The 3 Keys to My Personal Transformation

From August 1, 2008 to August 1, 2009, I went from wearing a size 8 and running and working out regularly to busting out of size 14 pants and not working out at all.

After years of consistent exercise, I couldn’t believe I was starting over from scratch–again.

I was really struggling with getting back on track.

“Before” photo taken October 2009

While I hated where I was, I just couldn’t seem to find the energy to pull myself out of bed in the morning and move.

Three things were key to my turning around that situation.

  1. Accountability. Support is vital. Having a friend, coach, or group to turn to is huge!
  2. Progress not perfection. Counting every single thing you do during the day that could even be remotely considered part of a healthy lifestyle builds positive momentum.
  3. Mindset training. Shifting your thoughts from hating where you are to focusing on why you want to be fit, strong, and slim is the true secret to long-term weight-loss success. 

Here’s how I did it.

My friend, Julia, was my first accountability partner and we checked in with each other every day to cheer each tiny success and reframe any “stumble.” (Thank you, Julia! I couldn’t have done it without you!)

I set small, attainable goals for how much time I would move my body. Starting with a goal of just 10 minutes a day, I counted walking the dogs, vigorous vacuuming, and even a long walk across a parking lot to my car. I literally counted anything and everything that involved moving. A few weeks of meeting that minimal goal and I bumped it up to 20 minutes, and so on.

And I wrote out all the reasons I wanted to be fit, strong, and slim on index cards—and I read them everyday to retrain my brain while I was retraining my body.

Changing my mindset, focusing on my success, and having a supportive person to report my successes to made all the difference in the world.

Today, I love my body and life more than I thought possible!

I regularly work out vigorously for 25 to 60 minutes, six mornings a week. I eat healthy foods most of the time, and I wear between a size 4 and 6. And I’ve kept the weight off now for more than two years!

“After: photo taken November 10, 2012. Photo by Lindsay A. Miller

I didn’t get here overnight. But by slowly and steadily making those small decisions towards a healthier me, I built momentum and achieved my goals.

And you can do it, too.

If you are already working out regularly, awesome! How can you push yourself just a little bit further?

If you are changing your energetic momentum towards a healthier you:

  • What is the minimum you can do today that will make you feel like you are making progress?
  • What are the reasons you want to be fit, strong, and slim?
  • Who can you turn to get the necessary support and accountability?

Just consistently making those small decisions to move in the direction of who you want to be will help you achieve the body—and life—you want.

Together we can do it!

Doing Your Best Sometimes Means Rest

Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

From One of the The Four Agreements

don Miguel Ruiz

 

I am treating myself gently.

While I’m feeling much better, rest and self-care feels like the wisest path back to physical balance.

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 mental resistance and when to ease up and give your body a needed 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 skipping treats and working out most of the time? Or do you scarf down every treat thinking it will be your last one and often blow off moving your body? It gets easier to tell when your body needs a little TLC when you are more consistent in your actions.
  • 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. 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.
  • Listen to your body. How is your overall energy level? If taking a shower is exhausting, your body is screaming for rest. If you feel cruddy, but still have energy to get everything done, a gentle workout may actually help boost your immune system.
  • Regularly meditate.  When you practice quieting your mind, the messages of your body become clearer. The key is to listen to them, and not ignore them like I did.

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!

 

Weird—and Wonderful!—Ways to Work In Wellness

Whoops! I woke up this morning with my body giving me a clear indication that I have not been honoring my self-care. Since this coincides with family arriving for Thanksgiving, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite blogs for the rest of the week. 

I choose this blog because it has great tips on how to work in wellness during the holiday, but it’s also a terrific reminder for me!

Many people are so focused on the time that they don’t have for wellness that they miss all the small opportunities they do have to work physical and emotional wellness into their day. Taking advantage of these tiny moments can boost physical and mental energy, and generate a sense of well-being. 

Here are some ideas for slipping in your wellness fix—just don’t worry about what some people may think.

After all, isn’t your wellness more important than a few seconds of potential judgment from a stranger, friend, family member, or co-worker?

Minutes Matter

Do you ever stand there and wait for your lunch to heat up in the microwave, or that pot of water to boil, or cup of coffee or tea to brew?

