induce a state of envy, especially when it comes to how easily so-and-so lost 10 pounds, or how “x” diet is the new miracle, or how someone just finished their 5th marathon.
Of course, these are certainly inspiring and motivating stories, but let’s be honest…sometimes it can really make us feel like we have a long way to go, or get us wondering “what’s wrong with me” or “I wish I could do that!”.
The cure to envy is to celebrate. Celebrate every single tiny step you have made to advance your health forward. Celebrate other people for every single little breakthrough they have. Tell people they inspire you and get curious about what they are doing!
You can’t afford to lose your motivation. The world longs to have you fully alive and sharing your gifts from a state of strength and health.
So write yourself a love letter of encouragement, call a friend to ask her what she is doing to look so buff these days- and then set your gaze on a tiny step you can take forward today that gives you pride.
Of if you really want the accountability to stay out of envy mode so you can make your body your strength rather than your excuse, then check out my new Monthly Online Health Coaching Membership. I will hold your hand, cheer you on, and get you unstuck.
Then leave some comments below about what motivates you!
Most people fall into a few categories when they seek out a trainer, whether it's wanting to
- feel stronger, more confident, or more able to tackle the big things of life,
- rock that bikini or pair of jeans,
- o r stay fit enough to do what they love for work, family, or play without getting fatigued or injured.
Creating change takes guts, and there are plenty of success stories from those who have stepped up to the challenge.
I've consistently asked clients from both the Restoring Strength 90 day program and my private practice what they have done that gave them their greatest success.
"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be". ~ George A. Sheehan
What have successful clients done that gave them their greatest success?
Here’s your cliff notes to their stories:
“I finally reached a point where I simply couldn’t stay the way I was. I gave up all my junk and ate the same healthy foods until I got bored or my body stopped losing weight, and then I would change to different foods. And I walked, and walked, and walked. Now, people don’t even recognize me I have lost so much weight” – C.L.
“Once I learned to listen to my body I could allow myself to work hard and then I ate as many veggies and protein as I could. Once I cut out the extra carbs and treats, I felt so much better I couldn’t imagine going back to the way I used to feel.” – M.E.
“After a couple months of strength training, we started doing deadlifts, and I loved the way I felt. Exercise is one of the few ways I can feel truly strong and I can apply that strength to my work.” – R.Z.
“I used to hide my slip-ups and feel so ashamed when I would “fall off the wagon”, but when I started sharing my set-backs with other people I could trust, I was able to get back on track so much faster” – C.L.
“My life was spinning so fast I didn’t think I could fit in health- or at least it seemed it would take our more than it would give back. Boy, was I wrong. After I committed to taking action, even when it was inconvenient or hard, everything started to click” –C.R.
“Every time I tried to get in shape in the past, I would drag myself to stuff I thought I had to do, or cut out as many calories as possible to force myself to suffer enough to lose weight. Now I know that when I appreciate my body and love it for all it does and can do, I take pleasure in the things that have allowed me to stay fit.” – M.G.
“I had no idea how much my habits for eating and movement were tied to my emotions and my environment. Now that I can separate my emotional need for food or my depression from my lack of desire to exercise, I can make more intentional decisions that support me in the end.” – E.H.
Rather than sit on the sidelines, take it from these clients- Doing something is better than doing nothing.
Most clients who come to see me are hoping to ultimately lose weight. Yet once that goal has been discussed, the deeper longing rises up, and what bubbles to the surface is a hunger for more energy and confidence.
Saturday, May 7th at 8am, I am hosting a Restoring Strength hike at Marshall Mesa Trail in Boulder (I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the weather will be nice and the trail will be less muddy!) to energize your body with a little technique you can do every day, and to help you revive your “Fun Flair for Self-Care”. The hike is about 3 miles, and I’ll be there with snacks and beverages to boost your self-care love while you get to walk some amazing Colorado ground with other inspiring women. Don’t miss the fun.
After 9 years in private practice as a personal trainer, and over 17 years working in health and wellness… I can tell you that it takes strength to get stronger.
Weight loss isn’t easy for many people who lead busy lives and who are dealing with hormonal issues. And isn’t that most of us?
What I see time and time again, is that the dividing factor between those who gain the energy they need to keep pursuing the habits that lead to weight loss, and those who give up, is the strength and resolve a person has to stick with their intentions.
So what’s the secret formula for keeping your mental strength and resolve?
3 Simple Beliefs:
- A belief that you are capable of doing what is required.
- A belief that you are worthy of a positive outcome.
- A belief that the energy you create will be used to generate something good.
Inside of each of us is a well spring of child-like energy that stems from times before we held limiting beliefs.
Children don’t often care about the outcome, they care about having fun.
They get curious about how much they can lift at once.
They dance around because they feel like it.
They sprint to entice you to a game of chase (because that’s a really fun way to feel loved).
