Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
11 months ago we started the New Year with hopes and goals of having a successful 2014. Some of you have had an amazing year with many achievements, happy news, and exciting surprises. Some of you may have had one of the most challenging years yet with more disappointments and unforeseen circumstances than one could imagine. It may seem odd to think in such a way, but today I encourage your to Be Thankful for it all. It is how we set our minds and outlook that helps keep us stay grounded through all the ups and downs of our life journey.
I came into 2014 with a list of goals I wanted to accomplish, and as ambitious as I am to complete them all by 2015 (and so forth) it has not all been a smooth ride. The moments of turbulence left me feeling down and overwhelmed, but thankfully I have had the ability to persevere through the thick clouds. Fortunately, this has also been one of my most accomplished years yet (and it came with a lot sleepless nights, tears, and mini-successes). I can't help but to sit back and think of all the facets of my year that I am truly thankful for...well, all of it. Take a peek at my previous post on ways to B.R.E.A.T.H.E in all that you take on.
I share this with you in hopes that you can reflect back on your 2014 moments, and be thankful for where you are now and those that are around you. For starters:
Be Thankful for waking up today. There is only one day that matters, Today. Yesterday is done, and tomorrow hasn't arrived, so be grateful you have Today to start fresh. Be thankful for second chances.
Be Thankful for your senses..sight, touch, smell taste, sound.
Be Thankful for your family.
Be Thankful for your supporters and advocates
Be Thankful for your significant other; your #1 fan!
Be Thankful for help. We can't do everything on our own. Be happy that others want to contribute to your success and well-being by offering a hand. Be Thankful for your ability to ask for help- not always easy to do.
Be thankful for love. Whether if it's unconditional, passionate love with your sweetheart, or the love you share with your family and friends.
Be Thankful for the laughs.
Be thankful for your intuition
...for your positive outlook
...for good judgement that allows you to think clearly and honestly.
Be Thankful for the adversities you have endured
...for moments of confusion, but also for the moments of clarity.
Be Thankful for the unknown and the journey that lies ahead
...for your dedication to your commitments.
Be Thankful for your wisdom
Be Thankful for your milestones, big or small, and be thankful for your experiences.
...for clean water
...for the shirt on your back
...for shelter and heat.
As many of us gather around family and friends during this holiday season, I ask that you take a moment to think about the facets of your life that you are truly thankful for, and the people in your environment that have contributed to who you are today.
Giving thanks can come in multiple forms: verbally saying Thank You is one.
Show thanks through a random act of kindness, a text or call, letter, send a card, a hug, or write a note.
Friday, November 7, 2014
B- Take a deep breath. Inhale, exhale, then take a step back. You
don't always have to be the leader of the pack, but be confident in sharing your thoughts and let your voice be heard. Surround yourself with an appropriate network. The key is to dedicate your time to the right people/projects and attract the right audience that can help you grow.
Be Bold. Make a statement, and set yourself apart. Your hand shake is a great first impression! Introduce yourself with a firm yet brief hold. Let your counterpart know you are genuinely interested to meet their acquaintance. No one likes a soft hand shake.
Be Brave. Demonstrate courage and speak your mind. Don't let fear stop you from saying or doing what feels right, but be sure to gauge what's appropriate.
A- Associate. Share information try to demonstrate your level of understanding by discussing your experiences.When possible, try to relate to what others say. Associate yourself to their story by sharing your personal examples to help build rapport. Acknowledge them and their efforts, Appreciate the material discussed, or Ask questions to learn more.
T- Be Thoughtful. Try not to comment just for the sake of saying something. Put some honest thought into it. If you're not sure what to say then simply state, "I hear you" or "I understand." Show your audience that you can provide advice or suggestions AFTER you are done Listening. Provide facts -instead of always stating opinions. (FYI-it doesn't hurt to ask "would you like to hear my thoughts?). I have practiced more "story sharing." I share an example of a situation similar to what the other person is telling me, and I share the situation positives, frustrations, and lessons learned ...aka indirect advice that can be relate-able. And be Thankful. Thank them for sharing information and for dedicating their time to speaking with you.
H- Offer a hand, how can you help? Is there a way you can help others grow and evolve in their personal and professional endeavors? Can you offer an ear to just listen? Can you suggest a new connection/network? Can you help offer information, tips or tricks? Can you help encourage them by praising/reassuring them? Sometimes all you need to do is just ask "how can I help?"
E- Entertain. I don't mean hop on a stage and be the center of the show, but rather just be yourself, enjoy the people you meet, and have fun with your projects. Bring your humor and personality to the table; don't be a bore. OR entertain in the sense of "consider" one's attempts or ideas. Try not to shut down a thought or suggestion before weighing the pros and cons.
