The struggle is real but suffering is optional

Early this summer I was casually chatting with a friend over just common #momlife problems. Towards the end she made an innocent statement about how good it felt to simply know “I too, make mistakes.”

Brene Brown, a social researcher, professor, and author, talks extensively about the tremendous impact hearing the phrase “me too” has when people are in the midst of a struggle.

In fact, one of the main reasons I started to talk and continue to talk so openly about my various eating disorders and body image problems was your very own HEALING impact on ME.

When I revealed not only my bout with anorexia but also binge eating, I got dozens of emails back saying some form of, “ME TOO!!”

And then again, when I became open about how brutal a financial and emotional blow creating sweatlocal was in the midst of unemployment, another set of dozens of “ME TOO!!”

 

Not that everyone was mounting businesses, of course, but my pain in the struggle resonated with yours and yours with mine and that dark shame that hides behind isolation seemed to give way to hope.

 

Here’s the thing… my friends surprise that, “I, too, make mistakes” stems from reading my newsletters and blog posts and not seeing that what I write about are things I’ve spent countless HOURS pondering and reflecting over, WEEKS studying and reading, and MONTHS practicing, experimenting, and failing fast to find solutions.

I PURPOSEFULLY do not share my PERSONAL LIFE PUBLICLY in the midst of a storm because if I have no solutions, insights, or growth to offer then all I’m doing is complaining, venting, wallowing, and whining and that is indulgent, unhelpful, and not worthy of taking up real estate in your inbox and your precious time.

Continue reading “The struggle is real but suffering is optional”

3 Healthy Habits to question (and actually get healthier)

If you know anything about me and how I coach fat loss, you know I love mindset but I’m also not afraid of numbers.

I’m totally fine getting formulaic with calories and macros and deficits  in a world where “just listen to your body” is all the rage.

And it’s an awesome protocol, btw.

YES!… you should ABSOLUTELY listen to your body!!!!!

The thing is, that “kumbaya” diet advice fell hella flat with me back in the day when all I was doing was binge eating at night, feeling ashamed of my inability to follow my goals, and frustrated that I “couldn’t stay on track.”

WTF does “trust your body” mean to a person who habitually finds themselves standing in front of the pantry, frantically stuffing cheerios into their mouth, promising themselves this is the last handful only to reach back in again?

I felt BETRAYED by every single hunger/fullness cue my body sent my way??!!??  Your fat loss solution was trust… HA!!!

I don’t start fat loss coaching with numbers because I believe numbers are inherently better than an intuitive eating approach.

I just know at my peak of frustration, the assumption that I had a strong enough relationship with my body to TRUST it, was laughable at it’s best and punchable on most days.

So yes, in Diet Rebellion, my fat loss coaching program, we get right to work on finding basal metabolic rates, total daily energy expenditures, and deficits because I am working with people, who like me, believed their bodies were deceiving them at every meal time.

With that said, numbers alone, DON’T HOLD THE KEY either, so from day 1 we also dive into some of the behaviors and beliefs that created the patterns that keep us stuck.

Below, I’ve listed 3 for you to consider and none are contingent on you trusting your body cues at meal times, btw.  All three points are loaded, however, and I plan to expand each farther Thursday night at 7:45pm (June 8th) on Facebook Live.  

In particular, myth #2 and the statement  ***Create a calorie deficit you can COMPLY with 80-90% of the time.  Both are loaded and require a good bit more explaining, especially if you’re walking in highly distrustful of your body.

Myth #1:  More information means better and faster results

Information overload is a real thing.  At some point, we simply know ENOUGH to commit and the quest to find an undiscovered trick in the bag leads to CONFUSION, DISORIENTATION, and the FEAR of getting things wrong.

“I read a Facebook article that said to eat more fat, but then this other one said to eat less fat.”

“My friend sent me a Facebook article that said carbs pre-workout are optimal but I read one that said they are better post workout.”

“This girl I follow on Instagram is doing keto, maybe I should too.”

We end up doing everything and nothing at the same time.

Turn down (or OFF) the volume on details with words like “optimal” and “greatest” and put your energy GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS!  

*** Create a calorie deficit you can COMPLY with 80-90% of the time.

  •  Myth #2:  “healthy” and “fat loss” are synonymous

As healthy as almonds are, you CANNOT eat a jar of them a day and lose weight.

Stop mindlessly eating them because every single magazine article and blog post lists them as an OPTIMAL midday snack option!!!

If a small amount isn’t actually satisfying your hunger WHY ARE YOU EATING THEM?????

Seriously, why?

Because they are “good” and other things are “bad.”  Because “clean eating” makes you a better person than eating “dirty” foods.

Almonds are great, sure, but they do pack a caloric punch that adds up fast.

YES… Sometimes you should EAT THE CHEEZ ITS for the simple, honest, and human reason that they’re going to hit the spot, you can finally stop craving, and in the long run eat LESS calories because you did so.

  •  Myth #3:  Just eat like a bodybuilder

I get it.  A bodybuilders methods work.  You get shredded.

Quick question, though… do you REVERSE DIET like a bodybuilder too?

Oh, don’t know what that is because Shape magazine always seems to forget to publish the other side of the shreddedAF industry, right?

Reverse dieting is when you take the BRUTAL 12-16 week 6 pack meal plan and work backwards from stage ready so that you don’t gain a DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF FAT back after such hardcore dieting.

Shredding for the stage is HELL FOR YOUR METABOLISM and anyone in the sport of bodybuilding who aims to stay there actually goes (or is supposed to go) through another long ass period of reverse dieting beginning their off season.