Don’t just stand there!

Even doing a few minutes of exercise can give you an energy boost. And those minutes add up. Do them throughout the day and before you know it, you’ve gotten in a 15 to 20 minute workout.

Take that minute or two and do counter push ups, lunges, toe raises, and squats. You can also dance or march in place.

I only got caught once dancing in front of the microwave in my work break-room. At the time my co-worker thought I was a little weird, but she also noticed when I started losing weight!

You can do these and other exercises at work while on conference calls if you have a headset or speaker phone. Just do your push up off your desk. You can even throw in some planks. If you’re wearing a skirt or a dress, however, you might want to have an office door to shut!

A mini-stepper or pedal exerciser can fit under your desk and are also great to do while you’re on the phone.

House Work Aerobics

Have you ever worked up a sweat cleaning the house? You can make it even more aerobic by doing lunges while vacuuming, or each time you head up or down stairs, go up and down an extra time. You can do single shoulder presses with your bottle of cleaning solution as you walk from surface to surface.

Be creative—but safe—as you make your house sparkling clean.

More Wellness While You Wait

All the time we spend waiting in line adds up, so take advantage of it. Meditate, pray, or practice appreciation while in line at the grocery store.

What can you appreciate?

How about the sheer abundance of food that we are blessed to choose from, or all those workers who keep the store clean, the shelves stocked, and those check-out lines moving? How about your favorite foods? There’s a lot to appreciate at the grocery store if we just take the time to look for it.

And if you are willing to look a little weird, you can get in stretches, toe raises, or lunges while you wait.

You can also meditate while waiting for your doctor or mechanic. Feeling a little tired? Shut your eyes and rest for a few minutes as you wait.

Doing the dishes and other repetitive tasks are also a great time to clear you mind and tune in to your spiritual side.

Tube Time

How much time do you spend sitting and watching TV? How about taking each commercial break to get in a few sets of exercise?

Keep some dumbbells, balance board, or other fitness gear nearby to make it easy. Or sit on a stability ball and build your core strength as you watch your favorite show. Why not throw in some crunches during the commercials?

Reconsider Lunch

Lunch is a great time to get in a workout, but you may not have time to hit the gym. What can you do?

Bring your workout gear, change clothes in the bathroom, and plug an exercise DVD into your computer.

No time or place to change? Are there stairs in your building? See how many times you can go up and down them in the time you have.

Or strap on your walking shoes and head outside. Even a walk around the block can clear your mind and bump-up your productivity in the afternoon. Grab a co-worker to get in some social time, too.

Post Positive Messages

Wanting to shift your mindset, but no time to journal?

Post affirmations, things you appreciate, and other positive messages on your computer screen, bathroom mirror, or above the kitchen sink. Every time you see them, remind yourself to take a moment to breathe and shift to a more positive thought.

What’s the Alarm?

Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer to remind you to drink water, eat a healthy snack, focus on an affirmation, take a moment to clear your mind, or do 10 jumping jacks.

When you start looking for time to work wellness into your day, you may be surprised at all the time you really do have.

I’d love to hear how you work wellness into your busy day.

Together we can do it!

 

Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel

People often say that travel is one of the hardest times to maintain their health and wellness. Add in Thanksgiving or another holiday, and many people just give up altogether.

They may do this because they:

  • Think it’s too hard.
  • Think they will feel deprived.
  • Think that they will impose on or disappoint family if they take care of themselves or skip dishes their loved one worked hard to prepare.
  • Think that it’s just one time a year so what’s the harm?
  • Think that there’s just too much temptation around and they aren’t strong enough to withstand it.
  • Etc.

Do you get that these are just thoughts that you keep thinking?

What if:

  • It’s easier than you currently believe?
  • You can eat everything you really want and still stay on track?
  • You are actually setting a positive example for your family?
  • Your self-confidence shoots through the roof when you follow your wellness plan?
  • You are much stronger than you can possibly imagine?

Here are some tips that will help you stay on track while traveling for the holidays—or any time of year.