Communication DOs and DON'Ts:
- When speaking on a topic, try to have 2-3 main thoughts that you want to to address in your conversation. Speak clearly with concrete examples, and provide factual content.
- Eye contact, nodding, upright posture, arms uncrossed, and an occasional smile doesn't hurt.
- Imagine you are speaking in sentence format with commas in place. Use those imaginary punctuation marks as a chance to take a breath, pause, smile, and allow your audience to soak in your words...aka no rambling on and on. Avoid "run-on sentences"- again speak slowly and clearly, and try not to jumble all your thoughts into one sentence.
- Instead, just take a quick pause if you need a moment to transition from one thought to the next. uuum, soo yeah, like you know?
Life is busy. Trust me I know! However, we have yet to invent teleportation or human cloning, so don't forget to slowdown and allow yourself to "B.R.E.A.T.H.E."
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
It seems that many of us are always “so busy.” While being busy is a good thing, too much on our plates can be damaging to our well-being. Finding a healthy balance among our countless responsibilities will help manage our stress levels, productivity, and most importantly our overall happiness. I
f there is anyone that knows a thing or two about living a busy lifestyle, it’s me! Between a full time job, graduate school, and the many side projects and interests..plus time to myself, family, and friends, it’s easy to burn out. Whew!
Reduce stress: It’s simple. Stop doing things that stress you out! Involve yourself in activities & projects that don’t cause you anxiety. Surround yourself with people that bring you joy and contribute to your success.
•Always saying yes isn't healthy. When you're overcommitted and under too much stress, you're more likely to feel run-down and possibly get sick.
Set Boundaries: Be flexible with your commitments, but set parameters and guidelines. Don’t let people take advantage of your time and resources based on your willingness to participate. If you volunteer your time, do so in a reasonable amount. If something or someone makes you uncomfortable, then respectfully let them know or remove yourself from the situation. Set expectations from the beginning, and you will be happier along the way. Be consistent with what you deliver, and what you ask of others.
Take Breaks & Unwind: Too much of one thing isn’t always beneficial. At work, be sure to take frequent water breaks, have a snack, or just take a quick walk. Your body is not meant to stay seated for long periods of time, and your mind needs a break from constant activity. Give yourself a “day off” once in a while to just relax without having to be on some else’s timeline. Take a long shower or bath, light some candles, get a massage, or take a trip! Even if it’s a 2-3 hour road trip out of town, get away for a day or so. Goodness, our grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, and errands all have to be factored in to our schedules, and sometimes all we want to do (and deserve) is to just have a lazy day once in a while.
Friday, August 15, 2014
In my opinion, crash diets just as worse as when people believe and follow the hundreds of Fad Diets that keep popping up only because a "celebrity" tried it. Wake-up call! Crash & Fad diets don't work, and are horrible for your body and your mind.
FYI Celebrities get paid several thousands of dollars to read a script claiming they have "tried, like, and approve" of a product or regimen. They also spend a pretty penny on chefs, nutrition coaches, and personal trainers.
Weight loss or maintaining healthy decisions shouldn't be a comparison to others, competition or a race. Living a healthy lifestyle is something people need to be able to incorporate as part of their day-to-day routines for what suits them best.
The term "Diet" is often viewed as an idea to cut out certain food or beverages for a period of time. Ex: when people crash diet before their tropical vacation.
The more of a set routine you have the more likely you are to stick to it. Do things to prepare that will help you stick to your routine- for instance I set my workout clothes out in the bathroom every night, so I don’t have to rummage around at 4:30 in the morning trying to find something to wear.
The only thing I would have done differently would be to start changing my nutrition sooner! I waited about 8 months to do that, which should have been the first thing to change.
How are you maintaining your weight now?
I still log everything I eat in "My Fitness Pal" every day. I am at a maintenance calorie level now, instead of a losing level. I still workout 5-6 days/week. Right now my focus is on building muscle, so I do 3 days of Cardio and also Weight Train 4-5 days/week.
Plan what you eat, so you eat what you planned.
*Make a list of meal ideas for the week & grocery list of items you need
*Don't shop on an empty stomach
*Shopping in bulk or Prepping in bulk can help save time & money
*Taste the Rainbow! (And I don't mean Skittles) Incorporate Colors in your meals/snacks
Friday, July 25, 2014
Have you heard of the popular NBC show The Biggest Loser? Some of us have watched an episode here and there, while others tuned in weekly to watch real life people share their personal stories battling weight and health challenges. Today, I have the honor of sharing a story about Twin Cities local who completed a version of her own "Biggest Loser" journey.
DID YOU KNOW? More than one-third of U.S. adults (34.9%) are obese. Genetics and medical issues are a few elements of our health that sometimes cannot be altered. While Americans continue to improve their lifestyle choices overeating and lack of exercise still remain underperformed in the U.S.
