Getting Ready to Start Working Out!

This is it!  You’re going for it!  Whatever “it” is…

Whether you’re looking to lose fat, gain muscle, get toned, improve your cardiovascular system, prevent or treat diabetes, reduce your risk of many of our #1 killers out there, control your mood swings, feel sexier, be that cute person’s gym buddy, be that cute person! Whatever it is, you’ve decided you want to start working out.  That’s great!  Let’s make sure you keep it up!

First things first, if you aren’t already active, especially if you have health issues, get your doctor’s ok and suggestions on what will be healthy for you to do.  As much as I love me some Shaun T and Focus T25, if you have health issues that might not be where you want to start.  Plus, exercise can become too taxing on a body that’s already dealing with disease or breakdown.  The exercise spectrum is vast, I’m sure there’s something you will be able to do that you enjoy doing without causing issues for your body.

Second: Determine your purpose for working out.  I mean, duh, you want to be healthier, but what does that mean to you?  Most people don’t like cardio but it’s one of the best things to improve your health.  Gaining muscle will help you burn more fat quicker and for longer periods of time.  Strength training will not only make you physically stronger it will also make your bones denser helping to stave off osteoporosis.  Prediabetic?  Concerns about heart disease? Need to be stronger to support your joints better to get you out of pain?  What’s your reasoning?

Third: Talk with a professional fitness trainer.  (I’m not one yet but by the end of 2017 I will be!)  Often times you can have a free meeting with one at your gym but if you don’t belong to a gym or your gym doesn’t have one seek one out.  You know those reasons you listed from above about why you want to workout?  You need a professional’s help in determining your best course of action.  They’ll help you make modifications for any restrictions you may have, give you lists of the perfect exercises for your body type and goals, and help make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly so you don’t get injured.  Trust me, getting hurt because you thought you were doing what was best for you but you were wrong will cost you money, time off work, time not being able to exercise, and a lot more.  This investment is well worth it if you’re serious about your fitness goals.

Fourth:  Get geared up!  No you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on special shoes, clothes, and supplements; but you do need to have a few things on hand.  You do need shoes you can workout in.  Your feet need support.  Buy the best you can afford and save for better ones if finances are an issue.  Comfortable natural fiber clothes are another must.  Seriously, I get mine at Goodwill during 50% Saturdays.  I’m a big girl and my pants always wear down quickly (hello chub rub!) so I won’t spend more than $12 on a pair of pants.  Ladies, if your “ladies” are big opt for at least one high quality sports bra.  Your chest and back will thank you by not causing you intense pain!  Get a water bottle.  No really, you should have one anyway.  Take it with you everywhere.  Most of us don’t drink enough water.  Work up to a gallon of water a day then talk with your doctor or personal trainer on what they recommend past that.

Fifth:  Find a program you LOVE!  The above mentioned Focus T25 is amazing to get results but I seriously have to talk myself into doing it every day because I hate it.  Love it for the results, hate it for the gauntlet it puts me through!  I love hula hooping, belly dancing, striptease dancing, yoga, and jogging.  Those are my go-to’s.  It’s rare that I don’t look forward to doing at least one of those.  I’d say swimming too but I really just like floating in the water and that doesn’t burn many calories so I’ve stopped lying to myself about that one.  Pool time = relaxing time for me.  Well, as relaxed as I can get while watching my five kids monkey around in water.

Sixth:  Make time for your program!  If you think you’re going to “find” time to workout, odds are you’ll be disappointed.  Make the time.  Spend 30 minutes of your lunch break at work, wake up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, delete the games off your phone, whatever you need to do to set aside the time, do it.  This isn’t about will power.  Schedule this time in during your day like a meeting at work.  You don’t want to go too the meeting at work but you have to, same thing with working out.  Well, hopefully you’ll want to workout after finding a program that you LOVE!

Seventh:  Get support!  A workout buddy, accountability buddy, or join a support group.  I have a Facebook Group exactly for this!  If you have to be accountable to someone you’re more likely to follow through.  If you have other people around you who have similar goals and they are making strides to get to those goals, you’re more likely to follow through.

