Blow the Whistle on Negative Self-Talk

I meant to get my workout in this morning.

That’s not something I say often. Typically, if I set the goal, I get it done.

Right on cue, my inner critic has shown up and started telling me that I’m lazy—one of its long-time messages.

I’m blowing my internal whistle on the negative self-talk.

When that part of you that believes that you are less than who you really are shows up, it’s important to take your rightful place as the Coach calling the plays of your life.

Remind your Gremlin that it’s a member of your team meant to help and support you.

I’m assigning my Gremlin the job of helping me get back on track. If I’m taking an unexpected rest day, then tomorrow I want it to encourage me to get up and get moving, remind me of my form, ask me if the weights I’ll be using are challenging enough, and push me to squeeze out one more rep. I want it to help me push past my beliefs about what I think I can do and really give my workout my all.

One of the reasons so many people let that internal voice dominate their inner monologue is they don’t know their own power. They don’t realize that their Gremlin’s job is to help them, not hold them back.

When you give all your power to the Gremlin, it gets a little greedy and controlling. What player left in charge of the team wouldn’t start to believe they’re calling the shots? What’s more, the Gremlin likes being in charge!

This can result in a bit of an internal power struggle when people do start to claim the right to create their own lives.

There are ways to not only make this process easier, but to increase your ability to successfully reclaim the position of Coach in your life.

Here are some tips to recruit and begin to train your inner critic to become the motivational voice that encourages you to move past your believed limits.

  • Look for the Truth. That negative thing the Gremlin is saying isn’t the Truth. It’s just playing on your fears. Figure out what is True. For instance, if it’s telling you the healthy food on your plate is too fattening, look for the Truth, which is that you have thought out your meal plan, you have chosen quality foods bursting with nutrition, and your body not only is perfectly capable of utilizing the calories you are eating, but actually needs them to function optimally.
  • Treat your Gremlin with respect. Your Gremlin is a part of you and because of this you can’t kill it, beat it up, threaten it, or destroy it. Any attempt to do those things will just make it stronger. When it pipes up uninvited, thank it for the input and then remind it of the Truth.
  • Give it a job supporting you. Think about how the energy of the Gremlin could be shifted to help you meet your goals rather than hold you back.
  • Remember you’re the Coach. Take ownership of your life and begin calling the plays. You have the power to decide how you are going to react in every situation. You can follow the Gremlin’s old game plan, or implement a new one that helps create the body–and life–you want.

How are you doing at being the Coach of your life? What can you do today to train your Gremlin to support you? How does that change your ability to meet your goals?

Together we can do it!

Tips for Providing Weight-Loss Support

In Monday’s blog, I wrote about the importance of reaching out for support, and suggested tapping a friend or family member to be a Wellness Partner.

But what does it take to be a successful supporter? How do you know that your good intentions won’t accidentally submarine someone’s self-confidence?

This can be an issue when you see someone you love who is discouraged by their weight-loss results. You’re pointing out to them that they shouldn’t be reaching for that second cupcake really isn’t helpful—unless they ask for that kind of input.

I promise your loved one knows that the cupcake isn’t moving them towards their goal and already has enough internal struggle going on. Your pointing out their obvious behavior will probably make them feel criticized and tip the emotional scale to resentment.

Here are some tips for being an effective Wellness Partner.

  • Ask for accountability ideas. Instead of suggesting that you keep your loved one from eating that second cupcake, ask what you can do to help support them in meeting their weight-loss goals. Let them come up with how you can best hold them accountable, and then follow through with their ideas.
  • Be a cheerleader. Count and celebrate all the things they are doing right—even the really small things—and help them ease up on their self-criticism if they have stumbled. The emphasis should be on progress not perfection.
  • Ask for permission to brainstorm solutions. In your strong desire to help, you may mistake the need to vent for the need to problem-solve. Before you start firing off solutions, explore the problem and then ask how they could overcome any obstacles. Sometimes the solution is just getting them to see a situation from a different perspective.
  • Remind them of all the reasons Why they are working towards their goal. Stay focused on their ultimate payback and help them see that the feeling of discouragement is not only temporary, but is worth moving through.
  • Love them and focus on all the wonderful things about them. The absolute best thing you can do is help them see their value no matter what, and to maintain your confidence in them that they can reach their goals, even if they are stumbling. Your love and confidence serves as a beacon to them during their dark times of struggle.

