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Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You Are a Badass: Finding Inconsolable Sobbing Awe In Everyday Life


I've been doing a lot of self-work and soul searching lately. However, after a bunch of heavy, HEAVY audiobooks and some intense and frequent introspection in a very short amount of time, I decided yesterday it was time for something a little more lighthearted. 

I've wanted to listen to "You Are a Badass" for a while now. The reviews are mostly good but quite a few people complain that it's not based in science and it's too "new age" which I generally don't go for. However, I decided to give it a try yesterday because it seemed like it might be just a really good, long pep talk. And that's exactly what it is! So far my favorite quote is the following. It's not just my favorite quote so far, it's becoming a mantra. I shared it on Facebook with my friends and I find myself pulling up my page to read it over and over again. 

It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. 
We're on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins! We live in a limitless universe, overflowing with miracles. The fact that we aren't stumbling around in an inconsolable state of sobbing awe is appalling ” ― Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass"

Wow.

Regardless of what you believe or don't believe, how can you not step back in absolute awe and think how amazing it is that we even exist?! That everything is synced up so perfectly that we are certain the sun will rise and set every day. How beautiful and magical life is when seen in this light. 

So that's what I've really made an effort to do for the last day. I have been walking through life in awe. Yesterday evening I sat on my back patio with my son and we just chatted. I try to always appreciate my time with him but this time was extra special. I was so unbelievably tuned in. As he talked about Minecraft (one of only about three topics he has in rotation in that sweet little head of his right now) I noticed the perfect little slope of his button nose, his china dolls lips, how amazingly cute he sounded when he kept using the word "unfortunately." I thought about how he grew inside of me. His body literally came from my body! Talk about magic!!

This is just one example of how my perception is shifting. And I don't want to lose it. 

I recently met a very unique person who has a weight loss story similar to my own. He reached a low point in his life and decided to change himself and used that desire for a better version of himself to transform his body completely in just one year. Yesterday he celebrated one year since the day he began. He began on Summer Solstice. He said it was meaningful to him because it symbolizes new beginnings. I kept thinking all day after he told me that that I should come up with some big change to implement on that day. I couldn't think of anything.

This morning I woke up and realized I did something very different yesterday! I walked through life with awe. I embraced pretty much every moment. This morning I did the same. I tasted my coffee like never before, I enjoyed my morning meditation in a totally different way. Yes, right now it's coming naturally to me but I know there will be days when I need to remind myself to look at life this way. So that is my resolution. I am going to post notes around my house and set reminders on my phone. 

One of the very best things about going through life this way is something I discovered yesterday and it's what made it instantly so addictive to me. When I am truly immersed in the moment and finding joy and amazement in simply being alive, I am incapable of dwelling on silly, meaningless things that have been bothering me. When I'm contemplating the synergy of nature as I watch a bee buzz around some flowers and grass, I can't seem to care whether or not that person who said that thing that kind of sounded not nice was trying to disrespect me. When I'm truly completely immersed in playing chutes and ladders with my funny, quirky son, and we are laughing about my absolutely horrible luck, the fact that I'm an almost 40 year old woman living in a youth obsessed culture doesn't register as anything more than some mathematical equation and observations of the society I live in. Being fully engaged in MY MY MY life, makes me incapable of caring about the opinions of people who are not relevant in my life or the silly details of what's going on in their life (yes, this is an ex reference...notice they are getting fewer and further between). 

I feel that resolving to remember to view life this way is yet another step toward being the vessel of peace and love that I long to be. And, in the meantime, it's simply making life happier!

Friday, June 3, 2016

I Am a Mediocre Trainer

I am a mediocre trainer....there I said it!

I would actually say I'm slightly better than the average trainer but that's about it. I keep my clients safe which is huge. I progress them gently and effectively and they gain strength and health. And I've never ever had a client get truly injued on my watch! I even know some of the most scientifically sound ways to work out for maximum calorie expendature and long-term improved metabolism. But, bottom line, I haven't been working out my entire life and I still have loads to learn as far as exercise science is concerned. Also, I'm not super passionate about it! I enjoy exercise and I recognize it's vast benefits, but it's not where my heart lies.

Why would I, as a trainer, admit this?

Well, first, because it's the truth. Second, because, the further I get through this life, the more important being true to my authentic self is to me.

I've been circling around this truth for a while and gently disuading a few potential clients who were coming to me with purely superficial goals (i.e. lose 5 pounds for the beach, get a bigger butt, etc.). However, this week, after much deliberation over many weeks, I took this gentle disuading to a whole new level.

I had an initial consultation with a new potential weight loss client. I flat out told him that I was not just interested in working him out and if that's all he was looking for that he could do better than me. I have a "no pressure approach" after all consultations where I send them away with my rate sheet and some bullet point advice in case if I never see them again...as of today, I haven't heard back from him.

Why did I tell him that? Again, because it's true.

I'm tired of selling myself to each and every person. I'm more than tired of it, I'm done with it. As nice as new business is for this small business single mom, what's way more important right now is me honoring my authentic self. And not just for personal growth reasons! By refusing to only offer the weakest of the tools I provide, I am doing the best thing for prospective clients who are only interested in the exercise portion of health improve.

But i do hope that, as they walk away in search of a different trainer, that they internalize what I have said and that is this:

The effects of exercise on improving health is a very small piece of the puzzle compared to nutrtion, mental health, hormonal balance and lifestyle habits (for example, sleep). If weight loss is the goal, behavior modification trumps everything else.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

I'm through handing out fish. I truly am. It no longer comes down to if someone wants to work with me. It is quickly becoming whether I feel passionate about working with them.

When someone is open and receptive to the idea that they need to change every aspect of their life, I become absolutely passionate about their particular situation. If they have a disease, I research and become an expert on it. I brainstorm new and creative ways for them to change behaviors. I randomly message them excitedly with new ideas. These clients energize me. And, in turn, I change their lives. We jump up and down and hug over victories. We even sometimes cry together. They fill my heart up. Effortlessly, I gain lifetime clients and get lots of referrals from them.

On the flip side, when someone just wants to come in and work out, I find myself going on autopilot. I am still mindful of their safetly and progress but I don't feel the same high energy, passionate involvement as the aforementioned sessions. When they leave, I don't generally think of them until before their next session when it's time to design their workout. These people also seem to quickly lose interest in exercise no matter how fun and fresh I try to keep it and they never stay with me long term.

It's unfair to both of us. And it's why I'm done. I am no longer accepting applications for mediocre exercise training sessions. I am finally at a point where I have a schedule full of these passion-provoking clients and I choose to be very selective so that I can keep it that way. If I ever find myself dreading a session, I know that I've let someone with goals that do not align with my ideals slip through the cracks. As soon as I recognize this, I will be waiting for them at their next session with a refund and a referral to a more qualified trainer.




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