Progress Not Perfection

My 18-week Transformation Challenge is complete and I am excited to report that I met—and even surpassed—almost all of my goals.

And I’ll admit that the recovering perfectionist in me is a little disappointed that I wasn’t perfect. Good to know that I still (and will forever and always) have internal work to do!

Progress not perfection!

One of my main goals was to measure my success by how much I enjoyed the process. This was a huge win! The past 18 weeks have been phenomenal! I truly have met my goal of living a healthy, vibrant, and fulfilling life that is meaningful to myself and others.

What this means is that I’m weaning myself off obsession and living life more fully and in balance. This is an important shift to make for long-term sustainability. Life is meant to be lived fully.

Some other wins:

  • Consistently improved my nutrition
  • Recovered and significantly improved my fitness after my surgery in December (went from struggling to do 5 to 10 knee push ups at a pop to 20 to 30 knee push ups. Personal best was 255 knee push ups in a workout!)
  • Weaned myself off all regular prescription drugs
  • Reconnected with family
  • Shifted negative catabolic energy around deadlines, money, and my body
  • Meditated daily
  • Achieved two coaching certifications
  • Definitely let go of some limiting beliefs
  • Lost 2 inches from my waist
  • Lost 1 inch from my hips and each thigh
  • Was able to get back into my size 4 shorts
  • Lost 6 pounds
  • Went from 24.6 to 21.5 body fat percentage

Significant progress right?

Where I fell short was that I didn’t meet my goal of getting down to 19 percent body fat or losing 10 pounds of fat. So I’m going to evaluate my goals—what do I want now? Why do I want those goals? Are they the right goals for me?—and will refocus on a new challenge.

For me, goals are important because there are always opportunities to strive to improve, grow, and evolve. But meeting the goals is not really the true objective. To me, the true goal is to live life to the fullest every step along the way.

No goal is every achieved alone. I would like to thank all of you fabulous readers for supporting me along this journey, as well as my amazing coach, Jenn Barley, the women in my Fabulous Friends accountability group, and the incredible folks in the Transformation Mastery Group. The biggest thanks, however, goes out to my best friend and husband, David, whose love and support makes me a better person every day. Thank you honey!

What are your goals? Why are they important to you? How much are you enjoying the process of moving towards them? What is your definition of success?

Together we can do it!


Can You Love Life And Be Fit and Healthy?

Are you living as the person you intend to be? Do your actions line up with your desires for the life you want to create?

Often the answer is “No.” For instance, you may want with all your heart to be fit and lean, but you consistently overeat or blow off exercise.

I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. For the past couple of months, I’ve overeaten or made less than stellar choices on the weekends. While I am happy to say that the over-indulgences weren’t nearly what they would have been in the past, I still made the conscious choices to eat and drink more than is absolutely best for me.

The good news is I’m continuing to make progress on my 18-week Transformation Challenge—I’m more flexible and am getting stronger, I’m seeing muscles develop, and my waist is a little slimmer—but the improvements have definitely slowed.

So the questions I’ve been asking myself for the past couple of days are, “Who do I intend to be and what do I need to do to Be that person?”

One limiting belief I recognized is the feeling that I have to be either or. For instance, either I am fit and lean, Or I enjoy myself with family and friends on the weekends. Is it possible to be fit and lean And enjoy myself with friends and family?

Finding balanceSwitching that Or to And feels much more powerful to me. It’s giving myself permission to  more fully be the person I want to be—and still meet my goals. The key now is to find that balance that lets me speed up my progress And still enjoy my friends and family when I get to see them.

Empowering myself with that “And,” however, may not look like I expect. I think it means I stick to my healthy eating 90 percent of the time, allow myself a little bit less dietary leeway than I have been taking, And figure out how to enjoy myself in other ways than with food.

By making the switch from Or to And, I’m opening myself up to solutions and possibilities that I might not even have noticed before. With a conscious effort to be present, creating a fit and lean body And enjoying friends and family is something I believe can be achieved.

Where are you limiting yourself by using Or instead of And? Do you feel like you have to be successful in business Or have a happy family? Be lean and fit Or are able to enjoy the foods you love?

What happens if you switch Or to And? How does that help you more fully engage in the actions that help you live as the person you intend to be?

Together we can do it!

Photo from www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Did You Expect?

Whatever you’re thinking about is literally like planning a future event. When you’re worrying, you are planning. When you’re appreciating you are planning…What are you planning?

Abraham as interpreted by Esther Hicks

“Miracles are happening, seen and unseen.”

This is the mantra that has been going through my head all weekend. And I absolutely believe it to the tips of my toes.

Every time I was critical of my body or discouraged that my physical progress in my 18-week Transformation Challenge isn’t further along, I said it.

Every time I thought about the future and doubted, I said it.

Every time I caught myself concerned or worried, I said it.

Because this is my life I’m creating. If I want things to be different, then my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs have to be different first.

When you think about the Foundation Principle that “Like Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, it makes sense that if you’re doubting, worrying, or being critical of yourself or others you’re attracting more of that same energy back to you. In other words, you’re creating more things about which to doubt, worry, or be critical.

A quick way to check what you’re thinking, and therefore creating, is to examine what you expect. Do you expect things to work out—or not? Do you expect life to go your way—or not? Do you expect things to be easy—or not? You’re getting more of what you expect.

All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) absolutely wants you to have every good thing you desire, but you have to open the vibrational-door wide enough to receive it.

You’re opening that door when you’re experiencing positive anabolic emotions, such as hope, contentment, eagerness, excitement, joy, and love.

Even more powerful than shifting those negative catabolic thoughts and emotions is to build on the anabolic, because that’s what you truly want more of.

So every time this weekend that I caught myself feeling confident, I reminded myself that “Miracles are happening, seen and unseen.”

Every time I was appreciating something, I said it.

Every time I was laughing, I said it.

Every time I felt loved or loving, I said it.

Perhaps you don’t believe in miracles. Do you believe in answers and solutions? Then replace miracles with a word that does bring a feeling of relief, because that’s all that’s needed to shift to a more anabolic state. Every time you make even a tiny shift towards being more anabolic, you open the door a little wider for the Universe to give you the answers, solutions—and even miracles—that you’re asking for.

What can you do to remind yourself that answers, solutions, and miracles are coming? More importantly, what can you do to believe it?

Together we can do it!

Photos from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Keeping Yourself on Track When You Have Been Less Than Perfect

My eating has been less than perfect this week. It hasn’t been horrible, but it hasn’t been spot on, either.

What I love reflecting on is that in the fairly recent past, not being perfect would have meant giving up altogether. My thinking would have been along the lines of, “I’ve blown it,” followed by a lot of really harsh self-criticism that would have resulted in regaining the weight I had just lost.

That old negative, catabolic assault on my mind, body, and spirit felt terrible! It truly was verbal abuse inflicted on myself. I’m so glad I don’t do that anymore!

But this morning, I became aware of a slight undercurrent of catabolic thoughts and feelings (guilt) resulting from a few higher calorie food choices.

Since I am aware of it, I’m going to address it right here and right now.

The main thing I want to remind myself is that optimal wellness is about taking care of me for the long-run.

While I have set some goals for an 18-week transformation challenge, my wellness goals will not end there. I do not have to be perfect to meet my short and long-term goals. What matters most is that I am making progress, and I am definitely doing that.

Yesterday is done. Forget about it. Focus on the choices I am making today. Yes, this weekend will be challenging being with my folks, traveling, and it being my husband’s birthday, but I have the skills and determination to make the best possible choices—and still allow myself to have a good time and truly appreciate what I am eating. As Tony Horton says, “I will do my best and forget the rest.”

And I am doing a great job of getting my workouts in, and my slight splurges have not been nutritionally out there. It’s important to give myself credit where credit is due.

I definitely have the ability to make good decisions about what, when, and how much I am eating—and can follow through with those decisions. One thing I know for sure is that consistently making those small decisions to eat healthy foods and move my body pays off so much. There is not much I love more than physically feeling good and being in alignment mind, body, and spirit.

After this little talk, I feel a huge surge of anabolic energy that I can use to help stay on track this weekend. If I am less than perfect, what’s important is to be aware of and minimize the catabolic self-talk.

Paying attention to my thoughts impacts my feelings, which absolutely results in actions that are either taking me towards my goals or away from them.

Has this example of my internal dialogue been helpful for you? What are the things you do to get yourself back on track when you have been less than perfect? How does that help you reach your goals?

Together we can do it!

 

 

Photo by Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

What’s That You’re Eating?

As part of the 18-week Transformation Mastery challenge that I’m doing, I have taken my eating to the next level with lots of fresh vegetables, quality proteins and carbohydrates, and almost no processed foods. Heck, I’ve even replaced my coffee and half-and-half with ginger green tea.

This feels like a life-style change rather than a diet. While I will of course have occasional treats, I like the way I feel after drinking a protein shake with spinach and kale. I like honoring my body with nutritious foods.

But getting to how I am eating today has been a process. I didn’t jump from eating large quantities of cheese and crackers before dinner to thinking kale was the best super-food ever. In fact, if you had told me even six months ago that I would be drinking anything green and liking it, I would have been skeptical. If you had told me two years ago, I would have said there is absolutely no way!

One of the mistakes people make on the road to optimal wellness is taking on a temporary “diet.” The mindset is something along the lines of, “I will cut out all the foods I love and suffer through losing weight and as soon as I meet my goal, I will resume my old eating habits.”

This is why dieting doesn’t work. Sure you’ll lose the weight, but as soon as you go back to your old way of eating, the pounds pack back on.

It wasn’t until my health and wellness became a bigger priority than how I looked in a pair of jeans that the healthy eating plan I took on to lose weight became more of a way of life. Sure, I still wanted to look good, but more importantly, I wanted to feel good.

This led me to look at why I was eating. More often than not, I was eating to soothe stressful emotions, or out of victim energy where I deserved to eat chocolate in massive quantities because of something I’d had to endure. It wasn’t until I started addressing those underlying thoughts and emotions that were sabotaging me that the changes I was making really started to stick.

Slowly over time, my eating got cleaner and cleaner, meaning less junk, fewer calories, and more nutrition.

The nutritional jumps that I have made typically have come as a result of setting a new challenge for myself—like the one I am doing right now. They have also come as a result of a health crisis—either mine or my husband’s. And they have come from observation.

Last Spring we adopted a Scottish Fold kitten who came into our lives eating a highly nutritious cat food that I’d never heard of. Because that was what she was used to, we kept feeding it to her. As she grew, her coat was silky and luminous. Truly, she has one of the most beautiful and softest coats of any cat I’ve ever petted.

So I started wondering about the food we were feeding our older, long-haired cat, whose coat was exceptionally oily and prone to massive mats, even with daily brushing. We switched her to the same brand of food and the transformation was amazing. Her coat completely changed, and her energy and engagement level dramatically increased.

It was a lesson to me that nutrition matters.

This makes sense when you understand that food can be destructive and catabolic, or constructive and anabolic. Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in anabolic energy. Sugar and processed foods are catabolic. To be a truly anabolic person that is happy, energetic, and engaged in all areas of my life, then a diet high in anabolic foods is necessary.

Again, this doesn’t mean you have to make the change from French fries to green protein shakes. Making too big a nutritional leap often means it’s not sustainable. What it does mean is making better choices from where you are right now—maybe a baked potato instead of French fries—and after you get used to those better choices, reaching again for an even better choice, such as leaving off the butter or even choosing a plain sweet potato instead.

It’s about being aware of what you are putting in your body, and asking yourself if what you are about to eat will keep you where you are, or help you get where you want to be.

What more anabolic food choice can you make today? What are the reasons you’re making that choice? How do you feel as a result? What can you do to make that—or an even better choice—tomorrow?

Together we can do it!

 

Photo by xedos4/freedigitalphotos.net/

 

What’s Holding You Back?

One of the benefits of taking on a new challenge is the opportunity to identify and clean-up limiting beliefs and other blocks to your success that absolutely will come up. The quickest way to ferret these blocks out is to pay attention to negative emotions.

When I identified a whiff of discouragement, I knew this was a fabulous opportunity to identify and shift some limiting thoughts, feelings, and beliefs so that they will better support me in achieving my goals, rather than hold me in place.

I am in week two of an 18-week challenge for Transformation Mastery. When I decided to take on this challenge, not only did I set the goal to release 10 pounds of fat and increase my nutrition and fitness level, but I also wanted to let go of lingering fear or limiting beliefs about what I can and cannot do.

My only surprise was that they showed up so quickly!

After a week-and-a-half of eating cleaner than I ever have before, and going after a new high-intensity workout program, I was shocked yesterday when I pulled on my jeans and they were tight. Sure enough, when I stepped on the scale, I was up a pound-and-a-half.

The first thing I did was go into troubleshooting mode and look at what I’ve been eating. What I found was plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and other quality protein, and complex carbohydrates. I had already replaced one cup of coffee a day with a cup of ginger-green tea, and was working on letting go of the second cup so that I would be half-and-half free. Other than adding an apple and a few strawberries here and there, I couldn’t see what the problem was.

So I added up the calories and discovered that I was actually eating between 200 and 300 calories more a day than my goal of 1,800. I wrote out a new plan for the rest of the week that would help me hit my mark and the problem seemingly was solved.

But my Gremlin, that inner critic that likes to tell people they aren’t good enough, took this opportunity to kick in. With this increase in self-criticism, I found myself really struggling with my workout this morning.

The good news is that, as my mentor coach likes to say, your Gremlin shows up when you are about to step into your greatness.

What are the thoughts that were coming up for me that were at the root of this feeling of discouragement?

  • My metabolism is too slow. Maybe my body type just can’t lose weight.
  • What if I get through this and there are no physical changes? I’ve been pretty public about this challenge. Won’t people think I’m a failure?
  • Maybe this is the best my body can look and feel, and I should just accept it.

If left unchecked, these thoughts would lead to actions that would begin to undermine how well I would stick to my eating plan or how much I would challenge myself during workouts. What’s the point of eating clean or pushing yourself if you are only going to fail anyway?

These types of thoughts are normal. We all have doubts, fears, and worries. But the difference between people who achieve their goals and those that don’t is that they learn how to shift their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to support them.

What are some new thoughts that I can think?

  • My metabolism may be efficient, but everything I am doing can certainly kick it into a higher gear. And I have been fitter, stronger, and leaner in the past, so I absolutely can get there again.
  • If I truly can get through these 18-weeks loving my body enough to consistently feed it high-energy, anabolic foods and move it with intention and intensity, then regardless of any physical changes, I will achieve my goal of being an authentic example of successful weight management, and optimal health and wellness for my clients and everyone I encounter. That’s what matters.
  • If my words and actions are in alignment with my intentions, values, and beliefs and I am allowing myself to be the fullest and most authentic version of me, then it truly doesn’t matter what size I am or what my body looks like.

The emotion these new thoughts generate is confidence and renewed commitment, because for me, this isn’t about being a certain size or body shape, it’s about striving to be the best possible me that I can be.

Are your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs supporting the achievement of your goals, or holding you in place? How can you shift them to better support you? What new feelings does that generate? How does that help you achieve your goals?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let Go of Perfection

Opps! I completely forgot to do my ab workout yesterday. It wasn’t until I was writing down my workout this morning that I wondered where abs fit in. Right! I was supposed to do it yesterday.

The good news? I do not have to be perfect to meet my goals for the Transformation Mastery Challenge I’m doing. In fact, this provides me with the opportunity to overcome obstacles and persevere.

But it wasn’t too many years ago, that had I slipped up like this, I might have given up—either working out altogether or just blowing off the rest of my workouts for the week.

My thinking may have been along the lines of, “Well I messed this week up. I’ll just have to start fresh on Monday.”

I’m not alone in having had that “All or nothing,” thinking. This is one of those thought patterns that trips people up again and again.

Typical “All or nothing” thinking includes:

  • I have to do my diet perfectly, or I’ve failed.
  • I have to do my exercise perfectly, or there’s no point in continuing.
  • I have to see weight loss every day, or there’s no way I’m going to meet my goals.
  • I know I have something coming up this week where I won’t be perfect, so I might as well not even try.

When you bring this kind of thinking out into the light-of-day, it’s a little easier to see how invalid it is. But as long as you leave your thoughts unexamined, you may struggle and not understand what’s getting in your way.

You can challenge this kind of inaccurate thinking with questions like:

  • ‘What evidence is there that this thought might not be true?’
  • “What is the effect of my believing that thought and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?”

You can also begin to shift—almost retrain—your thoughts.

Here’s an example:

What would happen if you shifted your thinking after missing a workout to something like, “Wow, I totally missed that. It’s over and done, and I’ll get back on track with my work out tomorrow, and I won’t have any excuses for not giving it my all.”

You can also ask yourself, “What would someone else say about what I did or how successful I am?”

What I am doing is focusing on all the things I did “right,” which included getting in a fabulous back and chest workout yesterday and pounding my jump-training workout this morning. My nutrition was also spot on yesterday, and I’m focused on eating healthy again today. I’m still going to get two ab workouts in this week and I am going to use those workouts as an opportunity to focus and bring as much intensity to them as I can.

As Bill Phillips always says, “Progress not perfection.”

You do not have to be perfect to meet your goals. What can you do to begin seeing every challenge as an opportunity to overcome obstacles and persevere?

Together, we can do it!

 

Photo by Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net