I bet you’re saying to yourself, “Duh, I know all of this”… I know you do.  Sometimes we need to hear it again (and again) for it to actually impact how we do things.  Make sure you’re actually following through with all of this, it doesn’t take long but can make your workout experience so much more successful and less painful!

Comment with what you’re doing to workout and what your goals are!  I love hearing from you!

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Routines

If you feel inconsistent, lost, or like you’re moving backwards this post is for you!  I’m going to tell you how I manage to keep moving forward despite having Borderline Personality Disorder and dropping into low depression swings or high anxiety swings.

I’m 35 and I’ve struggled with severe mood swings pretty much since puberty at age 12.  I tried medication and therapy but neither really worked for me.  I definitely use coping skills I learned in therapy, but ultimately it was my routines that saved me.

I’ll warn you, I’m slightly OCD (actually diagnosed by a professional, not just everyone who knows me agreeing on it).  So my routines may seem a little over the top to some of you.

When I first started making routines I tried to schedule everything.  I mean EVERYTHING.  It was overwhelming and impossible to maintain.  My best advice is to take it slow and don’t add on until you’ve created actual habits.  Meaning if you still have to write it down or set alarms for it then you aren’t ready to add another routine.

You can either start with a wake up routine or go to bed routine.  Both are equally important and since they are usually short and simple to do you might even be able to do them both starting the same day.

My “Go to bed ” routine is simple, turn out the lights, turn off the fans, put the dogs up, get into bed and read a little, check my alarm clock, state my evening intention, and go to sleep.  Every night.  Without fail.  My evening intention comes from the same place my morning routine comes from: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.  Typically I say something like, “Thank you for this day full of joy and growing opportunities.  I let go of things that I no longer need and welcome sleep.  I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.”  How many times have you woken up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day?  How about when you get woken up several times a night by a 4 month old that needs to nurse?  I can honestly say, most mornings I wake up naturally before my alarm goes off (at 4:30 AM) and feeling a little antsy to start my morning routine.  To be fair, I lay down at 7 PM to put my baby to sleep, though I’m not typically falling asleep until 8:30 or 9.

My morning routine is my life saver (if you know about Miracle Mornings you’ll giggle at that).  My alarm goes off and I meditate (often with the baby nursing in a side lying position).  After meditation I’ll typically read for at least ten minutes while my baby finishes nursing and then play with her for a few minutes and make sure she’s happy and full and I’ll get her changed and dressed.  Then I do 30 minutes of yoga while my coffee is making and my steel cut oats are cooking (good for lactation).  After yoga I write in my Bullet Journal and gratitude journal and eat my oatmeal and drink my coffee.  I announce my affirmation and spend a few minutes visualizing achieving my goals and where I want to go with my life and add things to my bullet journal (again) that will bring me closer to my goals.  By this time I usually have to get ready for work which starts even more routines.  I can’t stress enough how important having a good morning routine is.  It sets your whole day up for success and gives you energy and a positive attitude.

Another valuable place to have routine is with your food.  A lot of people struggle with coming up with new ideas to eat healthy.  Currently, for me breakfast is easy because it’s oatmeal to help with lactation.  I also do a protein shake on the way to work because there’s several hours from when I wake up to when I leave for work.  When I’m not eating oatmeal I will cook two eggs and eat an avocado with it or do greek yogurt with some homemade granola and berries.  I also have a delicious recipe for overnight oats that is packed with protein and fiber.  That’s about all I’ll eat for breakfast except Sundays when I have my soul food.  Lunch is another super easy one: salad or 1 bell pepper, 1 avocado, a handful of baby carrots, and hummus.  I’ll sometimes switch up the veggies or add a fruit or a hard boiled egg but it’s always something full of veggies with a protein source.  Dinners are similar: a serving or protein and two servings of veggies.  I’m lucky because my oldest son wants to be a chef so he loves to cook dinner.  There’s no casseroles or complicated dishes.  Grocery shopping is simple, cooking is simple, meal prep is simple.  It all flows nicely.  That way when I have an overwhelming day and I’m full of anxiety I don’t have to stress over what I’m making for dinner and I know it’s not going to take a long time to make.

