A New Thought to Create a New You

Fruits and Vegetables

“I don’t like vegetables.”

A client said this to me the other day.

I have found that this is a pretty common sentiment among women who have struggled with their weight. You may have a lifetime of evidence that most vegetables are, “Blagh.”

When you go on a diet or try to eat healthier, you may take vegetables like medicine, forcing yourself to eat them. Meal times become something to endure rather to savor. At the very least, those meals are notsoul-satisfying.

And here you are trying to fulfill your resolution to lose weight in January—what many feel is the peak of the winter-vegetable doldrums.

Is it any wonder that so many resolutions fail?

What if you are dealing with a limiting belief? What if you could shift your perspective about vegetables just enough that you could see a path around this obstacle to create the radiantly healthy body you want?

One way to do this is to think about how you could make eating vegetables fun.

This might look like:

  • Trying new recipes
  • Adding a cup of spinach to your smoothie
  • Experimenting with vegetables you’ve never tried before

What if you could prove to yourself that you actually do enjoy vegetables in some form or fashion? Maybe even love some of them? How might that alter your success at releasing the weight–for good?

How often do we limit ourselves because of an opinion, judgment, thought, idea, or past experience that we just assume is absolutely and completely True?

For instance, how many of you have ever heard, “You have to clean your plate because there are starving children somewhere in the world?

Do you think that’s a limiting belief?

How true is it that your cleaning your plate is going to benefit any of those starving children?

How can that belief actually be harmful to you?

  • Cleaning your plate teaches you to disregard your body’s guidance that it’s had enough.
  • Eating too much food is at the heart of being overweight, which has serious health consequences.
  • People are often concerned about wasting food. Extra food will either go to waste in the garbage or will go to waste in your body. You can either waste it, or you waist it.
  • It contributes to a lack mentality. The feeling that “there isn’t enough so I have to eat more than I need.”

A lot of times, helping people see the flaws in their thinking is enough to help them move beyond it. But changing a long-standing belief system can impact underlying values.

If you’re upset by the idea of not cleaning your plate, what are the values you have that may be being challenged?

  • If it’s wanting to help those in need, what would be a more constructive action than cleaning your plate? Maybe donating to charities that feed the poor?
  • If the value is being sustainable, maybe you’ll want to start a composting system?
  • If it’s really just fear or lack, then maybe you have some work to do about trusting the abundance of the Universe?

Whenever you notice a thought that is holding you back in any way, ask yourself if that thought is still true. Unless it is a Universal Truth—a thought that is true no matter what, no matter who, and no matter when—what is it that you need to do to shift it?

All it takes is challenging those limiting beliefs just enough so that doors open, paths unfold, obstacles disappear, and the solutions become clear.

A new thought truly creates a new you.

Together we can do it!

Time is Running Out!

Join the the Love Your Way Slim Coaching Program today! 

This unique program transforms your mindset, integrates your core values and spiritual beliefs, provides exceptional support, and hones in on the most powerful actions you can take to make releasing the weight not only easy and satisfying—but fun! (Yes, it really is possible!)

FIND OUT MORE HERE

Program closes Saturday. It won’t open again until January 2014!

 

http://loveyourwayslim.com/coaching-program/

You Can Change the Past

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

While I don’t have the answer to that one, I can tell you the thought or belief comes before the experience.

If you can accept that as true at least the majority of the time, it can change your life. Even if you are just willing to believe it’s possible and will look at some of your life experiences differently as a result, it can have a profound impact on your happiness—and how well you achieve your goals.

Most people are unwilling to see their past experiences with any other interpretation than the one they gave it in the moment and have been recounting for years. They think, “That experience was hurtful to me. End of story.”

But what if it’s not? What if it’s your very interpretation that is keeping that painful experience alive for you? That is limiting you? That is holding you back from the body and life of your dreams?

Don’t believe me?

I’ll give you an example of how I shifted an interpretation of a painful experience to one that now inspires me and fills me with appreciation.

When I was in the 7th grade, my brother called me “Buffalo Butt.”

Now this is typical older brother stuff, right?

But to me, that nickname was incredibly hurtful. I felt diminished. For many, many years I carried the belief in my heart that my bum was unattractive, unworthy, less than, and that was the painful story I told myself and believed to my core.

