Over-looked Component of Weight Loss

copyright Karen Ulvestad

One of the biggest drains in our lives is the person who seems to depend on our energy to make it through the day. These individuals are called “energy vampires”, and live in every segment of society.

When working through weight loss, these individuals can make the process more difficult. They attach into us through touch, words, and actions. Often times, they do things that lead to self-doubt or disappointment. Our exhaustion makes it more difficult to exercise or stay focused on our goals.

For strategies to disconnect from an “energy vampire”, here is a link to my article published and featured by OM Times.

Holiday Stressors & Food!

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We’re coming into the holidays, and often becomes the most stressful time of the year! There is all the “things” to complete, decorations to put into place, shopping, parties, family gatherings, and the holiday food. Sometimes, I think we cram a year of “everything” into the month of December!

How can 1 person orchestrate and accomplish all this in 1 month (on top of their normal schedule)? It’s no wonder that people gain weight during the holidays!

Is it possible to enjoy all the festivities, and maintain / lose weight during this time? YES!

Here are a couple ideas to consider, to ease the holiday stress and bring more joy into the season.

First, it’s not about material items. “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” We place undue expectations on ourselves to be the “perfect” hostess, mother/father, or ___________. Perfection is truly a culmination of imperfect events that are perceived through our collective experiences. It’s really about doing / being the best we can. The holiday season tends to bring up memories (good or bad), while we strive to achieve impossible goals for others. Remember, we are one human being, and capable of a limited amount of “things” we can accomplish in a short period of time (aka the Holiday season).

Second, people love you for you, not for what you can do for them. Love isn’t conditional! Love is accepting, forgiving, and compassionate. The Holiday season is richer with these ideals, instead of the mass consumerism that begins with huge crowds on Black Friday. There is greater value in life experiences, instead of one more toy, piece of jewelry, or tool under the Christmas tree. It is nice to give gifts to those we love and care about. It’s just not the only thing that matters. Relationships are more important that “things.”

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed with the season? Try closing your eyes, taking a few deep breathes, and repeating a mantra that helps you calm down.

Life is Good!

Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Time for Self Care

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Self care is healing to the self. It is the moments in our busy lives we stop and honor ourselves. We momentarily let go of the budget, family issues, work challenges, and focus on quieting the inner self. We invest in our own well-being.

What does this mean?

We are taking time to work on ourselves. It is the time where we can find clarity in our thoughts and emotions. It is like a mini-spa moment in our daily life.

What is self care?

It is different for each person. It could be a long walk, or a journal entry. It could be a personal ritual to find inner peace, like meditation or yoga.

What does self care effect?

Self care changes the way we feel about ourselves. It allows us moments of being ourselves. It heals our spiritual / soul (energy field) wounds. This is a portion of the “spirit” in Mind + Body + Spirit = Fitness.

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .What self care practices are currently in your life?

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Steps to Healthy Self Talk & Self Image

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Steps to Change Self Talk & Self Image. . .

  1. Listen to Your Words
    What words do you regularly use? Are they positive or negative or angry or happy? These words define how we communicate with ourselves and others. Our choice of words reflect our feels, emotional development, and insecurities.
  2. Listen to Your Feelings
    After speaking or experiencing an event, how did it make you feel? As human beings, we are emotional beings. Often, we try to turn off our emotions. These unspoken emotions need to go somewhere, so they manifest themselves as extra weight, cluttered homes, or illness.
  3. Keep a Journal
    A journal helps clarify what we are thinking and feeling. It is a private space that allows us to express our deepest fears or happiness. This is a tool that is beneficial through the freedom of expressing one’s self.
  4. Exercise
    Exercise helps burn off extra energy, clarify thoughts, and improve mental focus. It’s also a useful tool to lose extra weight. Exercise is merely taking time to physically move the body in a way that increases heart rate or strengthens muscles.
  5. Forgive Yourself and Others
    Forgiveness allows us to move on with our lives. We forgive for ourselves, not for the other person. Without forgiving, the other person’s transgressions continue to control our thoughts and actions until the day we choose to forgive.

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .Follow the steps listed above for a month. Keep track of the changes in your life through the process. Leave comments on your progress.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

What’s on Your Mind?

