Psst… I’ll Tell You A Secret

Psst… I’ll Tell You A Secret

Image Credit: 123RF.com

When Deb and I sat down on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, to begin our most recent round of coaching, she immediately tasked me with re-creating my “bucket list.”  This was a list of 30 things that I wanted to do, be, or have in my life.  The list could consist of ANYTHING – from huge, Level 1 goals like solving the healthcare crisis in America to super-simple Level 3 goals like getting a new pair of sunglasses.  I had the entire world of options at my disposal.  I came back to session #2 with my list of 30 things and proudly read it to Deb. Like most of our clients, I quickly discovered, much to my dismay, that my list was, in fact, composed of a bunch of very rhetorical statements that I had absolutely no emotional attachment to. Damn!

So, I went back to the drawing board. I started asking myself the hard questions:

  • What do I really want?
  • How do I want to send my days?
  • What feeds my soul?
  • What things/people/events/opportunities will help me live a joyous and fulfilled life?
  • What is my PURPOSE?

So, at session #3 I present Bucket List 2.0, and although I didn’t know “HOW” a lot of that list would ever transpire, I just knew that I wanted them.

Last week, without any warning whatsoever, TWO of my Top 5 Bucket List items fell into my lap.

Anyone who has read more than 3 of my blog posts knows that I have a great affection and respect for my friend, one of the people who inspired me to start training for triathlon, Meredith Atwood.  One of my top 5 bucket list items was to collaborate with her on a program.  I didn’t know what kind of program or what the topic would be. We had kicked the tires on some concepts before, but she is always going Mach 5 with her hair on fire and the timing just wasn’t right; however, it continued to be a goal, albeit a longer-term goal.

Another of my Top 5 bucket list items was to spend my days “playing” on social media and actually get paid to do it!

So, imagine my surprise and delight when I received an email from Meredith last week that started off, “Hey lady! So. I have been marinating on a new program, and I wanted to see if you and Deb might want to be involved with.”

WHAT?

UHM, YES!

And guess what?  The platform of the program is Facebook-based, so I will indeed be spending my days “playing” on social media!

So, this brings me to the distinction between “allowing” and “forcing.” We have to ALLOW the things we want to come to us and know that if they are based in love and are in alignment with our values and our purpose, they WILL come – they might just not come on our timetable or exactly in the way we first envision them.  When we try to FORCE an outcome and exert our will, the outcome is generally not what we hoped it would be.

Now, what is this new program?  It’s called “Your Brave Mind” and you can read more about it here and here. And it’s going to be amazing!

In a nutshell, Your Brave Mind will be a series of online events (hosted on Facebook) that will each cover a different topic in the area of mental toughness.  The first event is on the bully in your brain! Cool huh?

The bully is that little voice that speaks to you whenever you try to step outside of ​the box​, tackle new challenges,​ ​or​ make a ​significant ​change in your life. Everyone has​ tha​t voice, it’s just that some bullies are much louder and meaner than others. In only 5 days you will gain the awareness​ (and tools)​ you need to tame the bully in your brain​. You will discover:

  • What​ (or who?)​ the bully is
  • Why listening to the bully is the absolute worst thing we can do if we want to change an area of our life
  • How the bully got its voice
  • Why the bully is so mean
  • Why making the decision to change will never be enough
  • How to actually change the conversation with the bully in your brain

If you have ever struggled with the mean girl/guy in your head who tells you that you are terrible or that you can’t do something, etc., then this program is for you! Come join us!

  • Cost:  $24.97
  • Forum: Online group coaching via a closed Facebook Group
  • Duration:  5 Days
  • Starts:  Monday, May 8th

Register Now!

 

I can’t wait to get started!  🙂

Self Love… A Bad Thing?

I was doing some research this morning for a new project and I pulled up my go-to word choice tool, thesaurus.com and entered the term “self-love” in the search bar. I was actually taken aback when I saw the top synonyms…

WOW!  “Conceit”… “Narcissism” … “Vainglory” (had to look that one up)… “Vanity” – OUCH!

I certainly recognize that there are people out there who have true personality disorders that take the concept of “loving themselves” to the extreme, but my goodness, is it really so bad to seek a place where you can honestly say “I love ME!”?

Why is it that it seems so normal and no one seems to notice when you loathe yourself on a daily basis, but when you start changing and challenging those beliefs, certain people want to call you a narcissist or conceited or “up on your high horse” (as my Gramma used to say)?

