How to Get Your Fitness Groove Back

How to Get Your

 

Recently I found myself in a serious health and fitness slump lasting several weeks. Oopsy! It happens. There had just been so much excitement lately and I was grateful for every minute of it– traveling, hosting guests, celebrating, and just life in general! Life gets busy. That’s just a fact! But how does one stay healthy when they’re so busy? How do you pull yourself out of a slump? I’ve learned it’s important to live a little, not take yourself so seriously and find YOUR version of balance. 

The old me would have freaked out and felt guilty for getting a little fluffly and “slipping up”. New me (balanced me) is more forgiving. Instead of cutting calories like crazy or doing extreme exercise to try to mitigate the damage, I re-focused and re-motivated myself. The hardest part about getting back into a health and fitness routine is the actual getting started part. We all know WHY we should adopt these healthy habits, but just can’t seem to work up to taking action. That first step is THE most difficult, but once you take it the momentum begins building up. It may feel like your momentum is dead and gone, but you absolutely can bring it back to life.

 

Here’s what I do to pull myself out of a slump & get my groove back–

Get Inspired baby!

I am a very visual person so I’m very inspired by photos. Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube really help spark my fire. So while it doesn’t help burn calories, it will get you into a better mindset. So scroll away and pin that sh*t. I’m also very big on reading so I enjoy checking out other blogs and news related to the wellness arena. Reading other people’s’ stories especially motivates me to get off my tush and get back to those healthy habits asap. And a killer Spotify playlist helps get me in the right mood to get moving and be active. 

Be warned, however, that sometimes images online and in the media have negative effects on us. They might actually make us feel bad about ourselves because we think we have to aspire to these false body images. If you find yourself feeling this way then redirect to more encouraging forms of media or just avoid this step altogether.

Check out one of my previous posts for more on finding inspiration and getting motivated.

 

Weaning off the addictions..

All those biscuits, chocolates and pizzas taste soooo good they become addictive. One of the toughest things to overcome after I’ve gone on a bender are the cravings! It’s amazing how quickly the body becomes addicted to the sugar, salt, fat and chemical additives of foods. Choosing a spinach salad over a warm burrito suddenly becomes a ridiculous thing to do. At this point, I just give in to the cravings…if it’s convenient, that is! So I make it very inconvenient. First, I clean out my cupboards of anything unhealthy or foods I tend to binge on (goodbye tortilla chips, see you later almond butter).  Second, I make it a point to eat out only once (max twice) a week. Ensuring that most of what I consume is homemade will already help me eat a little better.  And once I add consistent exercise back into the equation, things start to get a lot more comfortable and controllable.

 

Getting my fitness groove back..

Consistent exercise makes me a better person. For real! We all know that nutrition is 80% and exercise is 20% of our results, but the two are so very connected. When I workout, I feel better about myself which in turn, makes me want to fuel my body with nourishing, healthy foods. Boom! That’s where the magic happens. This works for me because I want instant gratification. Working out instantly makes me feel better and confident about getting back on track.  When I slip up, I always focus on finding my exercise routine again, THEN I work on nutrition. It works best for me this way, but you might find a different “formula” for yourself.  

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Once I’m inspired, I find a little motivation. I take that tiny bit of motivation and exercise. At first my workouts are short and I kinda hate it but I come back the next day, and the next, until it becomes a habit again. I start building up that momentum and feeling good, remembering how awesome I feel after a good sweat sesh. Then I slowly start becoming more conscious of my food decisions because I like feeling this good and I don’t want to undo that. Day by day I keep up with the exercise, the nutrition, and keep the fire burning with positive inspiration. Sure, things come up in life and I get off track but I don’t drown in guilt or punish myself (and neither should you).

Always remember to just go back to basics until you find that groove again.

 

Your Turn

I would love to know how you maintain YOUR balance. How do you get your groove back after a setback?  We stand to learn so much from each other so share, share, share! <3

 

If you’re struggling with finding your way to a healthy routine shoot me a message. I reply to all of my emails and love getting to know my fellow readers & help them find easy solutions to their challenges. PrescribingHealth@gmail.com

 

 

With love,

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Life Lessons from Running: A Beginner’s Journey

 

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About 3 weeks ago I checked off an item from my bucket list by running my first half marathon.  I don’t consider myself to be much of a runner, but preparing for this feet was quite an experience.  I wanted to share what an unlikely runner, like myself, learned on this journey.

