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

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?

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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

Mind + Body + Spirit

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Mind + Body + Spirit = Fitness

What does this really mean?

We are more than a physical body. Our logic may deem that losing weight is solely associated with the physical body. The physical body reflects the physical aspects of too much weight. It harbors painful joints, illness, or chronic sleep issues.

If you think about it, what are the reasons the extra weight crept on, and you were unable to stop it from happening?

Our minds think thoughts all the time. The mind doesn’t shut down, unless we allow it to be quiet. To reach this “quiet” state, we can meditate, drink a glass of wine, or exercise. The question becomes, do the thoughts stop, slow down, become clear, or continue uninterrupted?

What are these thoughts say about ourselves, our family, our situation, someone else. . .

Do these thoughts sound like our parents? Our partners/spouses? Our friends? Our children? Our self?

These thoughts are an integral part of whether we will be successful in losing excessive weight. Our self-talk reflects our feelings about our self, and only our self. It can be our private “hell” or moral support.

The spirit portion isn’t necessarily clear cut as the body or the mind. It is something less physically tangible. Part of it is the energy flow through the physical body, mind, and energy field surrounding the body. It is the soul essence. It is that part that is activated when following “your heart” or dreams.

Each of these 3 pieces influence our physical presence in the world. Each is equally important to address, when making life changes. Losing weight is a major life change. It takes courage, strength, and determination. It is one of the most important choices we can make, and it’s solely for ourselves.

Our self esteem is derived from a balance of these 3 pieces in our being. I’ll be talking further on each piece in upcoming blog entries.

Challenge to Those Who Accept. . .Take an inventory of these 3 pieces of your being. Try to be unbiased in your assessments. Think about what is working, and what may need to change. More later. . .

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

 

Being Present In Your Life

ControlIsMerelyAnIllusion

Being present in the current moment is the foundation of life, and successful weight loss. Being present means being aware of the events unfolding around yourself at any point in time. It means finding the joy and happiness of being alive.

Often, weight loss seems like a daunting task, and a lot of work. It’s only one way how to perceive the process. What if it was an adventure to your true authentic self?

What if life is an adventure filled with challenges for us to overcome?

Perception of events is Everything!

I look at weight loss as an opportunity to become myself. It offers an opportunity to make lifestyle changes, and to feel better. At almost 55, I feel better than when I was 50. Age does not relegate us to a medicine cabinet full of prescription drugs and obesity.

In my 40’s, my doctor told me that I could never lose the weight, and not to worry about it. It triggered the thought “So what! I’m 40. What difference should that make in attaining my fitness and weight loss goals?”

We have a choice. We make these choices with every decision we make. It comes down to the food we put in our bodies, whether we go for a walk, or how we react to a situation. It is all part of our make-up, and how we perceive our lives.

Challenge to Those Who Accept. . .Take time to look at your attitudes towards food, physical activity, and weight loss. Decide if these attitudes contribute to your fitness and weight loss goals. If not, decide if you want to change them. . .

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

 

Healing Self

HealingComesFromWithin

Losing weight requires us to heal ourselves. Every pound shed carries past wrongs, other people’s opinions, and old paradigms. It’s a process of healing self.

You become the caterpillar transforming into the butterfly. . .

So. . .reached a plateau?

Or. . .feel uneasy at your new weight?

It’s worth taking the time to look and remember what it is within yourself at this new weight. Memories are energy, and we store them in our bodies.

I finally reached “that” zone where I need to look inward, and allow myself to heal. Whether it is my father’s voice screaming at me about “killing” my mom as she was dying from cancer at the hospital or the harsh words of a former employer, I need to look at these issues and let them go.

These “things” only hurt me, and damage my physical body. I cannot control other people, but I can control how I take these incidents. I can keep the unkindness, or choose to let them go. It comes down to the question, “what kind of person do I want to be?”

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .Stuck at a specific weight? Take time to journal about your feelings. Look at the words, and decide if you need to change.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

 

Wait a Minute. . .

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Wait a Minute. . .what do you mean my clothing from last year will not fit me this year?

This is what happens when divesting your body of excessive weight. It means those clothes worn last year that fit will be too big this year.

What an amazing realization!

I’ve lost 30 + pounds, and all the warm clothing I wore last year will be too big. . .really too big. I’ve moved down clothing sizes!

It becomes a journey of re-discovering yourself. All those amazing “little” clothes will now fit, and look good. This little fact requires a lot of change in how you view yourself.

What to do you do?

I went window shopping. I looked at all the really cool lacy tops and jackets, slowly realizing that I could wear them without looking like I was “stuffed” into them. I could wear the smaller sizes, and “feel” comfortable.

What does it mean to be smaller in size?

Besides the health benefits, there is a huge psychological boost. It becomes easier to look in the mirror and feel good. People begin to notice you in public, and say hello. Self-esteem comes back. It’s easier to choose to feel happy.

I think the list is endless, and different for each person.

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .keep a record of the changes in yourself as the weight comes off. Take time to adjust to the changes. It makes it easier to keep the weight off, and make permanent lifestyle changes. Maybe, go window shopping, and try on clothing. . .

Wellness to All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach