By slowly and steadily making those small decisions towards a healthier lifestyle you build momentum and achieve your goals.
This summer, one of my clients was giving herself a hard time because a week after moving to a new state and a few days after starting a new job, she wasn’t relaxed. In fact, she was downright stressed.
I call this the Super Woman Syndrome. This is the expectation that you can—and have to!—do everything while always being happy and relaxed.
How reasonable is that? Particularly if you are going through some pretty significant life changes?
Super Woman Syndrome seems to turn into an epidemic during the holidays.
All the shopping, decorating, socializing, cooking, sending out holiday cards—the list goes on and on. Or you may be trying to make everything perfect—for yourself or for others.
It can leave you wiped out, particularly if you feel like you have to do it all yourself.
During the holidays, exercise and sleep—those good solutions for stress and fatigue—may take a back seat to chores and errands.
Just to be totally open and authentic with you fabulous readers, I am experiencing Super Woman Syndrome right now, as well.
Oh, I have the holidays in hand, but my business is ramping up this week with the launch of my new website, LoveYourWaySlim.com, and a tele-class I’m giving for Impact ADHD, both happening on Thursday, as well as the January 7 launch of a new coaching program and the planning of a Love Your Way Slim Beach-side Retreat in April.
I am feeling the stress and my body is letting me know that my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are not supporting me as I step into this new level of business activity.
My body is reminding me to ramp up my own self-care.
So I thought this was an opportune time to remind myself–and share with you–some tips to help relieve stress and have more fun.
- Ease up on yourself, particularly in the moment. Notice your reaction, but let go of the self-judgment as much as possible. Beating yourself up for your reaction—to any situation—is just adding negative fuel to the catabolic fire. It makes you feel worse and will prolong the stress.
- Give yourself a little perspective. How much of your day do you feel stressed? Is it 100 percent of the time or were there just some significant moments of overwhelm that colored your perception of your day? Start paying attention to how many good moments you are having. Begin to track how much of the time things are going well, you are making progress, you are coping, you are feeling relief, satisfaction, gratitude, and even joy. You might be surprised that there are more of those positive anabolic moments than you thought.
- Give yourself a break. Being is just as important as doing. Take a moment to slow down. Think about how important a task is before you make yourself do it when you are exhausted and really need a break. Will an unswept floor really crash your day tomorrow? Really?
It’s time to get Super Woman out of the way so that you can get the body–and life–that you want.
You are more than just this physical body going through the motions. Letting yourself relax and have some fun—and shifting your attitude so that you are having more fun doing what you are doing—will actually boost your energy level.
This will help you maintain your wellness, get more done with much less stress, and show up more as the person you want to be.
Together we can do it!
My blog is moving! On Thursday, I will be shifting my blog to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. For the next month, I will post both here and there. To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!
Many of the women I work with feel out of control with their eating, or rebellious about holding back on holiday treats, or rationalize that “it’s just once a year.”
So you eat. And eat.
And then you mentally beat yourself up.
We’re not talking about a little, “Oh, I shouldn’t have eaten that.”
What often happens is a full-blown attack.
We’re talking guilt. You say things to yourself like:
- “I am so weak.”
- “I’m so stupid.”
- “I’m ugly.”
- “I’m fat.”
- “I hate my body.”
You say things that are totally and completely UNTRUE! You say things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else.
And it is a painful place to be.
I love the Dan Millman quote:
“You began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living, and learning—when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”
Let me repeat the key sentence:
“Making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”
This absolutely includes eating what you judge to be “bad” over the holidays. Or not being at what you feel is your optimal weight. Or not looking like a super model.
Beating yourself up is NOT helpful.
And it could very well end up making you feel so bad that you just give-up trying to eat healthy until the New Year.
If you found yourself driving in the wrong direction, would you just keep going for weeks trying to find your destination? Would you tell yourself how horrible you are because you’re not there?
Would you say to yourself, “Oh well. I’m lost. I might as well just keep driving until January 2?”
Think of all the extra miles you would add-on to the trip, and the possible damage that could be done to your car?
You can make a different choice.
And there are lots of options. You can:
- Pull over and ask for directions.
- Turn around right now.
- Start driving in what you know is the right direction, and focus on enjoying the occasional detour.
Often you put off taking care of yourself until Monday, the first of the year, or some deadline that is later.
Then when you get there, you may do well for a couple of days, only to feel overwhelmed and deprived and find yourself back to your old eating and exercise habits.
What if, instead, you committed to eating just a little bit healthier today?
Or moving your body in some way for 10 minutes?
Or celebrated all that you did that was healthy, instead of the few things you didn’t do?
- Would that feel like you were headed in the right direction?
- Would your self-talk be more supportive?
- Would that make it easier to keep going tomorrow? Next week? On January 2?
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
—Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
Don’t just keep driving in the wrong direction by putting off eating healthy and exercising until everything is perfect.
The only perfect time to start taking care of yourself is right now. Even if it’s just one tiny step towards the body—and life—you want.
Together we can do it!
Wellness Tip of the Day: Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts and actions no matter where you are.
…that false modesty will get you nowhere — nor will
genuine modesty when it is not required.
Modesty is rarely required by Life, did you know that?
It’s true. People are more self-deprecating than they
ever need to be. God says it’s okay to celebrate
your self. Honor the self, and delight in expressing
your talents and your gifts.
It is through the happy sharing of your treasures that
you show other people that they are treasured.
Always, always remember that.
I heard from a fabulous woman yesterday who was so proud of herself for choosing not to eat any Halloween candy.
But as we were celebrating her success, every other sentence downplayed her achievement.
She said things like:
- “I know it’s silly, but . . .”
- “It’s not that big a deal . . .”
- “Maybe I don’t have a big sweet tooth . . .”
- “It’s stupid to make such a big deal out of this . . .”
I hear these kind of self-deprecating statements a lot. They are not necessary—nor are they helping you get the body you want.
The more clearly you can visualize and celebrate yourself at your best the more you actually show up as that person.
This is true even if you did eat some candy or other Halloween treats.
Another woman I was talking to allowed herself to have two, small homemade chocolate chip cookies in a day of otherwise impeccable eating.
While she wasn’t beating herself up about them (Progress!), she also wasn’t celebrating:
- The good food she did eat all day.
- Her moderation and restraint.
- How much better for her the cookies made with love and fresh ingredients were than highly processed candy.
- How delicious the cookies were and how she focused on eating them and enjoyed every single morsel with gratitude.
Taking a more positive view and focusing on what you are doing “right” generates momentum towards achieving your goals.
The first step towards shifting your focus to build momentum to achieving the body—and life—that you want, is to ask yourself:
- How often do you give yourself a mental high-five?
- How often do you feel the need to downplay your success?
- How willing are you to be silly and playful as you celebrate yourself?
Then take some time to focus on you. Appreciate your unique personality, skills, and talents. Catalog what you are doing to help you meet your goals.
And let go of the rest.
What are the things that you appreciate most about you? Go ahead and look. You are worth celebrating.
Together we can do it!
- Are you struggling with your weight?
- Are you worried about holiday weight gain?
- Are you ready to get the body you really want?
I am excited to offer 2 coaching spaces to help you love your way slim. If you are serious about transforming your mind and body, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 11 to schedule your complimentary breakthrough session. These powerful, empowering sessions are available on a limited basis.
Don’t wait till January 2 to take inspired action. Start creating the body—and life—you want today.
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
Wellness Tip of the Day: What’s the best workout? The one that you will do consistently! What’s the best diet? The plan you can make a healthy lifestyle.
But I’m also aware that I will be facing lots of temptations, and it might be easy to let my attention to health and wellness slip a little—or even a lot. I’m already feeling vacation’s siren song of rest, relaxation, and indulgence.
Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts and actions no matter where you are, even a cruise. To me, it also means finding balance and a little bit of freedom without undoing all the mental and physical momentum I generate on a daily basis.
My intention is to enjoy myself and to feel like I’m having a vacation, but also to come back feeling good, balanced, and with my healthy habits intact. To fulfill that, I’ve created a plan.
I will know my plan was a success if when I come back I have maintained my weight and feel good physically and mentally.