Being a positive Wellness Partner will not only dramatically increase your loved ones chances of success, but can also strengthen your relationship and give you an energy boost, too.

As you enable another to grow, evolve, and be authentic, you are enabled to grow, evolve, and be authentic.

Together we can do it!

Five Things I Learned From Diets

We headed out early this morning to go hiking with friends, so I thought I would share this blog from the fabulous life, career, and relationship coach, Nicky Roberts.

Over the years I have read at least a dozen books on dieting and nutrition. I have also—both in my life coaching practice and in my personal life—observed friends and family try one diet or another. My father-in-law, bless his heart, tried even the most extreme diets in an effort to reduce the extra 100 pounds or so that he carried with him.

Here are five life lessons I’ve learned from diets:

  1. You have to stick with it. Except for those diets where you only eat one food for days on end, most diets offer you the realistic opportunity of losing weight. But like with most things in life, you have to stick with it. You can’t give it a mediocre effort and expect outstanding results.
  2. Use your common sense. Yes, the cookie diet may help you lose 10 pounds in 2 days but really, should you?
  3. Be discerning about what you commit to. Following on from point No. 2, it’s also a good idea to really think about things like timing, how this choice might affect your health in the short- and the long-term, and how this will impact your life in the broader sense. For example, will you be able to eat out, or at other people’s houses? How will you make it easy for other’s to accommodate your food choices? Don’t just make commitments willy nilly. When you make a commitment and then break it because you really didn’t think it through, you set yourself up for disappointment and a belief that “you can’t stick to it”.
  4. Delayed Gratification. I often notice when I’m in the checkout line that magazines are still printing articles along the lines of, “Lose 10 pounds in 2 Weeks.” Yes, it is possible, but we all know that the diet will be extreme and not sustainable. Losing weight in a healthy sustainable way requires all of the above and a commitment to delayed gratification. Putting down the chocolate cake and enjoying the rewards maybe several days later of looking and feeling good.
  5. We overestimate what we can achieve in a day and underestimate what we can achieve in a year. Small, consistent baby steps in the right direction are the secret to success in most everything—including dieting.


Nicky Roberts is a life, career, and relationship coach who is originally from South Africa. Without ever having seen American soil, she moved to the U.S. in 2003 with her husband and three small children–with all their worldly possessions fitting in 10 suitcases.

Through her coaching practice, Nicky helps women find their core purpose in life and live in alignment with their values, which naturally leads to them feeling confidant and happy.

You can learn more about Nicky at www.nickyrobertscoaching.com and read her blog at coachnickyroberts.blogspot.com.

Wanting, Willing, Doing, and Being Transformed

While I’m in Washington D.C. giving two Energy Leadership workshops, I’ve asked a few fabulous bloggers to step in. Today’s guest blog is by Renée Vos de Wael.

It all started after my third baby was born.

I knew I had gained weight. And I had to go out to buy a dress for an upcoming wedding. So off I went to my favorite clothes shops, only I wasn’t able to fit into anything. After lots of shops—and even more tears—I found myself sitting on a bench asking myself, “What should I do?”

I knew that whatever I decided I needed to accept myself where I was at that moment.

Yes I had gained, and yes I didn’t fit into my normal size anymore, but this was definitely a crossroads. Is it bad to be a bigger size? No, because I still made new friends and my social life was wonderful. The only thing that was horrible was the way I spoke to myself. It was self-abuse and it was very painful.

From that day, I promised myself that this had to change and the choice was mine. I decided to take this moment as my turning point; from being this low I wanted to grow. How and when still need to be defined, but I left the shopping mall feeling lighter already. The dress came later and on that day I looked beautiful.

As I got off that bench, I knew something had to be transformed, but I had no idea how. But my thoughts were focused on what the goal was, and a I had a strong sense of “wanting.”

Not long after that, a helping hand was offered to me. My Mother-In-Law came to stay with us and gave me some space to make that important first step. My “wanting” turned into a “willingness”—my being willing to make a change.