Prepare for a Snack Attack

One of the worst things you can do is not eat all day in preparation for a big meal. You are guaranteed that you will overeat and physically pay the price later.

Instead, eat small, frequent meals throughout the day to keep your energy level high and hunger at bay. To do this, you may need to plan ahead and bring some snacks from home. These could include:

  • A baggie of various nuts and dried fruit for a quick and easy trail mix.
  • A stash of protein bars or home-made healthy treats. (One of my favorite road treats are some healthy oatmeal and peanut butter cookies that have no refined sugar and no added oil. See recipe below.)
  • If you have access to a refrigerator, bring along some fat free Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese, and anything else that you might want that needs refrigeration. 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.

Drink Lots of Water

You need a lot of extra water while traveling. Bringing a refillable bottle is an easy solution. If you don’t like the taste of the tap water, buy bottled water.

If you forget your reusable bottle, just buy a bottle of water and refill it. And skip–or if that will make you feel deprived–go easy on the alcohol, which just dehydrates you further and will result in a wicked hangover the next day.

Eat Only What You Really Love

You may feel like its “polite” to eat a little bit of everything. But all that’s doing is keeping you from truly enjoying the foods that you love—and potentially packing on pounds. Most people aren’t paying that much attention to what you are putting on your plate, so pick the one or two items that you truly love and would feel deprived if you weren’t eating.

Then really savor them. You’ll discover that it’s the first few bites that are packed with the most flavor. When you truly focus on and enjoy those first bites you are more satisfied and can keep your portions small.

And if Aunt Martha complains that you aren’t eating her green bean casserole, tell her you really want to savor it and pack up a serving to eat later–or not! You are empowered to choose what you put into your body.

Scope Our Nearby Restaurants

More and more families are heading out for Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you lean towards big chains, or like to sample the local cuisine, the Internet is a great resource for checking out restaurants while on the road.

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 the Pie

After such a big meal, more than a bite of the pumpkin pie will just make you over-full—and pack in more calories than your body needs. Pack up the rest of your piece to eat a few hours later, or even the next day. I promise everyone else will wish they had pie later, too.

Pack Your Workout Clothes

You may not be able to get in your normal workout, but the important thing is to maintain you habit of moving your body.

With a little creativity and flexibility you can absolutely get in a workout—often without even leaving your room. Not only will you feel better, but it’s easier to get right back into your normal routine if you’ve at least done something while on the road.

Travel workout ideas include:

  • Strap on your trainers and walk or run around the block. (This is a particularly good idea when you start to feel the stress of family dynamics.)
  • Pack your iPod and dance for 15 to 30 minutes in your room.
  • Bringing your computer? Pack a workout DVD that can work out to in the privacy of your room.
  • Do weight bearing exercises, such as push-ups and burpees to get you body moving and the blood circulating.

Bonus! Most of these workouts can be done 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 tolerant of Uncle Ralph reminding everyone of the stupid things you did when you were a kid.

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 you stay on your wellness track while traveling is to get adequate rest, which can be a challenge in a strange bed hearing noises that you’re not used to, or if you have bright lights peaking through your curtains.

Prepare for these problems by packing an eye pillow or mask, ear plugs, and downloading an app on your cell phone that plays ambient noise, like a fan or rainfall.

You know what adequate rest means for you, so do your best to go to bed at a time that will enable you to get the sleep you need.

And if you do find that you ate more than you planned, heeded the call of a holiday treat, or needed the sleep more than the workout, don’t beat yourself up.

To achieve optimal wellness, you 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, and I would love to learn from you!

Together we can do it!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 

  • 1 ½ cups oatmeal
  • ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I use SmartBalance to get more Omega 3s)
  • ½ c packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ c honey
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.

Mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, water and egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the oatmeal mixture and stir until blended.

Drop by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, creating 24 cookies. Press down into cookie shape. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

A serving is 1 to 2 cookies. Each cookie is about 100 calories.

Choosing to Work for the Body You Want

While I’m in Sedona, Arizona, attending a business mastermind retreat, I’m sharing one of my favorite past blogs.

Last night I took a look at all the things that are pretty commonly thought of as requirements for being healthy.

