5 Easy Steps to #beabetteryou

5 Easy Steps to #beabetteryou

#beabetteryou

As am empowerer, I am often asked how to lose weight, feel better, and/or get in shape. Honestly, the answer is different for everyone. Subsequently, there is no quick fix, magic cure or secret formula. Furthermore, the answer most likely isn’t in what you are doing, rather, it is more likely what you are NOT doing.

Wtf? That doesn’t make any sense, right? Just hang with me here and see where I am going with this.

OVERSCHEDULED

Look at your calendar. Immediately stop what you are doing and look when your next full open hour is.

For many of you, it is late tonight, after the kids are in bed and you have cleaned up the house after a long day. Even more of you may say this weekend after a scheduled event, while others are not open until next Tuesday night at 7:00.

How does looking at your calendar make you feel? Happy? Anxious? Annoyed? Ultimately, the answer to feeling better isn’t to schedule more for others, rather, it is to schedule LESS.  Finally, it is in doing less for others and above all, scheduling more time for you.

5 steps to #BEABETTERYOU

  1. Make yourself a priority. Women have the most difficult time with this one. We are raised to serve others and for that reason, it became the norm to be scheduled every minute of the day. STOP the madness! Repeat after me: you cannot give from an empty cup(read more about this in a previous blog post). Subsequently, if you are constantly doing for others, you will have nothing left in reserves. You have to fill up you in order to help others!
  2. Learn to say NO. Why does telling someone no feel so bad? It isn’t personal, it’s essential. Ultimately, you teach others how to treat yourself and when you can’t learn to say no, and eventually, people will ask you for everything. Sound familiar? Saying no to a few things just means that you will have enough energy and focus for the activities you choose to say yes to.
  3. Sleep. Don’t laugh, I really mean this. Go to bed at the same time every evening and awaken at the same time every day. If you listen to your body, it will tell you how much sleep you need. Your natural circadian rhythms will guide you when you are in tune with them. Hence, sleep deprivation leads to increased stress, increased cortisone levels (think increased belly fat), and increased crankiness and furthermore, none of these situations create a pleasant person. Undeniably, that project will still be there tomorrow morning, and you will certainly have a fresh pair of eyes and a clear mind to see it for what it is.
  4. Increase your water intake. Unfortunately, that coffee doesn’t count as water, nor does that wine. Above all, water is essential to maintain hydration levels, improve digestion and can keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time. While in contrast, too little water keeps you feeling sluggish and may give you headaches. Ideally, you should aim for ½ of your body weight in ounces per day.
  5. Put yourself on your schedule (in pen). Open your calendar again and schedule time at the gym. Make a nail appointment. Get a massage or try a float at the local Float Center. Get back to nature with Fido for a nice long walk. The fresh air will work wonders on your tired body and soul.

Let it Go

The world will go on without your hand in everything…and people will still like you and ask you to participate in activities. Saying no doesn’t make you less of a servant. It creates a strong foundation for which you can serve.

“In today’s rush, we all think too much – seek too much – and forget about the joy of just being: – Eckhart Tolle

Hormones – It’s not all in your head!

Hormones – It’s not all in your head!

 

What is wrong with me?

Fatigue. Mental Fog. No libido. Disappearing lean muscle. Do any of these sound familiar?

I am talking about real fatigue, like the kind where you can’t keep your eyes open in the afternoons, even after laying in bed for 8 hours the previous night. Notice I didn’t say you slept the previous night, and chances are you weren’t having sex either, because you are just so fricken exhausted!

And mental fog? Listen, I know that we all walk into a room and forget why we went in, but this kind of mental fog is a tad more extreme...its the kind where you need your vitamins in a daily display case so you can remember if you… Click To TweetIt’s the  check your toothbrush kind to see if it’s wet because you can’t remember if you already brushed your teeth today.

Let’s be real, as much as you love your son’s overstuffed bear, you really don’t want to BE ONE. Where in the F__K is all the fluffiness coming from? You work out, you eat well and the muscle keeps melting away. You have a whole closet full of clothing that you can’t wear and you really don’t want to purchase the bigger sizes.

WTF?

My story

While my story may begin differently than yours, my frustration may be the same. I had my children at the ages of 39 and 40 (gasp). Following the birth of my second child, I had surgery on both of my hands…shortly after I healed, I began working out and kept injuring myself; which derailed me every time I started getting momentum. It also left me feeling defeated.