I am not a runner. I don’t know how to run. I don’t like running. This is what I always told people about myself when anything involving running came up. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I realized these were false limiting beliefs I was projecting onto my life as a truth. He thought it was ridiculous that I couldn’t run and helped me prove to myself that I was indeed capable of it.

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my number one supporter & motivator, my husband.

The first few times we went for a jog felt like pure torture. I couldn’t breathe, I felt gross and sweaty, I was bored, and quickly became tired. It was so uncomfortable and I never looked forward to it at all. He kept encouraging me to keep at it though, so I did. Eventually, I became committed to proving myself wrong about not being able to run. I began to believe I could do it! That’s when I started to see a little progress.

 

Beginnings are Hard… but worth it 

My first 5k felt like a marathon but I was incredibly proud of myself for completing 3.2miles without stopping.  My next goal was to complete a 10k. It was painful and less than pleasant but once again so fulfilling when I completed it. I was happy with how far I had come, but now I’d get back to my usual strength training. I told myself I had enough of this running thing for a while. Well here we are a year later and somehow this husband of mine convinced me I could do a half marathon. I even put it on my 2015 goals list.

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I set out to complete a 12-week Hal Higdon training plan in preparation for this half. Training felt annoying some days because I was just tired of running and even a little bored. Slowly though, things changed as I looked forward to my runs.  I was excited to log more and more miles in an attempt to challenge myself. My once bored mind began to feel recharged and ready for life during and after these runs.

It’s always so hard to get started with anything worth pursuing in life, but once you find your rhythm and believe in yourself, suddenly, things become smoother and clearer. You realize you CAN and you indeed WILL accomplish this.  The important thing is to start where you are. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I could run 13.1 miles. I started so humbly, trying to just run 1 mile without dying. What I’ve come to love about running is that I can determine my own goals.  Remember that nothing worth doing ever comes easy.

waiting at the starting line

 

Expect the Unexpected  

Life is funny in that you can plan all you want, but life will just laugh at you because it has its own plans. I tried to adhere to the training as best as I could. I was ready to start my tapering the week before when out of no where I was bed ridden with, first, flu-like symptoms, followed by a stomach virus. Not only could I not run or cross train the week before my race, but I also could barely keep any food down. I worried all of my time and efforts in training would be wasted.  Luckily, I was well enough to participate on race day, but still not quite fully recovered. I know this affected my performance but just to make things even more exciting, there were other unexpected elements on the day of… the weather and elevation! Asheville, beautiful as she might be, is also very mountainous.  It is also much colder there.  The race course had elevations up to 2333ft, and I felt like I was running up and down mountains the entire time. It was tough and I became so frustrated at myself for not doing more hill runs or preparing better.

Mind over Matter Mentality 

As I ran the 13.1 mile course my mental strength & endurance were definitely tested. I was frustrated by the elevation and found my body feeling weak early on.  I found myself focusing on my frustration instead of enjoying the run.  Your thoughts really do become your reality. The minute I noticed how negative my thoughts were, I was able to intentionally focus on more positive things. I reversed the negative thoughts into positive affirmations. Instead of “I hate these freaking hills” I told myself “These hills are going to be great for tightening my glutes” and “This is hard, but it’s making me stronger.” I found these positive reflections to be encouraging in helping get through several frustrating miles.

 

Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever

It was around mile 10 that I began to feel a sharp pain down my leg and knee. My IT band had tightened up and I found myself barely able to run on my left leg.  I seriously considered quitting at this point.  I wondered if one of the bystanders cheering us on would drive me to the finish line.  Then I remembered all of the hours spent training and how disappointed I would be at myself for not completing this race.  I acknowledged that I was in pain but knew I just couldn’t quit no matter how long it would take me to get through the last 3 miles.  I had come too far to stop now.  When you invest so much of yourself in something, you can’t just walk away and give up on it once an obstacle blocks your efforts.  I learned from this experience that pain, obstacles, and difficulties are all part of the journey.  The way that I responded to each of these things would determine how I experienced my journey.  If I would have quit when things became a little tough, I never would have succeeded. Perhaps it took me a lot longer to finish the race then others, but I learned so much about myself, gained confidence, became stronger, and still got that medal!