But what if you take the emotional pain and judgment out of the picture for a moment and look at the experience as a gauge of where my thoughts and beliefs were before he made the comment?

What if it was my existing low self-esteem and self-critical thoughts that inspired my brother to make that joke? And what if that comment was totally and purely like having a mirror held up to me of what I already had going on in my head?

Now my brother is not someone who is intentionally trying to hurt me. In fact, his reflection back to me of my existing thoughts and beliefs was actually an opportunity for me to get awareness and change my thoughts.

Now I’m no longer the victim. I’m the creator. I’m in the driver seat. I am empowered.

And the beautiful thing is I was still able to take advantage of that opportunity almost 30 years later when I reflected back on that experience with this new perspective.

What a gift his comment was!  At 13, I was completely in the self-critical weeds and his joke was a perfect reflection of what was already going on in my head.

When I take my brother out of the equation, not only do I let go of long-standing grudges against him (which benefits me down to the cellular level, by the way), I can also change my thinking about myself.

Of course I didn’t have an ugly tush at 13. I can recognize the insecurity for what it was and right now, I can give my 13-year-old-self all the love, acceptance, and appreciation that I wanted in the moment. And if my having an ugly behind was not true at 13, then it is not true now. All that’s ever held me back was my own thoughts and beliefs.

And that right there is like I had a time machine and went back and changed that experience. The past is now and forever altered in my mind.

Once I made that shift, the love and appreciation I had for my body surged. And those new thoughts and beliefs are now creating my current—and future experiences.

And I’ve seen my body change as a result.

How can you begin to see those painful past experiences as purely a reflection of where your thoughts and beliefs were in the moment?

Begin to use them as your gauge of how well you are lining up your thoughts and beliefs with your desires. If you aren’t getting the reflection back that you want, know that you have the power to change your thoughts and beliefs and get a different experience–past, present, and future.

Together we can do it!

You Are So Beautiful!

What is beautiful to you?

Does it involve a certain body weight or shape? A certain wellness level? When you look in the mirror do you see your definition of beauty smiling back?

I often hear clients focused on wanting to change how others see women and judge beauty. There is much frustration that women on television and in ads are significantly thinner than average. People point to pundits’ criticisms of specific bodies. There are many photos of past sex symbols who were less than lean tied to complaints about the changing definition of beauty.

But how likely is it that you are going to change society, or the modeling, television, or advertising industries?

Wouldn’t it be easier to focus on your own judgments and definition of beauty?

Until you are so pure in your appreciation of every woman’s body and beauty that a critical thought is never entertained, until your actions align 100 percent with your personal definition of wellness, and you can look in the mirror with not only appreciation but adoration, you have no power to change anyone else.

You may want others to deem you—or more women—as beautiful, but before that can happen, you must judge yourself as beautiful first. And you must allow everyone else to have their own definition of beauty.

This is the sticking point for most women. You have to stop looking outside of you for self-esteem, appreciation, and acceptance. Those are things you have to give to yourself.

It is only when you began making these internal changes that you will begin to see lasting external changes.

To do this, you have to begin:

  • Letting go of the fear of other people’s judgments.
  • Aligning your actions with your beliefs and desires.
  • Looking for and appreciating your beauty and innate value—body, mind, and spirit

Instead of trying to change others, how would it feel to examine your own judgments and definition of beauty? How could you begin to align more fully with that?

The best way to change the world is to change how you see yourself.

Together we can do it!

Are You Doing It the “One Right Way?”

The late family therapist Virginia Satir is reported to have done some research and found that there are more than 250 different ways to wash dishes.

Think about that for a minute. There are more than 250 ways to get the same simple result—clean dishes.

Too often, we believe that there is only one “right” way to do things—our way. Instead of valuing and appreciating the other 249 ways, we dismiss them, or actually criticism them. We may demand that it be done the “One Right Way.”

I know that I have been on both the giving and receiving end of this “One Right Way” mindset, and neither perspective is very much fun.