Within 18 months, I had three abdominal surgeries, including a hysterectomy and the recovery was awful. Actually, I am not sure I ever fully recovered from that final surgery. I was depressed, fluffy, exhausted and unhappy. Once again, I was determined to work out and signed up for a 5K. I began training with a friend and dropped some weight…until I experienced two stress fractures from carrying my child down a mountain in the rain…

Right?

Soon after, I began experiencing planar fascitits and after 18 months of therapy that included a boot, injections and physical therapy, they wanted to perform surgery.  Additionally, I had been experiencing extreme joint inflammation and I just fricken hurt. I HURT ALL THE TIME. My doctor took a blood panel, which showed a high ANC so she sent me to a neurologist, who diagnosed me with fibromalygia. I knew within my whole being that there was something else going on.

Hormones

Keep in mind, during these years, I was still a wife, a mom, and freelancer however I was exhausted. I could fall asleep anytime I sat down and my hips and joints just hurt. So I did some research and found a new doctor who took one look at me and tested my hormone levels. Turns out my testosterone was a whopping 17(that’s very very low, my friend). No wonder I was fluffy, exhausted and in pain.

After some research, I began taking bioidentiacal hormes and within two weeks, I was no longer needing an afternoon nap.  It took some time, but I began to feel like a real person again. Granted, there are some days that I feel better than others, but isn’t that with all of us?  I didn’t expect miracles, I just wanted to feel good again.

It’s not all in your head

As a trainer and empowerer, I am appalled at how many women struggle with this and are never given proper information. So many of us are given medications, instructed to eat less or told to work out more. All any of that does is bandage the problem. Honestly, when I was first introduced to bioidentiacal hormones, I was skeptical. However research shows that we lose our ability to create hormones with each decade…and as we are living longer, that often leads us to living miserably also.

Unfortunately, not every practitioner is open to testing for hormones, which in turn can be frustrating. Furthermore, even when they do test, insurance companies rarely cover the cost of bio identical hormones. I know women who have gone to physician after physician and have been diagnosed with a multitude of ailments, without ever having their hormone levels tested, let alone talked about.

Additionally, not all physicians test the same hormones, nor are the optimal levels consistent. No wonder we are all confused, right? And we can become peri menopausal in our 30’s, which may cause a change in hormones while we look completely fine. Rest assured my friend, it isn’t all in your head. If you know that something isn’t right, keep asking questions and demanding further testing. You deserve to look and feel your best at every age and you can’t pour from an empty cup.

 

What I learned about Keto in 50 days

What I learned about Keto in 50 days

I did something last month.

I drastically changed my way of eating (woe) by cutting carbs and eliminating sugar.

Yes, I went Keto and it isn’t something I did lightly. As with most things I fall in love with, I am initially skeptical. So, I researched, I talked to my practitioner, I connected with some good Keto pals…and I fricken went for it.

Why?  Because I was in pain. I ate too much sugar.  I experienced drastic mood swings. Because I was just plain tired. The final straw was when I jokingly admitted to the people I was training that I dipped my girl scout cookies into my protein shakes. Click To Tweet Yes, it was a joke, but it really happened and it happened often.

I had a problem and I needed an intervention. I already worked out and was developing lean muscle. I was taking my supplements. I still felt like shit.

What I learned in my first 50 days of Keto

  1.  I am an emotional eater.  I  often reached for food when I wasn’t hungry.  It became a habit. It was one of the first things I did upon walking through the door.  Just as I would remove my shoes, I would reach for something sweet.  If I was bored, I would walk into the kitchen and search aimlessly for something that spoke to me. If I awoke in the middle of the night, I would grab a snack; not because I was hungry, but because I was awake and I wanted something to soothe my restless soul.
  2. I was addicted to sugar. Trust me, this is a real thing. I used to joke that I would dip my girl scout cookies into my protein shake…however, the truth is, that wasn’t a joke. I loved the bite-sized Snickers and could rationalize the small size meant fewer calories AND the peanuts were protein. It’s amazing the games we play with our own minds.
  3. I needed the support from others. While I chose to jump into this lifestyle, I truly needed the knowledge and support from others. Not only does that keep you accountable, it creates a reality check. I would reach out to my girlfriend and continuously ask questions and bounce things off of her. I checked into several FB groups often, just to make sure I was on the right track.  I also utilize a pretty cool app called Senza, to track my macros (look, I got the lingo down).
  4. It was easier than I thought it would be. I really don’t miss anything at all.  I still eat pizza, however now I eat the toppings, after all, that’s the good part anyway. I eat pickle and lettuce sandwiches. I eat natural peanut butter and sugar-free chocolate chips. I absolutely admit to being a work in progress, however, I am open to learning, so I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
  5. I feel AMAZING!  My inflammation is gone. My bloating is gone. I am down 15 pounds and can fit into clothing I haven’t worn for years. My energy level is good and I no longer suffer from carb naps or sugar spikes.