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I hope my story inspires you to do that thing you’ve always felt too uncomfortable to pursue.  Don’t try to compare yourself to anyone.  If you keep your end goal in mind, there are no limits that can be put on you.  Have a YOU vs. YOU mentality, striving to only compete with yourself and no one else.

I’m proud of myself for being a half marathon finisher. There may be another 13.1k in 2016 for me, but with a flatter course this time.

 

with Love,

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Overcome Overeating

OVERCOME

What comes to mind when you think of food?

What comes to mind for me are feelings of comfort, joy, family, and energy. How we view the food we eat, what we see it as being, impacts our whole attitude towards it. In my opinion, food is good! It is part of creation and provides nourishment, strength and even celebration. So therefore I often find myself asking “Why shouldn’t I indulge a little?” As soon as that thought crosses my mind, it’s as if I have already given myself permission to overeat without even realizing it.

Too often I have ordered an oversized, artery clogging, calorie-dense dessert after dinner (all for myself of course), knowing I probably shouldn’t but also telling myself “it’s okay because it’s a special occasion.” Or every time my mom or a family member serves me a heaping plate of food, “I have to eat it all or they will be offended,” I think to myself. Or that feeling of failure when I realize I just accidentally ate the whole bag of popcorn while watching Scandal. What about year after year of feeling regret following the holiday season because of weight gained from overindulging. Isn’t the purpose of Thanksgiving to stuff your face? No! Can you relate to these situations?

My excuses to overeat were becoming more of a habit. One day I just realized there would always be something to celebrate, someone offering me more food, a movie to watch, or a special event to attend. If we are being really honest with ourselves, we know that we often overeat those foods that AREN’T so good for us—I know this is true for me. I was undoing all of my hard work at the gym by overeating. I was tired of feeling so out of control and decided to overcome this consuming habit. Overeating doesn’t just destroy your physical progress, but actually increases body fat and results in negative health impacts like chronic diseases. My health and my life are more important than buttery popcorn, decadent desserts, and greasy fries. Is yours? I’m determined to start 2016 off with better habits and that includes overcoming overeating!

Why don’t I have more self-control?

I would ask myself this ALL THE TIME. I realized part of my overeating was because I wasn’t paying attention while I ate. I noticed I would often overeat if I had my dinner or snack while watching TV.  I was also more likely to mindlessly munch if I was stressed and rushing, because I would inhale my food instead of taking time to chew it properly.
Food addiction is another main reason it can be difficult to stop eating when we’re full and satisfied. If a diet includes many processed foods high in saturated fats, added sugars, and salt, the body becomes addicted. It begins to experience similar changes in the brain as drugs cause and dependency develops.

Restrictive dieting can also destroy any chance of self-control you might have. Labeling any foods as “off limits” usually leads to overeating later on, because we always want what we can’t have right? 😉 And the final blow to our lack of self-control is sabotage. Yes, our willpower is sneakily crushed by things like advertising, fad diets, convenience, social and cultural pressures. I mean, seriously, I get hungry just looking at Pinterest!

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How do I overcome overeating?

Everyday we make several decisions when it comes to what we put into our bodies. If I was going to overcome overeating and break the cycle, I had to implement some strategies. So here is what I came up with, what I continue to practice daily, and what I find works for me.

Yes, we were made to consume food, but food was never supposed to consume us. You can overcome overeating by addressing your mindset first. Reinforce your commitment to your health by immersing your mind and spirit in positive experiences, whether it be a book or self care practices (like a warm bath, getting a massage, speaking out positive affirmations). These things make you feel good about yourself and bring you confidence that overindulging in food will not.
Stop mindless eating by pausing before a meal to bring awareness and gratitude to what you are about to eat. Give your meal your full attention by not eating in front of the television or even at your desk at work. Break your food addictions by eating nutrient dense foods made with whole, unrefined ingredients. Foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and unrefined tubers/starches provide a higher nutrient value are not as calorie heavy as processed convenience foods. They are also generally higher in fiber and are more likely to fill you up at a lower calorie cost. While we should strive to eat healthier foods, if you’re REALLY craving something allow yourself to give in to that craving, but in moderation. Give yourself permission to have a little, otherwise you’ll binge on it later.
When it comes to societal sabotages, all you can do is learn to recognize them and develop healthy habits strong enough to overcome them. Change the channel when you see a food commercial (if it has a commercial, it’s probably bad for you), plan to leave half of your meal, check the menu in advance and plan to order a healthier dish, share your dessert, and don’t think it is OKAY to eat something you know is bad for you just because every one else is eating it.