The journey to lose weight, or even to maintain a healthy lifestyle, is no easy task. For some people it is a very difficult physical & mental obstacle to overcome. To "walk a mile" in someone's shoes who battles obesity is unimaginable unless you're the one that's short of breath, struggling to find a pair of jeans that fit comfortably, or even feeling self conscious in public settings.
An equally important note: underweight individuals can also have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight just as the rest of the American population strives to stabilize their weight.
I recently had a chance to catch up with a "Big Loser," and good friend of mine, Jillian Newlin. I hadn't seen Jillian in nearly 2 years, and I was SHOCKED by her drastic weight loss and success story.
Jillian is Twin Cities native, who leads a busy life as most of us do. She is a mother of 2 young boys, a loving wife, works a full-time job, and very active with her family and close friends. Her recent journey to finding a healthier and happier lifestyle has lead her to a remarkable weight loss of over 60+ pounds!
The "moment" Jillian realized she needed to make a change was when she saw a picture of herself that left an imprint on her mind.
What lead you to begin your journey?
What really ended up being the final straw for me was seeing a picture of myself that was so completely unflattering; my jaw dropped open and I was shocked by how I looked. I had been overweight since high school, but after getting married and having two babies in a two year span I had just kept gaining and gaining.
When I would look in the mirror I would try not to look too long or too closely, so I didn’t really have to face it. Once I saw that picture (above), I realized just how big I had gotten, and that was enough. At the time, I had a newborn and a two year old at home and I was under a lot of stress. After my maternity leave I had started working out, which became my “me time” and time to de-stress.
What held you back or derailed your weight loss?
Staying motivated! I had started workout plans before and tried to eat better, but this time I was more determined. The other main difference between this time and my failed attempts in the past was the fact that I started slow.
What did your work out schedule look like?
In the past I tried to do too much way too fast, and I was overwhelmed. This time I started by walking on the treadmill 3-5 days a week, but did not change my eating habits. I did that for 6 months and only lost 8 lbs. Then I realized that I needed to change something else. I started doing Jillian Michaels DVD’s that incorporated High Intensity Interval Training, and once I started doing those about 5 days a week (30-40 min/day) I lost 8 lbs in two months (instead of 6 mon).Then I began running (when I started it was run/walking at intervals).
What were some of the biggest challenges?
One of the biggest challenges was learning how to eat better. When I started using "My Fitness Plan" I found it very hard to stay under 1200 calories. I did get to eat more calories if I burned them off with exercise.
Another challenge with the eating was trying to get my husband and kids (but especially husband…lol) to try new foods. For instance, for dinner I like to make chicken quinoa, but neither the hubby nor kids are very fond of quinoa- instead they will have chicken and potatoes and a vegetable.
What were some of your motivating factors?
What kept me going was the progress that I saw. Every week the scale went down and stayed down. I knew that what I was doing was working and it was such an amazing feeling, so I just kept doing it! What is harder is staying motivated once you have hit your goal.
What programs or tools did you use or suggest?
I am now a Beachbody coach! Beachbody is a company that produces and distributes at home workout DVD’s (Ex-Insanity, P90X, Turbofire). I have now completed Insanity, T25 and P90X3. As a Beachbody coach, my goal is to help people that are looking to lose weight and improve their health by showing them my success with the Beachbody programs, and by doing workout challenge groups.
In addition, I also am a certified Insanity instructor at Studio K Group Fitness in Andover. I instruct a 45 -minute Insanity class every Wednesday and Fridays.
What advice do you have for others during their weight loss journey or maintaining their progress?
For those battling weight loss challenges, the only one that is going to motivate you to do it is yourself. You have to want it bad enough. The biggest difference isn’t my pant size, but how much better I feel inside and out. I would encourage people to just imagine how much better they could feel physically AND also how much better they could feel about themselves if they make a healthy change.
For those that are struggling to maintain, I now struggle with this sometimes, too. My advice would be to think about how you felt BEFORE you lost the weight, and how you never ever want to go back to that place. Then I think about my next short term goal, and I just keep going!
Jillian's Beachbody Site
Jillian's Get Fit for Life Beachbody Facebook Page
Studio K Group Fitness: 3450 Bunker Lake Blvd, Andover MN 55304 (2nd floor)
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
What if something happens unexpectedly? Stressful or joyful, all we can do is embrace the moment, ask others for help if we need it, and hold ourselves accountable for improving the situation to the best of our ability.
Sometimes we must make big decisions, that are difficult in the moment, but what is yet ahead of us is unknown until we reach that moment. All we can do is welcome the future, good & not so good moments, and keep an open mind!
I recently made some big changes related to my future career goals, and ultimately I have decided that my mental & physical health/well-being and happiness is far more important than continuing on a path that was derailing my personal and professional success.