It isn’t for everyone

I am not a clinician. I would not suggest everyone do this. I am a mom who wanted to take control of her life and reign in the poor habits. My favorite daily treat was a smoothie at Juice Stop that I thought was healthy. That smoothie had over 40 carbs in it, therefore I suffered a carb crash every afternoon and had to have something to energize me. The roller coaster was awful and I could not get stabilized.

As I previously mentioned, I did reach out to my clinician and she approved it. She agreed that it would help even out my hormone levels and eliminate my sugar spikes. While I have received some negative feedback from concerned friends, the majority of people have been very supportive. ON a side note, I refuse to call this a diet as that word connotates such negativity in my mind and once I say I am on a diet, I play horrible head games with myself. This is a lifestyle and this is my lifestyle choice.

Some things the helped the transition

My company had recently launched some Keto products. Of course I was skeptical, however, I did try them. (I like to try everything we have so I can guide others on their own journey). Surprisingly I loved the Keto Coffee. It fills me up all morning and gives me incredible energy! With the grass-fed butter, collagen, and MCT Oil already built in, all I have to do is dump it in cold water, froth and enjoy.

Additionally, when you adopt this lifestyle, you will go through the Keto Flu. I now know that you need to increase your electrolytes, which can be done with Himalayan Sea Salt and/or Mio Sport (some people balk at this, however, since this is my blog, this is my opinion).  Drink your electrolytes as it will help tremendously! While you will feel like shit for awhile, this too shall pass and it will be worth it.

Take before and after pics and measure! I didn’t do either, so do what I suggest, not what I did, lol. You will be amazed at how much your body will change. The scale may move quickly initially as your body releases water from your fat cells, however, this too will slow down as you become fat adapted.

As you see your progress, you will become more motivated for success. My husband has supported me on this journey and is slowly adapting to my way of eating. Admittedly, it is a drastic change in thought process, as you have to let go of all the “truths” you have believed for years, but it is so worth it. The bottom line is that I feel more confident, more energetic and happier…and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?

What are your thoughts?  I would love to know what has worked for you and what you need help with!  Email me and let’s chat!

 

Little WELLNESS tweaks for BIG Wellness results!

Little WELLNESS tweaks for BIG Wellness results!

Years of treating my body like shit took its toll. Like most young adults, I thought I was invincible and paid little attention to my overall wellness. I didn’t use sunscreen, I didn’t drink water, and I most assuredly didn’t eat my veggies. I lived on Diet Mountain Dew, Doritos, and beer. Over the years, my weight has vacillated from 115 to 180 (not counting pregnancy). I have been skinny fat and I have been fluffy. Additionally, I had my boys at the advanced maternal ages of 39 and 40, followed by multiple surgeries, including three abdominal adventures. Having been a trainer, I knew what I needed to do, I just didn’t want to do it.

Now that I am nearing a new decade, it is time to focus on ME. It has taken quite some time to get to this point, you know, the one where I make myself a priority! Whether you are a mom or just like to fill your schedule to overflowing, we eat on the fly, we finish our kid’s meals, we stock our kitchen with fast foods. We are too fricken exhausted to work out…even thinking about doing a sit up about makes us want to cry. Our clothes don’t fit, we consider ourselves dressed if we splash on mascara and put on a bra.

Enough. I am worthy of more time than I give myself.

And so are YOU!

Here is what I have learned:

Mindset

Before I could find success, I needed to change my mindset. I had to stop being a martyr and making excuses for why I wasn’t taking the time I needed. Laundry can pile up, dishes will wait, and the kids can deal with mom spending 30 minutes for herself. This was huge. Once I stopped making excuses, I had no reason to NOT go to the gym. I found a gym with daycare and my kids were amazing at the waterworks, however, the staff was incredible and I soon looked forward to these small “me sessions”.

I’ll admit it, I had that same self-confidence issue that many feel when walking into a party. While I had been a trainer in the past, now I was overweight and lacking self-esteem of any kind.