So where can you find the spark of child-like energy to get you going and to resource when you need a little fuel to keep going?
It’s actually really really simple. We just make it hard because we’re adults.
No matter how tired or un-motivated you are, to cure the blah's in your movement get curious about what feels like play to you.
Balance on one foot, Strike a funny pose and hold it; See how far you can jump; dance around to a silly song. The endorphins from the smiles and laughter alone will be worth the effort!
And if you are in need of some consistent energy to get the get-up-and-go desire for play, check out my "Consistent Energy to Strengthen Your Body" Video Series to learn how to rise up and move.
Your body is an incredible gift that will sustain you through all of life's trials. And many of us hardly consider what is best for our body and health. Your body is more than capable of supporting many of your greatest dreams if you consistently treat it with love, respect, nourishing foods, rest, and movement.
When looking at your calendar, do you generally have a sense of calm and simultaneous excitement, or do you instantly get overwhelmed?
Lately, I have found myself checking and rechecking my calendar assuming I have missed something, or that I need to put one more item on my list so I make sure it gets done.
There’s nothing wrong with filling up your days. The better question is,
what are you filling up your days with?
In my last post I talked about using different tools to track progress rather than being laser focused on the scale. While feedback about what we are doing can be helpful at times, it can also deflate our motivation if things aren’t changing as fast as we like.
While I love helping people set intentions and goals, what I have realized lately is that, inevitably, life happens. Kids get sick, we get sick, other people need us, work deadlines take over, health concerns pop up, yadda, yadda, yadda. And we fall short on completing our goals.
Goals can create stress and anxiety as we think about all the changes and steps we need to take to make them happen- or we imagine all the things that could go wrong while trying to complete them.
When all we think about is the smaller goals we are trying to achieve, we loose focus on the bigger reason for why the goal is so important in the first place.
What is the deeper reason for why you want to eat well and exercise? For most of us it is to live a long life loving those close to us or accomplishing a bigger mission or life- purpose.
How are you goals meeting you in your bigger life purpose?
When you align your daily action steps to support your life passions it will fuel you to stay the course. Working out for the sake of sweating or losing weight can sometimes be nice, but when you base your workout on what is really compelling to you like…
- Having the energy to raise kind and respectful children,
- Growing a business to impact people in a meaningful way,
- Having the strength to fight off disease so you can see your grandchildren walk down the aisle.
Those are things worth keeping on the calendar!
The next time you think about skipping your workout because you are too busy, think about how that workout makes you live closer to the edge of what makes your life worth living.
Doesn’t the sun beating on your skin feel so good this time of year? If you are like me, you have caught a serious itch to move more and more with the longer days and awesome weather (even if it snows every now and then still!).
With increased activity and motivation, there’s an expectation that our efforts would lead to some degree of weight loss. We use the scale as our judge and referee, expecting it to tell us if we are OK or if we are doing a good job. When the scale doesn’t move, we painfully and harshly beat ourselves up and follow the thought pattern that everything we are doing isn’t working and that something in us is broken.
With the coming and going of 3 kids’ birthdays and a weekend of crazy tummy illness, I’ve felt a decent dose of anxiety over the past week.
What have you had going on that’s made your feel like life is out of control?
These days, it doesn’t take much, right?
If you are working out and doing any sort of involvement in life at what tends to be an accepted pace then you are likely asking questions about how to avoid burnout.
In the lifting world, well-known strength and conditioning researchers Charles Poliquin and Ian King popularized the concept of increasing time under tension during reps to increase the demand and build strength. Simply put, the recommendation was to increase the time it took to do the eccentric (or lowering) part of an exercise, pause 1-2 seconds at the transition, and potentially lengthen the concentric (or contracting phase) of the movement.
When was the last time you stopped to connect deeply with why you workout?
Defining the why behind your workout is often the greatest thing we can do to create more consistency and motivation to keep our workouts going- especially when we get busy. And saying you want to lose weight isn't enough of a motivator- keep asking why until you get a full-body response that resonates with you.
We sing Joy to the World, but do you feel joy in your heart, in your soul, and even in your body this year?
I have been thinking a lot about joy lately. Being a mom of three young kids, a business owner, and someone who supports busy folks to create more health in their lives keeps my life very full. So many of us are SO busy already, it makes be cringe to think about getting even busier with the holidays.
Koala Bears sleep about 20 hours per day. Wood frogs hibernate during cold winter months where they stop breathing, their heart stops, and ice crystals form in their blood. When the weather warms these frogs defrost, and their lungs and heart go back into action.
While I love my kids and being a mom, it sure would be nice to be a koala bear or even maybe a wood frog for a week or two (except the heart stopping bit).
Sleep is a precious commodity, and it creates THE foundation for our ability to feel good, think clearly, move with motivation, and eat with fewer cravings. We can go longer without water and food than we can without sleep. Seriously.