If you can take the 4 oz tilapia, 1 cup broccoli, and 3 oz of sweet potato meal plan for 12 weeks, you eventually have to learn to eat more moderately anyways.  Your body WILL NOT ALLOW YOU to stay shredded like that or eat so minimally without real and major repercussions.

One of those being HABITUALLY binge eating!

(Light bulb moment for me!!!!)

Okay… so this his blog post is by no means comprehensive.

I consider it a starting point for introspection and discussion and that’s why I’m excited to do and think it’s necessary to do a Facebook Live, Thursday, June 8th at 7:45pm.  Gah!  I love coaching live and in person!

@sweatlocal

 

 

 

The #7DeadlySins Journal and that fru fru mindset stuff

I’ve been blogging consistently now for two years, but I’ve journaled on and off my whole life.

Did you ever own one of those journals w/ the lock and key?

Yeah… I stayed stocked and when at the book store, I would salivate at the thought of owning more.

So, it’s really not all that surprising that last summer when I was introduced to bullet journaling as a way of organization that it would stick.

Here’s what most folks don’t know… along w/ the “to-do” list and “chore tracker”… my method of bullet journaling is so loosely structured that when the moment arises and I want… NEED… to capture my thoughts into words, I jump inside whatever page is ready to receive it.

And, as a naturally high strung persona recovering perfectionist one might say… I find an instant release after I’ve let my pen have it’s say.  In fact, writing turns my RESTLESSNESS into instant CLARITY and FOCUS.    

That simple pen and paper (or flashing scroll when blogging) takes my brain that moves a million miles a minute and forces it to SLOW DOWN to a snails pace so I sit WITH my discomfort, feelings, confusion, expectations, and mistakes.

My past and present CAN’T GET DISMISSED as a flashing thought…

… that fight I had with my husband, that riff that tore me apart from a friend, my unexpected miscarriage, my late night rendezvous with all the candy in the pantry… all get dealt with or at least begin the sometimes arduous journey towards understanding.

In other words… I can attribute a huge part of my personal growth to taking the time to put MY STORY into words.

That’s where the magic of journaling happens and that’s truly my end goal with this whole email journaling series,  #7DeadlySins of Fitness (and anything else really), jumps off on June 5th.

One email per week.

One journal entry.

Each topic dealing with the 7 Deadly Sins – wrath, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, lust, and greed.

It’s not just, hey! read this super indulging email and write how you feel about it… you’d never journal or get the benefits of journaling if it was structured that way!

I want you walking out of the next 7 weeks having learned a solid PROCESS on how to at least start to get to the bottom of madness that is holding you down.

So much of our “problems and issues” with eating, exercise, comfort foods, judgement on eating and our relationship with our bodies… doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with calories, macros, burpees, or cellulite.

You can’t effectively work through all those tangibles until you’re willing to work with what’s happening INSIDE your head first! So…

Here’s how this whole journaling thing is going to go down… and even if you’re not doing this #7DeadlySins thing I highly recommend that the next time you attempt to journal you’re doing so with these 4 parts key elements in mind…

  •  What’s your ANECDOTE?

Every email will start w/ one of my stories in wrath, pride, gluttony, sloth, lust, envy, or greed to prompt YOUR OWN story.  These “sins” are UNIVERSAL… not a one of us have lived this life without having become victim to them all at some point.

BE HUMAN.

I certainly plan to be, but the point of the email is not my story but yours!  SOMETHING about what you read is meant to trigger one of your past or present experiences on the same topic.

However, this time… you’re not allowed to just THINK about this experience, we’re going to slow your brain down to that critical snails pace so you sit with the memories and the circumstances and WRITE FREELY.

That’s the other thing… forget periods, good grammar, correct spelling, or political correctness.  Give yourself permission to get totally UNCENSORED!  Super important so that the next steps have an impact!

  •  How are you ACCOUNTABLE?

Read over your story and ask yourself, where am I playing the role of victim?  Yes… super hard and can piss you off but such a key point when personal growth is an end goal.

Stop being the angel who got trampled on.  Stop being a martyr.

We may not be responsible for how things started, but we sure as hell all are accountable to how we REACTED to it.  We can control NO ONE but ourselves so this part is about putting the focus on us rather than wishing and hoping someone else would do x, y, and z.

What is YOUR x, y, z towards resolution?

Lose judgement and exchange it for RESPONSIBILITY.  Own your part.

  •  Are you willing to/should you ADAPT?

Whether it’s a deeper sense of gratitude or learning how to set new boundaries with people, every experience carries a valuable lesson.

The third step in this email journaling series is to … RE-WRITE your story having taken into account where your responsibility lies.

How would things be different if you had… not screamed back, assumed someone’s words were meant to injure, or stayed completely silent?  Write a new ending to the story so that you can truly understand what RESOLUTION would look like for you.  Then…

  • What’s the next immediate ACTION?

Big or small, forward progress is on YOU.  Doing, not thinking, creates change!  

Little things can get taken care of fast but if you’re dealing w/ something complicated you’ve got simply find that small thing you are responsible for today, right now, to closer to being at your best again.

Action cures anxiety.  The best thing you can do is NOT try to do all the things at once.  Start small, but DO something!

You guys, I’m super excited about June 5th… again, not because it’s about my story, but because I have felt the benefits of journaling (and blogging) for so long and hope to pass it along!

I’d love to have you along for the ride and hope to provide for you lots of light bulb moments that will propel you out of some of those sad or dark hang ups in friendships, food, exercise, and body image.

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