The support was there and I needed to venture out into the world of new information. I was willing to learn more about what would work for my family—and me. This took the form of cooking courses, sport programs, etc.

Of course, after gathering the information, the “doing” was the next step. Let me be honest with you—it wasn’t always easy. I did a lot of different things, experienced pitfalls, and made mistakes that resulted in gaining weight back. It took me five years to get back to the weight I wanted to be.

But I got back there with a lifestyle that fits me. It was so worthwhile because through this process, I met myself again. I learned to really connect with others, to be able to show my vulnerability, and to accept where I am and how I see myself in the mirror.

For this journey, I’m very grateful for all the lessons I learned—even when I didn’t want to learn those lessons! It has given me so many new opportunities and new directions that the only thing I can do is to enjoy all of them. It feels like being offered a gift every day and the only way to figure it out is to open it.

Namaste,

Renee

Renée Vos de Wael (PCC) is an open-hearted and full-energy personality. She is a coach, educator, group facilitator, walker, traveler, wife, mother, and student. Being a globetrotter for over 10 years has given her an open mind and flexible attitude towards life. She is an intuitive who sees the beauty and light in people, even before they have noticed it themselves. Renee loves the idea that we can reinvent ourselves whenever we need—or want to. Working with and for people has been her passion. The different cultures where Renee has lived has taught her to view life from different angles, and engage in a life filled with challenges and opportunities.

A member of both the International Coaching Academy and International Coach Federation, Renee’s background is mixed in various spiritual philosophies. She has studied with many teachers, including Sonia Choquette, and is a trained Six Sensory™ Level 2 Practitioner.

You can read Renee’s blog at http://reneevosdewael.com/blog/

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What Did You Need?

I had an intense session with my coach, Kendra Thornbury, yesterday where we broke through some blocks that were showing up in the form of limiting beliefs and fear.

Whew that felt good!

The resulting clarity will help me move forward in achieving my goals.

But any time you do intense emotional work, you have to be aware of the impact it has on your body.

Our bodies and minds are much more significantly linked than most people realize.

So I slept in this morning, skipped my workout, and am treating myself gently.

It wasn’t too long ago that I would have made myself get up and workout anyway.

There’s a fine line between knowing when to push past mild resistance and when to ease up and give your body a break.

Here are some tips to help you figure out how to listen to your body and honor its messages.

How often do you give in? Are you regularly training yourself to go for the bigger win of a slim and healthy body by skipping treats and working out most of the time? Or do you scarf down every treat thinking it will be your last one? It gets easier to tell when your body needs a little TLC when you are more consistent in your actions.

Practice shifting your thoughts and emotions. Your thoughts and emotions will determine how successful your actions will be. For instance, if you want to start working out, yet you’re constantly thinking about how much you hate exercise, hate to sweat, hate the gym, etc., etc., your chances of maintaining an exercise program are pretty much nil.

So the first step in starting your workout program isn’t joining the gym, but is figuring out all the reasons you want to exercise and making those reasons your predominate thoughts. Then when you join the gym, the action of going is easier. As you practice shifting your thoughts and emotions you are better able to hone in on what is actually going on in your mind and body.

Take out the judgment—yours or anyone else’s. Just observe what’s going on with you. Skipping an occasional workout because it feels like what you need in the moment doesn’t mean you’re a slacker—no matter what anybody says. When you take out the self-criticism, you can tell if there is a pattern of negative thought that needs to be shifted, or if this a positive step of self-care.

You are the only one who truly knows what is best for you. Learning to listen to yourself and trust your judgment takes practice, but is an important part of loving your way slim.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Lindsay Miller

Where Are You Headed?

 

One of the challenges with creating the body that you want is that you are always carrying the body that you have around with you. It’s a constant reminder that you are where you don’t want to be.

When you think about the Foundation Principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, it makes sense.

Our thoughts are energy. If you are focused on the fat you don’t want, or your lack of fitness or beauty, you will not only attract more thoughts like that, but more circumstances that support those beliefs.

Getting the body you want requires continually tearing your attention away from where you are and focusing more on where you want to be.

Only, this backfires if you don’t believe you can get where you want to be.

So how do you mentally walk this fine line of being in the body you don’t want—and having to look at and experience it all day every day—but not quite believing you can achieve the body you really want? Particularly when you are so used to thinking negative thoughts about your body, you don’t even know you’re doing it?

