Five Tips for Feeling Great about Bathing-Suit Season

I’m starting to see a lot of bathing suit advertisements. This used to be a terrible reminder that my body wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

The Internet soothed some of the agony of actual bathing suit-shopping. It’s much less painful trying on those innocent-looking torture devices in the privacy of your own home, but your morale can still take a hit. (Is anyone else amazed that such small pieces of material require such contortion to maneuver in and out of?)

While I am much, much kinder and more appreciative of my body then I used to be, I still catch myself judging specific body parts, and feeling insecure in any swimsuit that doesn’t have shorts or a skirt to camouflage trouble spots.

In our action-oriented society, people often just focus on diet and exercise to get bathing-suit ready. The problem is, unless we shift the underlying thoughts, emotions, and beliefs at the same time, you will probably struggle to meet your goals—and most likely won’t be able to maintain them.

When you take into consideration the Foundation Principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, focusing on illness, being out of shape, and hating our bodies is actually taking us in the opposite direction of where we want to go.

Not only will shifting your negative thoughts enough to attain a feeling of relief turbo-charge your wellness actions, it enables you to feel better right now. And the better you feel about yourself, the better you look—and the more fun you allow yourself to have. That in turn boosts your ability and desire to stick to your plan to eat healthy and move your body, and the next thing you know, you are in a positive, anabolic energy spiral that is helping you meet your goals.

How do you make that change? Here are five tips for shifting your thoughts to improve your feelings about the upcoming swimsuit season.

1. Practice “new” thoughts using affirmations, such as “I appreciate that my body is healthy, and that I am present and enjoying this moment,” or “I am fit, strong, and lean, getting fitter, stronger, and leaner.” Create or choose an affirmation that makes you viscerally feel better.

2. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about your body, shift your attention to other parts you can appreciate. For me, shifting my focus from my belly to my legs feels better.

3. Think about the love that All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) has for you and your magnificent body.

4. Recognize that your body is a gift for which it is appropriate to be grateful.

5. Appreciate the healthy food and exercise you are doing and how that is helping you create the fit, strong, and healthy body you desire.

Pay attention to those habitual patterns of negative thoughts that you have about your body and your life. How can you consciously shift your thoughts so that you feel a sense of relief? What can you do to practice those new thoughts? What difference do you think that might have in your ability to achieve your goals?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Take Responsibility and Take Back Your Power

I had to give myself some tough love yesterday.

In the hubbub of trying to get out of town, my purse got left behind. I very much wanted to blame this on my husband who was gathering up the bags while I dealt with the dogs, one of whom had been in a state of anxiety for 24 hours because of storms leaving me with little sleep.

In truth, at first I did blame it on David after our friends called to tell us it was still on the kitchen table when we were already an hour down the road.

But the cranky, whiplash-fast response I had didn’t feel good because he’s not responsible for my purse—or my life. I am.

I’m not surprised that this came up for me to deal with head on, because I’d bristled at him just the day before when he playfully brought up another time during a trip that I left my purse behind at a restaurant. I didn’t like the reminder of my thoughtlessness and the resulting consequences—not only for myself, but for other people.

Doing this again was an opportunity to remember that I create my life and have responsibility for meeting my goals to be intentional, constant, and clear.

It’s a lot easier to blame others when things aren’t going right for us. Common excuses I hear about losing weight are, “If my boss didn’t make my job so stressful, I wouldn’t eat so much.” “The rest of my family wants to eat junk food, so I have to eat it, too.” “My spouse makes me so angry, the only way I can calm down is to eat.”

While these things may very well be true, shifting the blame to anyone or anything else makes you the victim—of others, situations, even the world. When you are in catabolic victim energy, you have no power to create the life of our dreams. It makes you blind to the path forward—even if it’s right in front of you—and zaps your energy for taking any step towards where you want to go.

Being the victim lets us off the hook. You don’t have to do better, try harder, or make any changes because everyone else needs to change first.

But you will never create the life of your dreams if you are waiting for anyone else to change. To truly change your life, you have to take responsibility for how you show up, respond, and the actions that you take.

Once again I have been presented with the evidence that I am not being as mindful as I want, that I’m using excuses for not being the best possible version of me, and I’m not owning up to the fact that is so obvious to everyone else—I’m not perfect.

If I shunt the responsibility for this onto David, I lose the opportunity to use this as a reminder of how much I want to be present in my life, to learn from this experience so I can make different choices next time, and to share this with you fabulous readers to remind you that nobody is perfect and that we are all growing and evolving every moment of every day.

What can you do to take responsibility for a task, situation, or event today and make a different choice for how you respond? How does taking responsibility empower you? How do you see yourself differently as a result?

To create the life of your dreams let go of blaming others and take responsibility for everything that happens. See everything as an opportunity to move towards the best possible version of you.

Together we can do it!

Here’s another blogger’s view on taking responsibility: Lose the Excuses by Living4Bliss

Photo by duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Abundant Are You?

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about my awareness of a few cranky moments that I experienced while on vacation, and how I shifted that energy. Today, I want to write about those moments that stood out because I had a new and more positive perspective.

We caught our flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from Atlanta, Georgia. We drove down the day before and spent the night with my brother. He advised that because of the city’s heavy traffic, we needed to leave his house at 6:15 a.m. to catch our 10 a.m. flight.