Back in 2010 when I decided to change my life, there was some backlash. There were people in my life who did not like the changes they were seeing in me. There were those who actually felt MY efforts to change ME were a direct offense to THEM. It both saddened and infuriated me at the same time, but I was sick and tired of hating and abusing myself in myriad ways, so I was willing to do the hard work that change at that level demands. I never purposely cut anyone out of my life, but there were definitely those who wanted no part of my new life, and so they fell away, and that still makes me sad sometimes.

Am I perfect? HA!  Soooooo far from it! But I am BETTER! Better than I was in 2010 in a million different ways. And one of those ways is that I have chosen to love myself and to accept myself in all my imperfection and to keep fighting the good fight – to become even better each and every day. Some days I succeed and other days I crash and burn hard, but I’m always striving for better.

So, when I saw the terms above listed in response to my query for a synonym for “self-love,” it was jarring. Has our society and our culture become so jaded that self-loathing is the norm and anyone who dares to drag themselves out of the pit of despair is seen as an anomaly… a weirdo… an outlier? Is that where we are now? What about our poor kids?  Do they even stand a chance if we are into the 2nd generation of self-haters? Who can they look to as a model of a healthy relationship with “self?”

What does all this mean for our future? I don’t have the answers, but I think the questions are worth pondering.

 

Changes…

Changes…

I’ve posted before about the malaise I experienced after Ironman Florida and my efforts to figure out what I wanted and what was next. It’s taken some time and patience with myself, but I’ve decided on a trajectory that will ultimately make me a happier, more fulfilled person (and I’m pretty darned happy as I sit here, so YAY ME!), and I thought y’all might be interested in finding out what that decision is. During the coaching process with Deb, she kept coaxing me to explore what I REALLY wanted out of life… not what I thought I SHOULD want… or what I thought I could get… or what other people wanted for me… but what I really wanted deep down in my soul.

That’s a really difficult exercise for a person like me who is so hyper-focused on the needs of those around her.  I am a “caretaker” by nature.  I like taking care of people and making sure they are happy and that their needs are met – often at the expense of my own goals and desires.  My nature got me in deep trouble in my marriage, because I crossed way over the line of “caretaker” and into the realm of “enabler.” Things can get really bad really quickly when you constantly enable another person’s bad behavior.  I did that for 17 years. 😦

But I digress…

It took a lot of time and persistent effort to begin to discover what I really wanted. Deb has a lot of really great exercises and tools to tease this out of a person. I spent time thinking about when I was the happiest, professionally. What were the things that really lit me up? And the thing that kept bubbling up to the surface is that I just really love to help people get past the bullshit story they keep telling themselves that continually holds them back from achieving the things they want in life. And I am MOST happy, when I do that with people in the area of health and wellness.

A long time ago, I remember my sister and I used to walk around the track at the gym and talk about how great it would be if we could get paid to eat right and exercise. LOL. Of course logic would grab hold immediately and tell us all the reasons why that was a preposterous idea. Today, I look back at all the energy we put into that concept and I know that the decisions I’ve made over the past few years are a subconscious result of all those walks! Karate… Release… triathlon… Ironman… It’s all building to this…

I’ve decided to become a Health Coach.

On May 15th I’ll embark on a one year journey of education and discovery with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach.  I know that pairing the education I’ll receive along with what I already know about the mind will be a powerful combination, and that I will be able to help A LOT of people with a boatload of knowledge, passion, desire to make a difference, and “been there, done that” experience.

What exactly IS a “health coach?” A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who works with clients to help them feel their best through food and lifestyle changes. Instead of prescribing one diet or way of exercising, Health Coaches tailor individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs. I love this definition.  I have no desire to sit down and create workout plans for clients – there are so many truly GREAT athletic coaches out there who have that part nailed – rather, I want to work with people who have a true desire to change, but just need some help unraveling all the lies they have been told throughout their entire lives about health and wellness (and maybe even their capabilities). I want to help people get their mind and body in sync with one another, because when that happens, anything is possible!

In this day and age where “healthcare” is anything BUT “health” care and most people are one health crisis away from bankruptcy, I believe that more and more people are beginning to turn away from traditional medical interventions and are looking at what they can do to support their own health and wellness and get away from heading to the doctor all the time. However, when these same people start looking around, they become positively paralyzed by all the information and misinformation that is available.  Combine this with all the lies we have been told about how to be “healthy” and it becomes apparent that people will need guides to help them sift through all the crap out there.  I intend to be one of those guides!

There’s a lot of tweaking that will have to happen and somethings may have to give somewhere along the way, but I’m very excited about this new path.

Here we grow again! 🙂

The Kids Will Eat It Too!

I spend a lot of time on social media.  In fairness, I probably spend WAY more time than I should on social media, but that’s not the point.  I see a lot of my friends who are striving to change their diets and eat healthier, post things like this (not an actual post): Tonight for dinner I ate a baked sweet potato with shredded chicken, black beans, and salsa.  It was really yummy.  I made mac & cheese for the kids.

When I see a post like this I have great empathy for that mom.  I WAS that mom for the first 7 years of my son’s life.  I went through the first half of his life as a short order cook in my own home – I made 2-3 dinners every night: Something I wanted, something my husband would eat (often very different from what I wanted), and then yet a third “meal” for our son. It was exhausting, but that’s what I thought I had to do.

My son’s diet consisted of “kid foods” – pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, PBJ, goldfish crackers, french fries, those disgusting Kid Cuisine dinners, etc.  Of course there were good foods too – he’s always loved veggies.  Anyhow, he had so many respiratory issues when he was little – asthma, allergies, pneumonia (twice) – and it seemed like he always had a cough and a runny nose. I never ever considered that his health issues and his diet could be related, and sadly our pediatrician never even asked about his nutrition because he was a normal sized kid.

Then, in 2010 everything changed.  We moved in with Deb and I had an incredible opportunity to change everything. Deb taught me that the quality of the food we put in our bodies is one of the most important things we can focus on. I still remember sitting down to dinner at Deb’s that first night.  We had roasted chicken, brown rice, and broccoli for dinner.  Josh looked at his plate, then looked at me and asked “Where’s mine?” (assuming I had made a separate dinner for him).  Deb’s daughter’s were wide-eyed. Deb and I explained to Josh that this was a “new house with new rules” and one of those rules was that dinner was dinner. He didn’t have to eat it, but there would be nothing else until breakfast. He looked at the plate, and looked at me, and back to the plate, and said “Okay.” (such a resilient boy 🙂 ) and he ate the dinner – AND HE LOVED IT! After 2-3 days, he stopped looking at his dinner plate with skepticism and started getting very inquisitive about new foods and ingredients.

In the years that followed (he’s almost 15 now), my son has developed the most expansive palate of any child I have ever met.  He loves food!  He is proud of the fact that he will try anything. He still doesn’t care for raw tomatoes or bell peppers, but he’ll eat squashes and brussel sprouts and quinoa, so I’ll take it! And a funny thing happened when we cleaned up his diet… All the respiratory issues vanished – within DAYS! POOF!  GONE!  He has missed exactly 3 days of school in the past 6 years (he had strep throat last year that took him down for a few days) due to illness. Eat well, be well… Who knew?

So, Moms who make multiple meals every night.  I don’t judge you – I was you – but give yourselves a break and let your kids try your yummy healthy food!  They will eat it – maybe not right away, but if you persist (and take away other options) they WILL eat it – and even love it!  Here are just a few tips that worked for me.

  1. Ease into it. Kids are driven by what feels good, so if they are used to chicken nuggets and french fries and you stick a plate of broccoli and brown rice in front of them, expect some push back.  But if you just start crowding out the less healthy stuff with good, wholesome food, all of a sudden they are eating healthier and better – better is a good word.
  2. Dinner is dinner. There are no separate meals – everyone eats the same thing.
  3. Involve the kids. Involve your children in menu planning.  Ask them what they would like.  If they say “PIZZA” – perhaps you could plan a make your own pizza night with sprouted grain tortillas as the crust and lots of veggie toppings. When kids have some say-so in what they are eating, they are more likely to eat it.  Same goes for meal prep. Get the kids involved in the kitchen.  If they cook it, they will probably eat it!
  4. 2-Bite Rule. My mom used this with me and I use it with Josh.  Some foods just look gross on the plate.  It is what it is.  Lots of kids won’t eat something that looks gross.  So, we have a rule:  You have to try two bites of anything new.  If you don’t like it after two bites, you don’t have to eat it, but you have to try it. They won’t automatically LOVE it, but after a few tries, they tend to accept it.
  5. Gag Food. We let each kid choose a “gag food” that they just WILL NOT eat.  For Erin it was sweet potatoes, for Nicki it was rice, and for Josh it is raw tomatoes (I think he may have been switched at birth).  They get a pass on this food, but they only get one and they can’t change it from day to day.  It took Josh 3 years to decide that raw tomatoes was indeed his gag food.

Good luck and healthy eating!