This is why a coach is so helpful. But ultimately, whether you have a coach or not, you are the one who has to navigate this mental path forward.

So here are some tips:

Pay attention to your emotions. How many thoughts do you think a day? A lot! It will just make you crazy trying to monitor what you’re thinking. Instead, pay attention to how you are feeling. If you’re having negative, catabolic emotions, such as frustration, overwhelment, hopelessness, blame, etc., these should be like signal flares letting you know you are headed where you don’t want to go.

Then you can determine what you were thinking, or better yet, just begin to shift your thoughts in the direction you do want to go. Such as:

“Clearly I’m not where I want to be. But that’s OK. I am where I am. And the good news is I caught myself. That right there is progress. And I am doing a lot right. I’m paying more attention to the food that I’m eating and I’m moving my body more. And I’m noticing that my stamina and energy levels are improving. I feel really good after my workouts, and every day I’m seeing a little bit of progress. I didn’t get where I am overnight and I it will take a little time to get where I want to be, but really, I’ve come a long way. I’ve already lost a few pounds, my clothes are looser, and I’m feeling more confident. With just a little consistency and persistence on my part, I am going to see significant changes. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. I know I can get there.”

Now you should be feeling a sense of relief, which is all you need to feel to let you know you have shifted your energy.

Change the mental subject. When you catch yourself looking in the mirror and being self-critical, find something else to think about that you do feel good about. Maybe it’s another body part that you can praise. Or maybe it’s how much your dog or child makes you laugh. You can even make a list of things that you enjoy, and then read it when you catch yourself heading down the road towards body shame.

Go take a nap. Or meditate. Or even just take three deep breaths. If you catch your catabolic thoughts picking up speed, do what you can in the moment to just to ease your foot off the gas pedal. Slowing the negative momentum will make changing thoughts smoother and easier.

Your thoughts lead your life. Shift your thoughts consistently in the direction you want to go and your body—and life—will follow.

Together we can do it!

 

 

 

Signs of Progress

One year ago today, I published my first blog on this site.

That was me lining up my thoughts and beliefs with my actions and desires, and saying a big “Yes!” to the future I envisioned.

Since then, I have not only published a wellness tip and a blog six days a week, but I have interacted with you fabulous readers, read some amazing writing on others’ blogs, been inspired and hopefully given inspiration—maybe even to you.

I also successfully dealt with my own wellness challenges—including a major surgery—improved my nutrition, and have maintained my weight and fitness level.

In addition, I completed my coaching certifications and my business has taken off—I’ve even hired a business coach to help me with it. I’m super excited about the changes I have coming as a result, including a new website, coaching programs, e-book, beach-side Love Your Way Slim retreat, and much, much more!

More importantly, I love my life—and the people in it—more than I ever dreamed possible!

My intention with this blog has been—and will remain—to inspire and provide value to you fabulous readers. Each blog is an expression of how much I appreciate your time, your energy, where you are in life and on your wellness journey, our connection, and Who you are as a person.

Thank you for all the follows, likes, awards, support, and comments. They have all been felt and appreciated. And the greatest honor of all has been your letting me know when a blog has moved or inspired you.

And I especially want to thank all you readers who have been with me from those early days. Knowing you were reading and cheering me on made all the difference in the world. Much love and appreciation to each of you.

Here’s to the changes and growth we will all experience together in the coming year. I look forward to connecting more deeply with you as we share our personal wellness journeys.

Together we can do it!

 

PS Just for fun, here is my first post. I’ve come a long way, baby!

Celebrate the Signs!

Posted on September 3, 2011

Wellness Tip of the Weekend: Have faith in your ability to make the decisions that will create optimal health—and then follow through with them.

Every moment of every day we are creating our life. Each decision will either hold us in place or move us towards the person we want to become. If you want to be fit, strong, and lean, then consistently make the decisions that someone who is fit, strong, and lean would make.

Each successful decision, each pound lost–each tiny sign of progress–is like the scenery passing by on a car trip. It is the landmark on the map showing you that you are moving towards the person you want to be. Celebrate those signs, no matter how small! It means you are succeeding!

Together we can do it!