Things like eating healthy foods, exercise, drinking water, getting enough sleep, etc.

What was different was that instead of evaluating how well I am doing in each category–which leaves plenty of room for self-judgmentI looked at how I am approaching each thing.

  • Is it something I “won’t” or “can’t” do?
  • Is it something I “have to” do?
  • Is it a “need to” do?
  • Or is it something I “choose to ” or “choose not to” do?

This may sound like semantics, but in truth, the positive anabolic energy generated in approaching everything as a choice is like putting a rocket launcher on your ability to achieve your goals.

When you make working-out something you “choose-to” do, you are empowered. Even when you choose not to exercise today, you cut out all the guilt and self-punishment, and are still empowered.

Telling yourself you “can’t or “won’t” exercise removes all choice and generates negative catabolic energy that bogs down your momentum like wheels getting stuck in mud.

Feeling like you “have to” workout is only a little better because your ability to choose is still limited.

Telling yourself you “need to” work out gives you more of a choice and starts to shift your momentum.

Choosing your actions gives you total control.

It was empowering just looking down this list with my fabulous mentor coach Jennifer Barley and seeing that in eight out of 12 categories, I am functioning at not only a “choose to” level, but a strong “want to!”

Taking out judgment left me feeling confident about my ability to achieve my wellness-goals.

For instance, it doesn’t matter that I am choosing to decrease the intensity of my workouts for the time being because of tweaking the muscles in my back (something I have been judging myself for).

What is important is that I am still choosing to work out five to six times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes doing what I can do. I’m still empowered and moving towards my goal; more slowly perhaps, but still forward.

That left only four categories that I feel I “need to” be doing to be healthy.

Instead of judging my overall wellness based on some room for improvement, I can separate out those few categories and work on shifting my thoughts around them from “Need to” to “Choose to.” That feels much more doable and like something, well, I “want to” do!

Here’s how to do this exercise for yourself.

  • What is your wellness goal?
  • Make a list of all the things that you believe you “have to” do to achieve it.
  • Then rank how you are approaching those things.

Are you closer to the disempowered “have to” or the empowered “choose to?” What can you do to move any low-energy areas to things that you “want to” do? How different does that feel?

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 have 2 coaching spaces open to help you love your way slim. If you are serious about transforming your mind and body so that:

  • You create the holidays you really want and never feel deprived.
  • You start the New Year energized and feeling fabulous.
  • You break the cycle of losing and regaining weight—once and for all.

Secure your spot now by emailing me at hannagoss@goss-coaching.com by November 11 to schedule your complimentary breakthrough session. These powerful and empowering sessions are available on a limited basis.

Don’t wait till Jan 2 to take inspired action. Start creating the body—and life—you want today.

 

How to Make Weight Loss Fun

Which thoughts feel better?

“I am so fat. I hate my body.”

Or

“This is just where I am in starting my wellness journey.”

 

“I totally screwed up when I ate that cookie. I’ve totally blown my diet.”

Or

“That cookie wasn’t on my eating plan, but I enjoyed it and know that I can get right back on track with my next meal.”

 

“I only lost a pound. I worked so hard for nothing.”

OR

“Slow and steady wins the race. A pound lost is a definite sign of progress and just imagine all the changes my body is making on the inside that I can’t see, yet.”

How you speak to yourself matters.

Women who are stuck in the rebound weight cycle often are intensely self-critical about their bodies and weight. They say things to themselves that they would never say to anyone else.

What if it is that very pattern of self-criticism that is keeping you stuck in the cycle of losing and regaining the same 30 pounds over and over again?

One reason this is true is because each harsh self-criticism results in a feeling of stress that zaps your energy and makes taking future action even harder. Often you get caught in a negative catabolic-energy spiral that is truly at the root of so many failed diet and exercise attempts.

For example, if you miss your goal of working out and start beating yourself up, that makes getting in your next workout even harder. If you miss a second workout the resulting self-judgement compounds that by 1,000.

Pretty soon you’re skipping your workouts for the rest of the week, telling yourself that you’ll start again on Monday. But when Monday comes, you either repeat the cycle or stop working out altogether.

It’s time to stop this crazy train!