The struggle to say “NO” to temptations may be painful in the moment but it’s just that- it’s momentary! Don’t trade healthy food for junk food. Don’t give up the fulfillment of a healthy life for a temporary moment.

A few more tips:
Make it inconvenient! Stash your unhealthy foods on a high shelf or behind a stack of heavy plates. Your less likely to eat it if it’s hard to get to.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind– Hide that candy dish that’s always sitting on your desk.
Eat slowly and drink water between bites, chew food thoroughly. It can take 12 to 20 minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain. Give your body time to process what you’re giving it.
Don’t Skip meals– Waiting more than 3 hours between meals will increases your chances of overeating at your next meal.

This holiday season, I believe that you can overcome overeating. I won’t lie to you and say it’s easy. It’s something I have to be mindful of often, but keeping these tips in mind I find myself overeating LESS often.  That’s what I strive for, progress not perfection!  Do not start 2016 off with resolutions that reflect failures from this year. End 2015 by defeating destructive behaviors like overeating. It will take a lot of work but be persistent in your efforts. Hardwork pays off.

xoxo,

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Find your Motivation this Fall

5 tips to finding your motivation this fall

Let’s keep it real, we all have seasons in our life where our health takes a backseat. Do you know the feeling? Your just so busy focusing on a million other things that your left with with no energy or motivation to think about eating healthy and working out…  You’re working late, getting ready for the holidays, it’s cold and rainy out, you’d rather watch football or stay in bed watching Netflix and eating cookie dough ice cream…  We all have these slumps and feel unmotivated at times.

 

We acknowledge that our jeans are tighter, our energy level is lower and our cravings are out of control, yet still just can’t seem to get that fire inside that will cause us to actually do something about it. I’m here to tell you it’s okay. It’s normal. It happens! But don’t let it happen for too long, okay?!

 

With baby steps you can get started on the road to positive change and get out of that slump.  Let’s discuss some ways to break out of the rut. These are tips that have helped me personally and I hope will be beneficial to you as well.

 

  1. Set Goals & make them S.M.A.R.T.

Without a goal, how do you know where you’re going or what you’re working towards? Choose just ONE short term and one long term goal you hope to achieve. These goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused, and time-bound.

For example, my long-term goal this year was to run a half-marathon in November. My short term goal was to begin running just once a week and work my way up to 4 times a week. Track your progress and make your goal visual (write it down or create a vision board).

 

  1. Find Your “WHY”

Ask yourself what the reason behind your goal is. Why is achieving a particular health & fitness goal important to you?  Why do you want to get out of this funk and get back into shape? What is the motivation behind wanting to change your life?  If you lack a strong connection to the reason why you’re doing something, you will lose motivation quickly.  You have to change your mind before you can change your life. When things become difficult, busy, or tiring, remembering your WHY will empower and inspire you to keep going.

 

  1. Get Support

Whether it’s your family, friends, or an accountability group of some kind, be sure to get support DAILY.  Lean into you support net to maintain motivation and stay on track. Celebrate your victories and lift each other up during difficulties.  Find a workout buddy and plan to meet at least once a week for a workout.  Get involved with a live or online support group to keep you accountable.  Check out local health centers or meetup groups too. Email me anytime or join my wellness club. I’m always willing to help as an accountability buddy because I know how much it has & still does help me.

 

  1. Make it Fun

If you don’t love it, you won’t stick with it! Find a way to make health and fitness lifestyle fun for you. This will make you more likely to stay motivated and reach your goals. Find out what works better for you: working out at home, in a gym, or in a class? Do you prefer exercises focused on stretching, strengthening or intense high-impact workouts?  Learn new ways to make your favorite recipes healthier, take more walks, you’re your bike, share your journey on social media… Whatever you choose to do, get creative and make healthy living FUN.