An area where this “One Right Way” mindset is rampant is weight loss. How often have you been besieged by a friend who has found THE “One Right Way” to diet or exercise, and they practically beat you about the head in an effort to get you to try it, too? (And yes, I may have been that friend!)

But let’s think about it a minute. If there are 250 ways just to clean dishes, how many different ways do you think there are to eat healthy foods and effectively move your body? What makes you think there is just one solution that is right for every body?

If there was, I would submit that we wouldn’t have so much expert disagreement about the “One Right Way” to lose weight. Or even what foods are actually healthy. Carbohydrates anyone? Anybody remember when butter was the biggest sinner out there and margarine was touted as the solution?

I know people who are lean and sexy who eat a low carb diet, as well as some who eat a high carb diet, who are vegetarians and vegans, who eat only raw foods, or whole foods, the French way, the Mediterranean way, or the paleo way, etc., etc.

I know people who are lean and sexy who run and lift weights, as well as some who do yoga, pilates, or tai chi, or cross train, or bike, etc., etc.

So both the challenge and the opportunity is that you have to take responsibility to find the plan for healthy eating and exercise that works best for you, that you will enjoy enough to follow consistently, and that is flexible enough to allow you to not only live your life, but to change, grow, and evolve.

To find the best workout and eating plan for you, you may want to experiment, try new things, have fun, and listen to your body.

Ultimately, the best workout is the one that you will enjoy enough to do consistently and the best diet is the plan that you can make a healthy lifestyle.

What can you do today to let go of the “One Right Way” mindset and begin to value the multitude of ways to accomplish the same thing?

Together we can do it!

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

Three Tips for Living Lean

When a woman makes the decision to lose weight, often she wants the change effective immediately.

It’s the mindset of, “I want to be a size 4 and I want it today.”

This impatience is really being focused on the fact that you don’t have what you want, which means you are fighting the forces of the Universe and will struggle to lose weight.

What does it really matter if it takes a little time to achieve your goal? It’s the pain factor, right?

It’s looking in the mirror everyday and suffering from body shame. It’s feeling deprived as you turn down that piece of chocolate cake while everybody else digs in. It’s dreading the dressing room and trying on 50 swimsuits to find one that you might be willing to wear in public. It’s the risk of having your partner see you as unsex-worthy because of your sagging stomach.

You want to just wave a magic wand and make it all go away.

These thoughts are all symptoms of what has caused you to gain weight in the first place. At their heart is the fear of judgment and a lack of self-love. This is why so many diets and exercise programs fail. For lasting results, you have to change your core thoughts and beliefs along with eating healthy foods and moving your body.

Here are three tips to let go of the thoughts that keep you from living lean.

  • Focus on a body part you can appreciate. How often do you look in the mirror and criticize your stomach, butt, or thighs? When you catch yourself doing this, shift your attention to something you can compliment. Maybe it’s your hair, your ankles, or your fingernails. Just find something you can consistently shift your focus to and praise.
  • Make peace with the process. You didn’t gain the weight overnight, and you won’t lose it overnight. Recognize that life is meant to be lived and this includes living the experience of losing weight. Choose an eating and exercise program that you actually enjoy and that gives you some flexibility.
  • Celebrate your daily progress. Did you eat on plan today? Woo hoo! Did you choose an apple over pie? Awesome! Did you walk five minutes longer than the day before? Fabulous! Focus on all the things you are doing right and ignore the rest.

What can you do today to begin shifting from wanting immediate results to thrilling in moving towards your dream?

Together we can do it!

It’s Time to See Change in a New Way

Question: What does an 86-year-old woman doing an absolutely awesome gymnastic routine, a 74-year-old fitness instructor, and a 101-year-old running a marathon have that you don’t have?

Answer: The belief that they can do it.

Regardless if your goal is to walk again after an accident, to lose 10 or 100 pounds, or to climb a mountain, at the core of achieving anything is the belief that it is possible.

One of the biggest limiting beliefs that we have as a society is that we decline with age. One way to test if this is true is to look and see if it is a Universal Truth—meaning it is true regardless of who, what, when, or how.

The examples below clearly demonstrate that being in awesome physical shape is possible at any age.

What happens as we age is that we change, but change does not mean decline unless that is how we define it. Our minds are powerful enough that if you expect to see decline, you will. And just about everyone believes in this decline and are using all the people who believe it to justify their belief.