Even though we left at his suggested time, traffic was already backing up. Because I have that issue about being on time, in the past I might have stressed and worried. This time, however, as I noticed all the cars, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of abundance.

I acknowledge the abundance of all those people who had the means to purchase cars. We passed neighborhoods—both rich and poor—and I felt the abundance of homes for so many people and the accumulation of love generated by all those families.

As I looked at the high-rise buildings in the distance, I felt the abundance of jobs that people were headed to, the opportunities people had in those jobs, and the ideas that were being generated and acted on. I acknowledged the abundance of the sunshine and the beauty of the dawning day. I even gave thanks for the abundance of time that we had to make our flight.

At the airport, I felt the abundance of so many people who are able to fly to their destinations. I could see the abundance of the airport itself—the jobs it’s providing, and the food, shops, and bathrooms where people can fulfill their needs as they move across the nation—and the world. Even the miracle of flight and travel felt abundant.

Falmouth, Jamaica, one of the stops on our vacation.

This feeling of abundance persisted throughout the trip. Where in the past, I might have focused more on lack and scarcity—thinking that to lift my eyes from the problems would make those problems worse and would mean I was an uncaring person—allowing myself to revel in all the amazing evidence of abundance was actually awe-inspiring in the truest sense.

Everywhere the intricacies and power of the Universe (God, Source, All That Is, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) was apparent. It made me realize that yes, there are problems, but there are also solutions and those solutions may not come in the form that I think they should. That solutions may actually be bigger, bolder, and more intricate than I might imagine and they are evolving right along with the problems. That there is a perspective far greater than my own that is more than capably directing those things that are outside my control. That it is OK for me to let go and focus on what is in my purview.

When you consider my experience in the context of the Foundation Principle, “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, it makes sense that focusing on abundance and appreciation would generate more evidence of abundance and things to appreciate—and that the reverse is also true.

What can you do to acknowledge your abundance—the things, opportunities, good fortune, ideas, and love in your life? How might focusing on and appreciating abundance shift your perspective? What impact might that have?

Together we can do it!

 

Healthy Travels!

People often say that travel is one of the hardest times to maintain their health and wellness. I’m in Atlanta this weekend for more coach training and I thought I would share some of my travel planning and tips that will help me stay on track while on the road.

Prepare for a Snack Attack

While I’m happy to report that this is starting to change, most of the snacks provided during conferences and meetings are not healthy, and are typically guaranteed to give me a sugar high and then low that will leave me groggy and day dreaming of naps in my hotel room instead of paying attention to the speakers.

I eat small, frequent meals throughout the day to keep my energy level high and my hunger at bay. To do this, I stock my conference bag with snacks I pack at home. This trip I have a baggie of various nuts and dried fruit for a quick and easy trail mix. To be strong in passing up donuts and brownies, I have a stash of protein bars and some healthy oatmeal and peanut butter cookies that have very little sugar and no additional oil. My sweet husband, David, made these for me. (Thank you, Honey!)

I didn’t ask this time, but often hotels can put a mini-fridge in your room for a small additional fee. This expands the quality and type of snacks you can take if you are driving, or that you can get at a local grocery store once you arrive. Think Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese, and anything else that you might want that needs refrigeration.

Drink Lots of Water

I find I need a lot of extra water while I’m traveling. Bringing a refillable bottle is an easy solution. If you don’t like the taste of the tap water, you can usually buy bottled water in the hotel shop, or at a nearby drug store.

If you forget your reusable bottle, just buy a bottle of water and refill it. And I skip or go easy on the alcohol at receptions or at dinner, which just dehydrate me further.

Scope Our Nearby Restaurants

Whether you lean towards big chains, or like to sample the local cuisine, the Internet is a great resource for checking out restaurants close to your hotel.

If you can, check out the on-line menu before you head to dinner so you have planned what you’re going to order. This way, you’ll be less swayed by passing entrees, delicious smells, the bread basket, and a growling tummy to order something less healthy when the waiter finally arrives.

Pack Your Workout Clothes

If you can, seek out a hotel with a gym. In most places, you can at least strap on your trainers to walk or run around the block. Just in case neither of these are an option, I pack a workout video that I can play on my computer in my room, and I might also do weight bearing exercises, such as push-ups and burpees to get my body moving and the blood circulating. (These you can even do in your pajamas if your workout clothes didn’t make it in the bag.)

Your workout doesn’t have to be perfect for you to feel better and be more energized. Getting in some kind of physical activity is particularly important if you are going to be spending a lot of time sitting.

Catch Your Zs

One of the keys for making sure I stay on track while traveling is to get adequate rest, which can be a challenge in a strange bed hearing noises that I’m not used to, or having bright city lights peaking through my curtains.

For this reason, I pack an eye pillow or mask, ear plugs, and have an app on my cell phone that plays ambient noise, like a fan or rainfall. (The app is White Noise Lite for Droid.)

You know what adequate rest means for you, so do your best to get back to your room in plenty of time to get the sleep you need.

And if you do find that you ate more than you planned, heeded the call of a donut, or needed the sleep more than the workout, don’t beat yourself up. To achieve optimal wellness, we only need to be consistent, not perfect.

Please share the travel tips that have worked for you! The best way to learn is from each other.

Together we can do it!