 

 

  1. Don’t Quit

Regardless of all of the tips and habits you will incorporate to help you keep the motivation burning, there will be times the wind will blow at you with such a great force that your fire may begin to diminish. The most important thing to remember is DO NOT QUIT.  It’s in the moments where you feel like quitting, that your usually about to have a breakthrough. If you slip up for a few days or a week, remind yourself it’s okay. Remember to be gentle with yourself and love yourself.  Get back up, continue to try again, and don’t quit. We all fail at one thing or another, what matters is that we learn from it and move forward. Don’t let a small bump in the road, keep you from continuing your journey to a healthy, fulfilling life.

5 motivation tips

I have now given you the tools to start building a healthy lifestyle. It is up to you to change your mindset and begin practicing healthy habits.  Remind yourself of all the benefits you stand to gain from achieving your goal. Realize there are seasons & slumps & bumps in the road where motivation comes and goes, but remind yourself that your motivation won’t go away permanently.  Commit to making your health and happiness a lifestyle.  Set goals, know your WHY, find your fitfam, make it fun and don’t quit! I believe in you. You can do this.

 

with love,

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Eating More Vegetables and Fruits

Today I want to talk to you about a healthy habit that is not only going to help you manage your weight, but also improve your overall wellbeing.  This healthy habit is eating MORE.  Yes you read that right! …specifically, eating MORE vegetables and fruits.  Can you guess how many servings of veggies and fruits you should be consuming daily? Experts recommend 5 to 9 servings per day! When I initially heard this recommendation I was pretty surprised and realized I was getting no where near this amount.  Are you?

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Dont worry I’ve got you covered. Since changing my eating habits I’ve fallen head over heels in love with veggies and fruits discovering a variety of ways to get my recommended amount (and more) with ease every single day. But before I give you those hot tips, let’s talk about why the experts think we should eat more of this good stuff.

Vegetables and fruits are not only nutritious and delicious, but they are also naturally low in calories. Now that’s a big win! More benefits include fiber to keep you full longer and keep your digestive system happy 🙂  These foods can also reduce risk of disease and provide vitamins and minerals which keep you energized and healthy. I think these are all pretty great reasons to eat your veggies (I guess mom was right all along, as usual).

Don’t panic– vegetables and fruits are so versatile and easy to incorporate into any meal or snack.  Here are my top tips on how to eat more vegetables and fruits.

[ HOW TO EAT MORE VEGGIES & FRUITS: ]
1. Juices and Smoothies – this is my favorite way to sneak in both veggies & fruits! (Be careful to read the labels & avoid added sugars and additives).
2. Soups– Great one-pot-meal!
3. Salads– Pile on the veggies!
4. Meatless Mondays – trade out one meal a week for a vegetarian dish.
5. Be Sneaky– chop veggies small enough to hide into sauces, burgers, meatloaves, etc.
6. Take Shortcuts– frozen veggies are just fine (and much easier to prep), pre-chop and wash your produce so it’s readily available to you, and if you buy canned watch out for BPA and sodium contents.
7. Recipe Re-do– Try making your favorite foods a little healthier (for example, add veggies to your omelets, make kale chips, use avocado instead of butter when baking)
8. Fill at least half of your plate with veggies
9. Try supplementing with green powder boosts for days where your on the go and really lacking in veggies.
10. DIY salad dressings! Swap the fattening, high calorie dressing and make your own
A few suggestions I’d like to leave you with are to aim for more vegetables compared to fruits.  For example, if you consume 5 servings of veggies/fruits in a day be sure to try having at least 3 of those servings from vegetables and 2 from fruit.  And when you eat out, don’t be afraid to ask for a side of vegetables or substitute your fries for veggies.

Do a little experimenting, try some new produce, and step out of your comfort zone.  This one small change can lead to BIG results.  It just requires a little bit of effort on your part but YOU CAN DO IT.

If you’d like to learn more about adding vegetables & fruits into your diet and eating clean, in general, I would like to invite you to join my FREE & complimentary 5-day facebook group “Fall into Healthy Eating Habits.” I’ll be giving out valuable resources, recipes, tips, discussions and videos to help you learn how to implement healthier eating habits successfully. { Sign up here for more information or in the opt-in box on the right–>  }

For meal ideas incorporating vegetables and fruit check out: 
http://greatist.com/health/40-unexpected-ways-add-veggies-meal/

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/easy-ways-to-add-fruits-veggies-to-your-day

 

health coach

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