BeFlexibleAndEnjoyLifesUnexpectedEvents

So, what’s on your mind?

I woke up realizing that my whole life was being colored by a handful of thoughts. Those thoughts were given to me by my mother. I woke up thinking about all the times she accused me of lying, stealing, and being ungrateful.

WOW!

This theme appears over and over in my life. I always feel like I don’t fit in. How can I be good enough if I’m such a “bad” person?

The unhappiness contributed to my weight gain, and social isolation.

It’s affected my business, relationships, and health.

The interesting thing is that I live in Gratitude, give to others in need, and am honest. I always have been. I think that my mom didn’t understand the idea of abundance. She grew up without, and carried it into her adult life.

I’m not sure when the first instance of this line of thought was introduced to me, but it has had a lasting impact on my life. Words are powerful! Their impact can last a lifetime.

When we talk about our self-talk, it is important to understand that those words my not have come from your authentic self. They may be the words of a parent, family member, teacher, or other person who is or passed through your life.

As an adult, it is time to decide if those words suit your lifestyle, dreams, or goals. If not, then it’s your responsibility to make the change.

It took me years to like myself. I spent each day looking into the mirror, and saying “I like myself.” It was really hard to do in the beginning. The result is that I now like myself. I feel better emotionally, and know that I’m not the person that my mother thought I was.

I freely practice gratitude. My teenage son says please and thank you, and means it. My life partner is coming back to gratitude. Self worth is linked to gratitude. It takes little energy to say thank you, especially for the little things.

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .Listen to your self-talk. Does it reflect who you are? Does it hurt you? Does it make you feel good or bad about yourself? Do you want to change it?

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

So. . .What Does a Coach Do. . .

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So, what does a Fitness & Wellness Coach do?

If you have been reading and following this blog, you may know that I share my own experiences to inspire others to follow a path to wellness and fitness.

As a coach, I share knowledge, help keep motivation alive, and give insight. I strive to help others attain their personal weight loss and fitness goals. I work to answer questions, and maintain a safe environment and encouraging environment for people to be successful.

I do work with Shakeology and Beachbody products. They work for me, and I’m happy to share.

In addition, I have a background as an athlete, athletic coach, fitness instructor, and personal trainer. I’ve worked with individuals with injuries and special needs. I enjoy helping people overcome their perceived limitations.

I believe that we cannot achieve weight loss and fitness goals without finding balance in our lives. It is a process, not an immediate result. For many, it is unfamiliar territory, and can be intimidating to begin this series of changes.

My goal as a coach is to inspire others to become the best they can be, through nutrition and physical activity. I help people start on this journey. I share different perspectives. I offer encouragement through the plateaus. I share successes, and offer ideas for challenges.

I have the knowledge to give this information through training, working in the fitness industry, and life experiences.

It comes to people first. . .

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Tomorrow Never Comes. . .

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Tomorrow never comes. . .

I learned this from all the people I knew and loved that died in the past few years. They all felt that they could start tomorrow. They could do “it” tomorrow. They had plans for tomorrow. . .

Maybe the person who drove this concept home the hardest was my mom. She battled cancer, and died in 1998 at the age of 56. She didn’t even reach retirement age, and she didn’t accomplish all the plans she had in place for retirement.

Her death was a shock!

Throughout her life, she battled with her weight. I think she tried every diet available. She wanted to lose the weight, and feel better. She would accomplish short term weight loss, but it would all come back (and more).

She taught me that true weight loss required lifestyle change, and self healing (mind, body, and spirit). This was through watching her struggles with her own weight. Her internal “demons” won the battle, and she succumbed to her illness.

Her tomorrow never came. . .

I chose to change. I strive to be in the present. I want to live past 56. I want to climb mountains at 70. I believe that I can live a healthy and fulfilling life. I changed my lifestyle. I’m passing that on to my immediate family.

I know that my decision to change could cost me my family of origin. I know that they may not be able to accept me after I change. I also know that anything is possible!

I know all too well. . .Tomorrow Never Comes. . .

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .Think about what is important to you. Do you want to accomplish this in your lifetime? Is there something stopping you from accomplishing this event? If so, do you want to change the situation?

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach