Did you know it takes 30 days to make or break a habit? Some of us have bad habits (think biting your fingernails or picking at your face/skin/scabs, etc.) that need to be broken while some of us have good habits we’d like to start. A couple years ago, I only flossed right before going to the dentist, only because I didn’t want to get chastised for not having done it (and yes, my gums bled and they knew anyways). So I vowed that I would start flossing and continue even after going to the dentist. But it never stuck. I’d do it for a couple days, then I’d get bored and would forget until the next time I went to the dentist. Until a summer or two ago. I read this awesome article about how it takes 30 days to make or break a habit. I decided that I would try it. I was a little skeptical…I had never stuck with it before. But I tried it…and sure enough, to this day, I still floss every day. The trick with doing this, however, is that you should only focus on one habit at a time. More than that becomes overwhelming. In reality, you can truly only focus on one thing at at time, so why stress yourself out trying to do more than that. Besides, you can re-start this process every 30 days!! And with doing it for 30 days, it gives you enough time to make it something you do without even thinking about it. It honestly becomes a habit!!
What’s one thing that you’d like to work on over the next 30 days? I mean, here we are, about to start 2015…let’s start it on a high note. Do you want to set aside 30 minutes a day for self-care/love? Do you want to start reading more? Do you want to add in a daily exercise routine? Do you want to start going to bed earlier? What about bad habits you want to break? Do you want to quit smoking? Do you want to stop biting your nails? Do you want to stop complaining?
I know one of the big things that I do is complain. I try not to, but it just creeps back in. I have to really pay attention to what I’m saying every time I speak because the complaints kind of creep back in slowly but surely. And the truth is I have an amazing life. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Yes, I have bad moments/days, but that doesn’t mean my life is horrible. I have a beautiful life full of wonderful people and I don’t want for anything (for the most part). So my 30 day habit I’d like to break is to stop complaining. It’s going to take a bit of work, but it’s what I want to focus on.
Let me know yours for the start of another beautiful year! 2015 is going to be amazing…there will be a lot of changes…but I’m so looking forward to it!
With love and wellness,
Do you ever feel like a failure when it comes to eating? I know I do. Especially around this time of year. All those delicious treats, full of sugar and chocolate and yummy goodness. For the most part, I eat pretty healthy. And I’ll indulge every now and again on something sweet. But lately it seems like I’ve been going crazy on the indulging. And when I do, I feel like a failure and I beat myself up over it. Take this morning for instance. My office picks a week around Christmas where people bring in treats every day. So there are a ton of yummy treats in our break room. So back to this morning. I get to work and have the best of intentions to stay away from the break room. I start out really well and have a banana. But it’s like the break room is calling my name. I can hear the cookies calling me. So I walk by (I have to walk past it to get to the printer) and oops. I grabbed a cookie. And I enjoyed it. It was delicious. But then I immediately felt like a failure and felt ashamed for giving in. Which is crazy!! It’s food!! It’s not a drug or alcohol or something totally harmful. Except… It is. Sugar is a drug. It is addictive. And once you start, you can’t stop. I know that’s true for me. I’ve done a few sugar detoxes because I know I’m addicted. And when I don’t eat it, I feel better, my face is clearer, and I don’t have the guilt associated with eating it. Even better, I don’t crave it when I don’t eat it!!
But the real thing I struggle with is beating myself up over it. I struggle with this idea of being perfect. Or what I think “perfect” should look like. I should eat healthy, be happy all the time, have clear skin, be fit and toned with zero flaws, always look my best, etc, etc. But let’s be realistic. That. Is. Impossible. And all it does is create anxiety and unhappiness and stress!! Because here’s the harsh truth. Nobody is perfect!!! I seriously struggled with this for years! I thought I had to get good grades or my parents would be disappointed. I thought I had to please all my friends and family or they would be mad at me. I thought I had to have clear, flawless skin or I wouldn’t be loved. I thought I had to be successful in my career/life or I would be a failure. I thought I had to rush to get married and have kids or I wasn’t as good as everyone else who had that. Can you imagine how stressful this thinking is?? I was miserable!!!! And worse, I didn’t like how I treated myself.
The long and the short of it is that I had to learn to love and accept myself. I had to recognize and accept that I am not perfect. And that it’s okay!! I had to focus on progress instead of perfection. I had to calm down my overthinking and my OCD. I won’t lie to you. It wasn’t easy and it took some learning and growing and some great friends to listen to me. I learned that I put so much pressure on myself to maintain good grades and a well put together life because I didn’t want to disappoint my family, in particular, my parents. I still struggle with this and care too much about what others think about me. What I tell myself every day is that I am the only person who can live my life. And everyone is going to judge and have an opinion. Not everyone is going to agree with my decisions. But who cares!!! It’s MY life. I’m the one who has to live with my decisions and choices. And the only person I should focus on making happy is myself. Because I am not responsible for other people’s happiness. No, I’m not going to purposefully make someone miserable, but every person is responsible for their own happiness. You have to find that within yourself first, otherwise you won’t be happy with anyone else either.
So I totally went off on a tangent there since I started with cookies and over-indulging. But it’s all related. It’s a continuous struggle to be okay with having a treat every now and again. And it’s been an ongoing battle to make my own decisions without worrying about what others will think. I’ve definitely improved drastically from where I used to be. And I continue to improve every day. But it’s still a struggle. One that I haven’t shared with many people because I felt ashamed that I lacked the self control to not eat (or overeat) the yummy treats. I also felt ashamed that I wasn’t perfect…that I couldn’t live up to this “ideal” woman.
But I’ll be the first person to tell you that I am SO MUCH happier without those thoughts. I am not perfect. And I am 100% okay with that. So I enjoy a sweet treat every now and again…big deal. I eat it slowly and really savor what I’m eating. There’s no sense in making myself feel bad for doing so. Enjoy life!! We only live it once!! But do it wisely and mindfully. Take care of your body and your mind and it will take care of you. I know that overindulging negatively affects me, so I have to be mindful of how I’m eating. Oh. And to be clear on my overindulging, I had one cookie yesterday and one today. That doesn’t make me a bad person!! It makes me someone who likes cookies. But who doesn’t?!?!
The main takeaway is that you should be happy and healthy however that works for you. And don’t beat yourself up for little slip-ups. Give yourself permission to enjoy those treats!! And give yourself permission to NOT be perfect!!! You know all those things you didn’t get done today? They will still be there tomorrow!! You don’t have to be superwoman (or man) and get everything done all at once. All you can do is take it one step at a time.
Smile :-). It’s another beautiful day!! And you are amazing exactly as you are!!
With love and wellness,
It’s been a busy week…or couple of weeks! I’m in the process of moving and finishing up teaching at my alma mater and life has been super busy! Every day has flown by, and I can’t believe we’re already to Friday! I move on Saturday and I’m still scrambling to get all my stuff packed. Packing is craziness, I tell you! But enough about that. I know you’re dying to hear about the last part of my story! So here we go…
On top of everything else I’ve talked about, I am also a big advocate for physical fitness and moving your body. I’ve always been into sports and being physically fit. I can remember waking up early on the weekends when I was in middle school to work out; remember step aerobics? Yeah, that was me. Seriously…in middle school. I ran track, played softball, played powder puff football (in college), played kickball (in my adult years and more for fun), and just generally enjoyed working out…yes, I’m one of THOSE people! I like moving my body and seeing what it can do for me. In my day job with DoD, I am the PT coordinator and have been trained in physical fitness. I also know that not every person will benefit from the same types of exercise or sports. Like everything else, you have to find what works for you; more importantly, you have to find and do what you ENJOY! Because working out should be fun, not work. I joined Crossfit Takeover (http://www.crossfittakeover.com) in February 2014, and I haven’t looked back. I have to admit, I was scared at first. The thought of walking into a Crossfit gym…I’d heard all the stories and pictured all these bad ass athletes and then thought of me walking in and looking like a complete fool. Mind you, I’d had knee surgery in May 2013 – I tore my ACL and my meniscus in an attempt to run a Tough Mudder. Needless to say, I won’t be doing that again. But here I am, February 2014, wanting to get back in shape but not really knowing where to start. So I walk into CTO and the rest, as they say, is history. The coaches were beyond helpful and welcoming, and the other members (i.e., all those bad ass athletes) were so friendly and encouraging. I love Crossfit, and I truly believe it’s something everyone can do and benefit from. The workouts are different every day and they truly challenge you. I’ve done so much more than I ever thought possible, and I am stronger and healthier and more fit than before my knee surgery, when I thought I was super fit. Anyways – I didn’t mean to go off on a Crossfit tangent, but my point is to find something that drives you to get to the gym every day. And that’s what I’m here for – to help you find what works for you and, more importantly, to help hold you accountable to keeping on track. Whether it’s getting out for a 30-minute walk after dinner or playing kickball or another fun sport or joining a local gym, get your body moving!! You’ll benefit in so many ways!
As you can see, it’s been a long road, one that continues even today, but it’s been such an amazing one. I’ve learned so much about myself, becoming healthier and happier and having more energy than I ever thought possible. My hormones have started regulating, my face is finally clearing up (except when I overindulge in those sugary treats!), my sleep has improved drastically, and my anxiety has nearly diminished! The journey has been a fun one, albeit a frustrating one. I’ve done most of it on my own, which can be discouraging and disheartening. In all my research, it led me to IIN and I kept being drawn back to it over the course of a year. I loved how I felt and what I was seeing happening to my body and my state of mind. I felt a spark of passion and excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time, especially in my current job. I decided, after a lot of soul searching and questioning, that I needed to enroll in IIN and follow my heart. I knew that I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives, the same way that I’ve made changes in my life. But I want to make this an easier, more fun process for all of you! It was a lonely road to get where I am today, but I’m here to make this journey one you can share with a like-minded individual; an accountability partner, so to speak.
The truth of the matter is that every individual is different. There’s nothing saying that what works for me will work for anyone else. It’s what we call bio-individuality. As it is often said in the nutrition world, one person’s food is another person’s poison. No two individuals have the same needs, whether it is physically, emotionally, mentally, or nutritionally. Just as I worked with myself (really, experimented), I’ll work with you to help you find what foods work to nourish your body. I coach based on the principles that not only do we nourish ourselves with the foods we choose to eat, but also by balancing our lifestyle as a whole through lifestyle nourishment. This includes our relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality. My role as a Health Coach is to motivate, support, and help you reach your personal health goals. I’ll work with you to make positive changes step by step in a healthy way that is personalized and easily integrated into your diet and lifestyle.
You may be asking yourself why a health coach? What are the benefits of having a health coach? Well, here are a few:
With love and wellness,
Welcome back! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and spent it with loved ones! This was the first year I hosted Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and, if I do say so myself, it was a huge success! We had a great day (albeit a busy one) and we enjoyed great company and even better food! So think back to my last post when I was talking about my health problems and how I was attempting to fix them on my own. I ended it with a discussion on juice cleanses and how they were great, but didn’t really work for me.
So onto 2013…I decided I would become vegan and gluten-free and continue my quest to cook real, whole foods. I’d also been doing a lot of online research about acne and how to cure the underlying hormonal issues that were a problem. A lot of the other issues I was having (anxiety, insomnia, etc.) were also related to my underlying hormone problems. Of course, the dermatologist wanted to put me back on antibiotics or for me to go back on birth control (I took myself off them in 2011 – that’s a whole other post). They also wanted me to try Accutane, but after reading the side effects and seeing how dried out it makes people really turned me off. I already had naturally dry skin; I didn’t need the extra help. Plus, the other side effects in general scared me. So I made it my journey and goal to find out how to cure myself naturally. Being put on a drug, whether it was on antibiotics or birth control, was a last resort…and one I really didn’t want to take.
In October 2013, I was still breaking out and couldn’t figure out what was causing it, even though I was eating pretty healthy and was doing my best to eat real, whole foods. I was eating a lot of nuts (as snacks and in meals as replacement items), still drinking alcohol, and had a wicked sweet tooth. I would make “healthy” sweet treats after dinner almost every night. I think I had myself convinced it was okay because I was using paleo ingredients. That makes it okay, right?! By that point, I had had enough. I came across a 21-day sugar detox that really spoke to me – this is the one I did: http://balancedbites.com/category/21-day-sugar-detox. I knew I needed to break my addiction to sugar…because yes, sugar is addictive. Once you have some, your body continues to crave more and more of it. I stopped drinking alcohol, cut out the sweet treats, limited the amount of fruit I was eating, and quit eating food that had sugar in it or converted to sugar after eating it. Two weeks into it, my skin was clearing up and I started craving meat like you wouldn’t believe. Specifically, I started craving bacon. I learned to finally listen to what my body needed and give it the right fuel to keep me going. I started eating meat again and have more energy and feel so much better than I did before. I have my sugar moments still, but it’s definitely not as bad as it once was. And I learned that sugar and eating a lot of nuts, specifically almonds, triggers my acne. It’s taken me years to figure this out, and sometimes it’s still a learning process. I’ve also tried my hand at a couple Whole 30s – http://whole30.com, which is 30 days of paleo eating; i.e, taking out alcohol, bread/gluten, grains/rice, any sugar, etc. I feel so much better when I eat that way, but it is very restrictive and time consuming. It truly is meant as a reset for your system, not as a way to eat forever.
I also recently started using Essential Oils and became a Wellness Advocate with DoTerra. I was a little skeptical at first as to how using oils like that would work for me. But I don’t like taking medicine and I don’t like using things that aren’t natural on my skin. So little by little, I tried them out. I used different oils for headaches, which I tend to get when I’m stressed. I was amazed when they worked! I also started using different oils for PMS symptoms and cramps. Once I found the right combination and when to use them, I was once again amazed they worked. I now use essential oils for almost everything. I use lemon in my water in the morning to help flush my system and get the day started right. I use lavender, frankincense, and melaleuca as part of my face moisturizer in the mornings and evenings. I also use lavender and a blend called serenity at night on my feet and in a diffuser to help me sleep. And when I get bug bites (which is often), I either use lavender or a mix of peppermint and oregano to help stop the itching. I recently used a mixture of coconut oil and lavender on my boyfriend’s feet when he had a massive amount of bug bites from a night spent in dirty water. Within days, his feet were healed and clearing up with no itching. I’m amazed at how these oils work, and I continue to learn more about them every day.
I also stopped using any products with ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce or had to look up to learn what it was. I use all natural products for my face wash and I use coconut oil and tamanu oil in conjunction with the essential oils as my moisturizer. I buy natural shampoo and conditioner. Anything you put ON or IN your body affects you! Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so whatever you put on it will be instantly absorbed. So it makes sense that if you’re using highly processed lotions and soaps that your internal system is going to have that much more to detox out. Add that to any highly processed foods you’re eating and your body has to work that much harder to flush it all out! It’s amazing how all the little changes add up to a happier, healthier version of myself!
I’ll end this post on that note and hope that you have a beautiful Monday! And a happy first day of December! I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by! 24 days til Christmas!! How’s your shopping coming along??
With love and wellness,