Imagine what would be different about your life if you looked for examples of people doing what you want as a reason to believe it can be rather than using everyone else as an excuse not to try?

Another way to shift your beliefs is to reframe the story you have around change. For instance, lots of people think that with age they have to give up running because of the impact it has on their bodies. A reframe might look like:

  • Perhaps this is actually the opportunity to take up another activity—such as biking or yoga—which you are even more passionate about?
  • Perhaps this is the opportunity to train smarter or look into other solutions, such as changing running techniques as described in Chi Running and elsewhere.
  • Perhaps slowing down and walking really helps you connect with Who you are and what you want out of this phase of life?

Only you know what the right reframe would be for you, but creating a new story of what the change of time means opens you up to the possibility of continuing to grow, improve, and evolve—body, mind, and spirit.

How do you want your life to look as you get older? What beliefs are getting in the way of achieving that vision? What can you do today to begin seeing change in a new way?

Together we can do it!

 

86-year old Johanna Quaas demonstration on FX – “Turnier Der Meister” Cottbus 2012

74 Year Old Female Body Builder only started exercising at age 56.

101-year-old runs the London Marathon

 

 

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

Move Your Body to Improve Your Life

I’ve had a few “Thank goodness I work out” moments this week. From digging holes and planting shrubbery, to moving large planters around on the porch, to having to carry my 35-pound dog part of the way home from a walk—I’ve appreciated my strength and stamina.

While studies show that exercise plays an important role in promoting sound physical and mental health, more practically, it also adds to quality of life.

From easily carrying in the groceries to dancing for the sheer joy of it, being physically fit allows you to do and be more of Who you want to be.

Ironically, this isn’t one of the many benefits of exercise that is often cited. Too often we focus on the external reasons to exercise—weight loss or maintenance, a healthier heart, reduced risk of high blood pressure, stronger bones and joints, a stronger immune system, etc.

Those reasons are awesome, but alone they may not be enough to get you out of bed to go move your body.

But what about having the energy or stamina to play with your kids or grand-kids? Getting out and enjoying a hike with your family? Taking on a do-it-yourself project around the house? Or doing anything else you might want to do, like going horseback riding, zip-lining, or canoeing?

All of those activities are easier, safer, and more fun if you consistently move your body.

Even small things make a difference to quality of life, for instance being able to easily carry a box to the attic or basement, hauling the laundry basket, or climbing several flights of stairs.

Life is easier—and just more fun—when you have a strong and powerful body that you’ve developed through regular exercise.

How would your quality of life improve if you were in even better physical shape? How could moving your body help you be more of Who you want to be? How can you use those reasons to get your workout in today?

Together we can do it!

Related blogs:

Eleven Reasons to Exercise Today

My Secret to Extreme Exercise Commitment

3 Benefits of Exercise You Might Have Forgotten About by Cheers to Well-Being

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

What Do You Really Want?

The hardest part of a workout sometimes is actually getting started.

This morning was one of those times for me. First the bed was nice and warm and I had not one, but two cats snuggled up next to me. And once I was up, the idea of sitting down to a nice cup of tea and Pinterest was appealing.

While in the moment, staying in bed and playing on the computer were what I “wanted” to do, I have a bigger “want” that got me upstairs and working out. That want is to have a strong, lean, and powerful body that is functioning optimally and fully allows me to express my authentic best.

If I had followed the immediate “want” of bed and/or gazing at beautiful pictures, the resulting good feeling would have been pretty short-lived. Guilt and self-criticism would have inevitably followed. A lot of my energy for the day would have been wasted on feeling bad about myself, and struggling to figure out when I might get my workout in—and possibly even more self-criticism if I wasn’t able to find a time to do it.

That’s energy that I could use for more things that I “want” to do and that will make me feel good throughout my day.

Doing what you “want” to do and what feels good then becomes a matter of looking at the bigger picture and what will have the biggest anabolic energetic return, or return on investment, if you will.

This is the reason figuring out “why” you want to eat healthy foods and move your body is so important. Having a bigger “want” that trumps the momentary immediate “want” is what will get you to the gym, out the door for a run, or pushing play on your workout video, even on those days when the bed feels especially inviting.