Select and Sample
One thing I know I will be facing is lots and lots of food options. It’s important to remember that there’s no way I am going to be able to eat everything I want, and trying to go there will mean paying for it later.
So I plan to use the plentiful food options to my advantage. What that means is that I will be able to select healthy food and portions most of the time.
My intention is that I will be selective and eat those treats that I truly want, but I am going to choose not to eat as much of them as I might want. A bite or two that I savor and enjoy is truly enough. I find that after that, the taste of what I’m eating becomes less intense and what I’m doing as I continue to eat is trying to regain that first taste-sensation.
Although I’m having visions of drinks with little umbrellas, celebratory champagne, and superb wine pairings, I am also going to be careful with alcohol, which is where empty calories can sneak in so easily.
What I’m going to do here is choose one each day. Once a day I will have either a Pina Colada, a glass of champagne, or a glass of wine with dinner. (And I will choose lower-calorie and better for me wine or champagne most often.) Since I normally don’t drink much, any one of those will be an indulgence. My head and body will thank me in the morning (and after the trip), if I maintain some moderation here. Drinking plenty of water during the day will also be key.
I’m bringing along protein bars and individual portion packs of almonds for quick and healthy snacks while on excursions. By not letting myself get too hungry between meals, I will be much more likely to stick to my plan.
Pack Workout Clothes
The ship we’re sailing on has a gym, outside track, climbing wall, surfing simulator, and even an ice rink! While I’m nursing a mild back injury, there should be plenty of fun ways for me to move my body every day.
A workout doesn’t have to be perfect to leave you feeling better and more energized. You just have to do it.
Catch Some 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, as well as having so many fun things to do that I’m not getting to bed until late.
I know what adequate rest means for me, so I intend have fun, but allow myself to get the sleep that I need.
I would also like to ask you fabulous readers to hold me accountable when I get back. Knowing that I’ll have to report to you on how I did at following my plan will absolutely help me think twice before sticking my fork into some delicious dish.
And if I do find that I drank a second glass of wine, heeded the call of dessert, or chose having fun over sleep, I won’t beat myself up. To achieve optimal wellness, we only need to be consistent, not perfect.
What do you do to maintain your wellness while on vacation? Please share the travel and vacation tips that have worked for you. The best way to learn is from each other.
Together we can do it!
Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Wellness Tip of the Weekend: Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts and actions no matter where you are.
How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? Are you still plugging away or have they been put aside to show up on next year’s list?
One of the things that can cause people to pass on meeting their wellness goals is the overwhelming feeling that can come from trying to go from chip-eating coach potato to food-measuring athlete all at once.
There really is no rule that says you have to change all of your behaviors at once to succeed.
Three years ago, for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all. During that period of inactivity, I didn’t curb my eating and pretty quickly reached my heaviest weight ever.
I found myself starting over with exercise and losing weight—again. And it didn’t feel good.
It actually took some mental preparation and the support of a friend to overcome the inertia to get out of bed and start exercising. At first, all I did was walk. I didn’t even look at my diet. I just focused on getting out of bed every morning and moving. That is what I counted and celebrated as success.
To begin, I set a minimum goal of 10 minutes a day, and then I went up to two hours a week. Slowly and steadily, I increased my exercise goals until I was back up to a fitness level that felt good. By then, I had only lost 5 pounds and I knew it was time to take on the eating.
And even that was a process of cutting back on portions and making better and better choices. Heck, I’m still looking for ways to eat cleaner and healthier. (If you had told me three years ago that I had to drink protein shakes with spinach in them, I would have quit in in horror. Now that’s something I want to do, but it was something I had to build up to.)
Yes, it took me a year to lose 34 pounds and get back into great shape. But at the end of that year I was a lot happier having slowly and steadily made those small decisions towards a healthier lifestyle than to try to do too much at once and give up, only to be faced with the same goal and results a year later.
What small decision can you make today that will move you towards a healthier lifestyle? Do that for a week and then look for another tiny step to make. Do that consistently and you will build momentum and achieve your goals. Do that consistently and next January 1 you will be celebrating your success rather than being faced with the daunting decision to start over once again.
Together we can do it!
Photo by anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net