Choosing better feeling thoughts, celebrating every tiny sign of success, and cutting yourself the same slack that you would give to your best friend helps build positive anabolic momentum that will enable you to meet your goals.

While you may think your thoughts are out of your control, you do have response-ability.

You have the response-ability to bring your purpose, commitment, and spiritual connection into everything you do.

Here are some ways to tap into your response-ability:

  • Think about how you want your sense of purpose to support you in creating the body you want.
  • Write out a list of all the reasons you want to release the weight once and for all.
  • Write out how releasing the weight will make you feel—and figure out ways to feel that way right now.

A bonus is that taking the time to shift your thoughts and perspective helps generate a more positive anabolic outlook that enables you to tap into your spiritual connection. Harnessing the energy and support of All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) will act like a rocket booster to achieving your goals.

When you choose to take response-ability, you start looking forward to your workout and how awesome you feel afterwards. You feel creative when you are making healthy foods that are also delicious. You feel confident in your choices and actions.

Dare I say it? You find that creating the body you want is actually . . . fun!

It’s not the actions of eating healthy foods and moving your body that will change. It’s how you feel about doing them, and the energy your create to get on track and stay on track.

As you are setting your wellness goals, think about how you can tap into your purpose, commitment, and spiritual connection. When you choose to take response-ability to shift your thoughts and energy about your weight loss journey, it becomes a lot more successful—and fun!

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 hannagoss@goss-coaching.com by November 11 to schedule your complimentary breakthrough session. These powerful, empowering sessions are available on a limited basis.

Don’t wait till Jan 2 to take inspired action. Start creating the body—and life—you want today.

How to Start Reaping the Rewards of Regular Exercise

What does optimal wellness mean to you?

To me, optimal wellness is:

  • Feeling good—mind, body, and spirit.
  • Being at the right body weight for me.
  • Moving with ease, and being fit, strong, and slim.
  • Allowing every cell in my body to thrive, and having a super-charged immune system and metabolism.
  • Having every system in my body functioning properly.
  • Nurturing my body’s own wellness abilities.
  • Treating myself—and others—with love and respect.
  • Experiencing habitual feelings of appreciation, eagerness, and joy.
  • A lasting state of well-being, and a confidence in Who I am and what I am capable of.

One of the best ways to tap into the positive anabolic energy that helps you achieve optimal wellness is exercise.

Consistently working out with intensity helps you tap into anabolic endorphins that create an amazing feeling of being in love with life that continues way longer than your workout.

Not only does exercise boost energy and positive feeling all day, but study after study shows that it plays an important role in promoting sound physical and mental health, and emotional well-being.

Many people find it hard to get started, or to stick with exercise for more than a few days or weeks.

Here are some tips for making working out a part of your regular routine so that you can begin reaping the positive anabolic rewards:

  • Focus on Why you want optimal wellness. Having a powerful reason Why you want to achieve a goal will make a huge difference in doing the necessary actions—even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Schedule it. Many people try to fit exercise into their busy schedules—only to have it be the thing that never gets done. Instead figure out when you are going to work out, and create your schedule around that.
  • Do it first. Often my clients generate a lot of negative catabolic energy worrying about when they are going to get their workout in later in the day. Doing it first thing in the morning enables you to bask in the positive energy all day long.
  • Start small. Committing to 10 minutes a day and then counting everything that gets you there—taking the stairs, parking further away, walking the dog, etc.—helps you build positive momentum that leads to your doing more.
  • Don’t call it exercise. Many people have a negative relationship with the word exercise or workout. Refer to moving your body in a way that doesn’t make you have an automatic negative reaction.
  • Make it fun. Pick something you actually enjoy doing. And then focus on how much fun it is.

What can you do today that makes moving your body a regular part of your life so you can reap the positive rewards?

Together we can do it!

I am excited to be working with a new client! I only have 2 coaching spaces left open to help you love your way slim. If you are serious about transforming your mind and body, email me at hannagoss@goss-coaching.com by November 11 to schedule your complimentary breakthrough session. These powerful sessions are available on a limited basis. Don’t wait till Jan 2 to take inspired action. Start creating the body—and life—you want today