If you don’t have a compelling reason “why” you want to get up and do your workout, chances are you will hit the snooze button and then spend the rest of your day wasting the energy you thought you gained by 30 more minutes of sleep or kitty snuggle-time.

What are the reasons “why” you want to move your body and eat healthy foods? What can you do to keep your reasons “why” front and center in your mind? How much more positive anabolic energy will you create for your day by following through on what you really “want?”

Together we can do it!

 

 

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Make the First Move to Change Your Body

How’s your relationship with your body?

When you think of your body, do you feel supported, empowered, and nourished? Or do you feel betrayed, let down, or frustrated?

How would your body describe its relationship with you? Would it feel appreciated, loved, respected, and well-cared-for, or would it feel neglected, abused, and unwanted?

When you look at your body, does it physically reflect the status of your relationship?

Because what you have going with your body is a relationship in every sense of the word. Your relationship with your body is the longest—and most important—of your life. There is no reconciling from that divorce!

Many people have a negative catabolic relationship with their body. At best, they ignore it and at worst they are constantly critical, neglectful, and downright abusive in how they treat it. How long would a person stay healthy in a relationship like that? Is it any wonder it begins showing up overweight, aching, and breaking down with illness?

Who do you think started that catabolic relationship—you or your body? Unless you were born with a condition, chances are you hurled the first insult—whether a verbal assault, or less than nourishing food, or lack-of or too-extreme movement.

The good news is you have the power to create a better relationship. In fact, you have total control over the quality and type of relationship you have. It can be wonderful, loving, supportive, and fun—or not—all depending on what you do consistently from this moment forward.

But it is you that must first change for your body to show up differently. Regardless of the physical condition you’re in, you have to decide you want to reconcile, and examine your reasons why you want to call a truce to the war.

And then begin doing what you would do in any relationship to repair the damage. You might begin shifting the words you use when examining, or talking to or about your body. Instead of being critical, look for things to compliment.

Look for all the ways it’s supporting you, instead of focusing on all the ways it’s letting you down. Become more aware of what you’re feeding it, and begin to choose more nourishing foods. Pay attention to how much you move it—is it enough or too much? It will tell you what it needs if you will begin to listen.

Trust that your body wants nothing more than to have a positive anabolic relationship with you, and will knock itself out to respond to this change in relationship. But if the abuse has been going on for some time, be patient. While the changes will begin happening immediately, you may not see the difference for a little bit. It took time to get where you are and it will take a little time to get to where you want to be.

What would be the benefits of changing your relationship with your body? How different would you feel if you treated your body the way you want to be treated? What difference would that make to your health and well-being?

Together we can do it!

Do You Need That to Be Healthful?

nour•ish \ˈnər-ish, ˈnə-rish\ verb

nour•ish•es; nour•ished; nour•ish•ing

[+ obj] 1 : to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc.

▪ Plants are nourished [=fed] by rain and soil. ▪ Vitamins are added to the shampoo to nourish the hair. ▪ a well-nourished baby

2 : to cause (something) to develop or grow stronger

▪ a friendship nourished by trust ▪ Her parents nourished [=supported] her musical talent.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

How well-nourished are you? I’m not just asking about your diet, but am including your mind, emotions, and soul.

For many, nourishment may not be something they think about at all. For some, nutrition is what comes to mind. There are few of us who can claim to be well-nourished in all areas of our lives.

But if you think about the difference nourishing food can make to your body, just imagine what would happen if you also consciously nourished your mind with information, ideas, and even entertainment that enhanced your knowledge, awareness, and clarity?

Imagine nourishing relationships that are easy, loving, satisfying, and fun? Imagine nourishing spiritual practices that lead to richer, fuller, and more fulfilling life experiences? Imagine nourishing activities (such as work!) that are fun, interesting, and exciting?

What did you do yesterday? How much of that nourished you—body, mind, and spirit? How much of it drained or depleted you?

What are you doing today? How much of what you have on your to-do list is nourishing? What do your choices mean for the overall quality of your life? What choices would you need to make to be truly well-nourished?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net