Not every exercise is fit for everyone and I found that I was pushing myself too hard, thus finding myself getting stupid injuries. Those injuries created a sense of failure within me and allowed me to want to quit. The exercises I did in my 20’s may not be the same exercises I should be doing in my 40’s and that’s ok. I had to learn that I was not working out to impress anyone else, I was doing it for me.  It didn’t help that I love to play the “let’s compare” game and compared myself to every other person in the gym.

Practice Grace

I was (and continue to be) very hard on myself. I need to grant myself the same grace I would grant a friend. I need to be realistic as I will skip workouts, I will indulge, I will make poor choices. I don’t do diets because it is an unhealthy head game for me. Once I discover something is restricted, all I want is that which is restricted. I choose to use the word “lifestyle”. I am a work in progress on a healthier lifestyle.

Something else I often tell the people at the gym is this: “you didn’t get out of shape overnight, therefore you will not get back into shape overnight”. People, myself included, want immediate results. That is totally unrealistic and anything that promises you fast results is not healthy for you.

That may sound counter-intuitive as I am an It Works Rep. Thus, I do believe there are tools that will help you on your journey, just as I have found tools to help me on mine. Sometimes we need a little help to boost us where we want to go. After all, when we look better, we feel better and when we feel good, we excrete confidence! For me, the wraps showed me that I could change by changing the appearance of my skin. That was the original impetus for my wanting to change my life and therefore, work on my wellness.

Seek Accountability

I get it, no one wants to ask for help. You are wonder woman and can manage your own fricken health, right? Wrong. Someone else may offer ideas you had not thought of. Having an accountability partner ups the ante and makes this wellness journey real. You may be able to skip a workout with too much guilt, but there is no way you are gonna ditch your workout partner.

Additionally, working out or checking in with someone else makes it easier to try new things. It’s tough to walk into a new fitness facility and try something different, however, it is easier when you have a pal with you. It makes it easier to get adventurous and find new classes to try…and stick with!

What I have learned so far:

To this point in my life, I have learned a few things about this wellness adventure…ready?

  1. Your metabolism will change, however, this is NOT an excuse to sit on the couch and eat all you want. Hormones, thyroid, metabolism, blah blah blah. Yes, they are real, however so are you. stop letting these be excuses for not reaching your goals. I meet people every day who have exceeded their goals regardless of their age.
  2. Change your eating habits. This is an extension of Number one. As your body chemistry changes, your eating habits need to change. After being on a plateau for some time, I finally made the decision to go low sugar/low carb. However, before you make any drastic changes, please consult a practitioner. There is so much information out there and starting on a regimen without medical assistance can be detrimental.
  3. One lifestyle is not for all! Just because your pal lost 20 pounds eating low carb doesn’t mean you will. That friend who gained ten pounds of lean muscle doing cross-fit may be in a totally different fitness level than you are. stop the comparison game and find something that works for YOU!
  4. Make small changes. Don’t change your whole world at once. Make healthier choices when eating out, and keep healthier snacks within your reach.
  5. Set attainable goals. When people tell me they are going to come to the gym and work out five days per week, I tell them no. Set a realistic goal and celebrate the victories. Self-sabotage comes from changing too many things at one in addition to setting unrealistic goals.
  6. Be patient. Lifestyle changes take work and will involve some successes and some setbacks. That’s ok. Pick yourself up, get back on course and move forward.
  7. Love yourself. You are more than your appearance. You are a living and breathing human who deserves to be healthy and look their best. Fitness looks different for everyone. I know people who are technically overweight who could kick all of our assess in a circuit and I know people who look fit and get breathless walking up a flight of stairs.

The bottom line is that you need to want to change more than you want to stay the same. My motivation was having children at an older age. I didn’t want to be mistaken for their grandmother, nor did I want to sit on the sideline while they played…I wanted to be right in there with them. So, find your way and get out of your own way. Not only will you feel better, you will be an example to those around you.

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Sharma, Working with Intention

Beth Sharma, Working with Intention

Beth Sharma is a force to be reckoned with. This woman knows adversity and works hard to help others overcome it. After all, it takes courage to move 7 kids from sunny California to the Snowy Midwest; however, that’s exactly what this intentional mama did. As Beth shares, “I’m a Midwest girl trapped in a California body” so she loaded up 7 of her ten children and moved closer to her family in Nebraska. Initially, Beth and I had connected via social media before she made the move and from the moment we began chatting, I knew we were kindred souls.  After all, it’s hard not to gravitate towards Beth. Her dynamic personality pulls you in and you just can’t help but smile when she shares her story.