Some of the other little routines I have keep me on track.  I take my supplements when I make my shake.  Literally if I choose to not have a shake in the morning I forget my supplements because I’ve tied taking them to my shake.  I workout when I get home from work while my kids are doing homework.  After dinner I hula hoop with my daughters (obviously the baby is just along to watch).  After I drop my kids off at school I listen to a personal development audio book.  These are all little things that are habitual now.  What that means is when I dive head first in the shallow end into a depression I don’t have to think about my self care routines.  They are habits, I do them automatically and they help keep me afloat until the swing passes.

To close out: start with a morning and evening routine to ensure you sleep well and wake up with the best start of your day, important self care routines can be combined with habits you already have (affirmation while you brush your hair, visualization in the shower, filling your water bottle while you make your coffee), don’t start too many new routines at once (like only one or two at a time and don’t add another until you have made your older ones habits), and be gentle with yourself.  Many people have days where they only get out of bed for their coffee and to use the restroom.  It happens.  Don’t live in your perceived short comings.  Move through them and then move on.

What’s a Health Coach?

love-yourself-poster

So you’ve heard about coaches.  There’s life coaches, business coaches, legal coaches, health coaches, and many other coaches.  Basically anything that you could need help for, there’s a coach for.  Why?  What’s so special about having a coach.  Why are people willing to spend money to have some one “coach” them?

It’s simple really: life isn’t simple, having someone in your corner helping to guide you and keep you on track frees up your mind and reduces stress.  It helps give you your life back.  If you have a question, ask your coach.  If you’re feeling like you just “can’t” anymore, call your coach.  Lost on where to go, don’t even know which questions you should be asking?  Hire a coach.

What’s special about health coaches?  Health coaches in particular are there to help you balance your life, reach your goals, and take care of your body so that you’re able to accomplish what you set out to do.  Everyone’s circumstances are different, it’s hard to get what you need from a book when it comes to your health.  Even if you don’t have a “disease” you had an upbringing that created tendencies that you have to work with and possibly change.  Your coach can help guide you there.

Why am I special?  🙂

I primarily work with people who have around 100 lbs or more to lose.  Not only have I personally lost 100 lbs, but I’ve also gained it back and lost most of it and gained it back again, and again, and again.  I personally understand the struggle inside and out of depression, gaining weight while pregnant or after having a baby, of drug addiction, of living in an abusive relationship and using food to cope, and the physical pain that comes with carrying so much weight and the emotional pain of seeing yourself in the mirror every day.  I understand that everyone has come from a different background, that we all have different goals, but that with 100 lbs or more to lose, we are all going to have some significant common ground.

You can expect in a program with me that we will start where you are at right now.  That means that I’m not going to jump you into some pre-made mold of where I think you should be or are capable of being.  Determining where you are is always our first objective.  Next, we’re only going to work on where you want to go.  Again, there is no one size fits all mold of what health should look like for everyone.  Yes, I know that contradicts most likely every doctor you’ve ever talked to.  It’s the truth though.  We all have some things we can overcome, others we just need to accept, and different ideas of what “good” feels like.  So our second objective is to figure out where you want to go.  Then we’ll create a plan with small but significant steps to get you from where you are to where you want to be naturally.  That means that how we progress is determined by what will actually work for YOU.  Again, no pre-made program that I use for everyone.  What motivates you might not motivate anyone else.  I won’t know all this until we figure out how you work.  What are your intrinsic and external motivation factors?  What are your triggers?  What are some things you are not willing to give up? (Don’t even think of telling me I can’t have my cup of coffee in the morning!)  So, in essence, every step is determined by you.  I’ll educate, guide, and help motivate, but you are the one who will be making progress, you are the one who will have a better understand of yourself, and you are the one who becomes the person you’ve always wanted to be.  Since it all stems from you, it will last.  They are YOUR changes, YOUR new habits, YOUR new life!

I can’t wait to work with you!  Visit me on Facebook and send me a message to set up your no cost one hour health coaching session.  Find out for yourself with no obligation what a difference it can make having a coach in your corner!