I couldn’t help but probe into Beth’s background. I wanted to find out who she was at her very core and what makes her so passionate at this stage in her life. After all, she is a single mom, a fierce networker, an encourager, a rescuer, a business owner and a connector.  How does one person accomplish all of that?

Intentional

Beth is intentional with her time. First and foremost she is a mom to her children. They come first in her life and all that she does; she is able to do around their schedules. Beth new early on that she wanted to raise her children. As a 23-year-old new mom, she initially went to work in the corporate world for a few years before realizing she wanted to be home with her babies. So she made it happen.

She began volunteering at her church and making friends. Looking back, Beth was networking without even knowing she was networking. To her, she was just being a friend for those who needed her.  She saw a demand in her community for someone to mentor young moms and with her church, she began a leadership group of 100 women and lead a team of 25 to empower those young moms. To Beth that movement was more than mentoring, it was about giving hope to those young women. It was about celebrating everyday victories. It was about providing role models to those who needed them.

Authentic

Beth treats others as she wants to be treated.  She knows what it is liked to be overlooked and doesn't want any person to ever feel that way. Click To TweetTo anyone looking in, she appears put together and in control, however, she will tell you her life is messy. After all, how can it not be with a family who needs and deserves one on one time with their mama? Actually, it was her messy life that helped launch her to where she is today. She wanted to take control of her destiny and when she saw an opportunity, she took it.

One day Beth was with a friend and fell in love with her friend’s amazing leggings. Actually, her words were” whatever those are, I love them and I am going to sell them”. The next day she became a direct sales rep for Ruby Leggings, where she has the opportunity to help women look and feel comfortable in their own skin. Two years later, she is financially rewarded for doing what she was already doing…being an authentic friend.

Creating a Sisterhood

For Beth, friendship is more than a mere connection. She envisions a world of sisterhood where she can change lives and give hope to others. By creating a network of women who lift one another up, she is giving hope and providing a safe place for those who are seeking positive change.

For someone who holds others in such high esteem, she downplays her own role in the lives of others. It is refreshing to meet a truly authentic woman who intentionally raises others higher. She is loyal to the core and once you meet her, you will feel her genuine intentions via her words and actions.

Connect with Beth Sharma

Beth would love to connect with you. Find her on FB via her Business Page, Beth Sharma, It’s Possible. To learn more about her amazing clothing business, visit her website and see the styles that stole her heart and allow her to build a legacy for her family. After all, at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to look back with a smile, knowing they not only made a new friend, but someone who will lift them higher and help them reach levels they didn’t know were achievable. Remember, we are stronger together.

 

 

Back to school shopping for dummies

Back to school shopping for dummies

Back to School Shopping

I get it…we all wait until the last week of summer to shop for our kid’s school supplies.  Even though we know it’s coming, we still put it off. We laugh at those who have it done in June and we smugly remind ourselves that we are shopping extraordinaire.

So, with one week left until school starts, we grab our list and head to the nearest store for our supplies.  Parking is easy enough and we bravely head into the store to find out that every other person in the parking lot is also in the school supplies section.

Sound familiar?  After taking a deep breath (or several) and dodging multiple people, too many shopping carts, and finding too many empty spaces in the aisles, this is what I have determined.  People have forgotten shopping etiquette…so let me refresh your memory.

5 ways to piss off your fellow shoppers

Here is a list of how to piss off everyone around you while school shopping.

  1. Charge through the store with a determination that cannot be questioned.  Put your blinders on and ignore everyone around you.
  2. Push your cart on the left side of the aisle and AGAINST traffic.
  3. Leave your cart unattended on the left side and AGAINST traffic.
  4. Forget your manners.  When you accidentally cut in front of someone, don’t say excuse me…keep blazing that trail to nowhere.
  5. Don't look when you exit an aisle. This one is always fun. It's like playing Pacman with shopping carts. How many people can you peg off? And bonus points for the cherry! Click To Tweet

A little etiquette lesson

Seriously, people…we shouldn’t have to take a Xanax before heading out to school shop.  A little etiquette and courtesy go a long way. And quite honestly?  We probably deserve to have a little extra stress on us since we do the same fricken thing every year.  It isn’t a surprise that August means back to school.  However, maybe next year, we will be the ones done shopping in June.

 

 

 

 

How was your back to school shopping experience this year?

Were you done in June or did you wait until the last minute like I did?  I would love to have your feedback!