For most of my clients, A LOT has to happen BEFORE they consider spending money to help themselves.
It might be that they’ve run out of energy, like an energizer bunny (remember the commercial?) that finally runs out of juice.
Or they’re feeling the sadness and lack of hope that comes from putting themselves on hold and others first ALL the time.
It could even be a health condition or diagnosis like prediabetes or high blood pressure that surprises their conscious mind, but is completely unsurprising to that unconscious self that’s been feeling neglected and ignored for many years…
Why is it that women who routinely step up for others, solving everyone else's problems and lending a hand without hesitation, are willing to spend years, even decades, in personal limbo? They want energy and vibrant health but settle for not having either... they are dying a little inside about their weight or their uncontrollable snacking or eating habits but do nothing to...
I bet you haven't really thought much lately about what lies beneath many of your decisions and daily routines. What if you (and almost everyone else on the planet) have been unconsciously going for what is comfortable INSTEAD OF what enlivens you and matters to you?
I'm thinking about this now because I just finished a workshop about confidence. We were challenged to accept that getting out of our comfort zone was key. The challenge we were given (over the lunch break) was to step into the shower and take a freezing cold shower for 30 seconds.
Getting your body acclimated to the cold has proven health benefits (and a few risks for those not in great shape, so read up first.) I know this.
This was also a showpiece activity for the first part of the workshop.
Did I do it?
No way. There are lots of excuses I could make, such as we only had 20 minutes in which to do this AND grab lunch, I've done this practice before etc... but the cold (no...
In 2020, Covid-19 has placed a spotlight on the immune system.
In conversations about health and wellness, the immune system doesn't come up much. Until now, we've tended to talk about obesity and heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Those of us with a passion for prevention and maximizing our human 'health-span' generally talk about lifestyle and taking action to avoid these chronic conditions, while the rest of the medical community talks about managing poor health (after it arrives) with medications. The functionality of the hugely complicated miracle that is the immune system has been assumed to be fine until we get sick and either undergo a treatment which is known to derail the immune system (such as chemo for cancer), or are diagnosed with an immune disorder. Most of us don't have any real idea of the state of our own immune system and how it might handle a new, major threat like Covid-19.
The Covid-19 response is still evolving. What is unknown...
I knew setting a 30 day walking challenge in the midst of an unusually blustery winter in Denver would be a challenge. Day 1 was exhilarating, walking in the park, seeing the geese and the cross-country skiers, enjoying the sun and the blinding whiteness of the snow.
Day 6 - not so much. I'd struggled a bit in the subsequent gray, bone-chilling days. I'd shortened my walks, and I'd even considered substituting time on the treadmill at the gym for the time outdoors my heart really wanted.
I'm not sure what happened on Day 6. I didn't walk. I could write a paragraph of explanations and excuses - but as a health coach I know that arguing FOR your limitations just reinforces them, so I won't.
The critical piece for me (as I know it is for you too when you don't follow through on a planned healthier action) is what I do THE NEXT day. What I say to myself. How I manage and generate my energy.
It is snowing a little bit right now. But I really don't care. I can already see that...
It's February. It's cold. The news is dire. Even the cat has been sleeping more than usual. And I'd been off-task and out of sorts for over a week.
So I decided to go for a walk.
NOT the obvious choice. We'd had 3 days of snow in the past week in Denver - over 14 inches. I'd talked myself out of going to the gym all week. "The roads are icy!" "The flu is everywhere!" my disaster-mongering brain whispered to me.
The day before was the icing on the cake as far as losing all self-respect went.
I'd eaten roughly my own weight that day (ok, really a lot less than that), culminating in a pizza delivery (thank goodness somebody was driving in the snow. Relax! I tipped prodigiously, ok?) I'd watched A LOT of Amazon Prime. And I'd had a vague uneasy feeling all day, that feeling of not being very happy with myself and my choices.
So I woke this morning wanting to avoid that feeling of anxiousness about not doing better - but not sure I'd pull it off. And then I went for a walk. I started out...
There's a lot of confusion out there about prediabetes. What is it? Why do I have it? Is it really that big a deal?
Prediabetes is a BIG deal.
Often, prediabetes is described as "slightly high blood sugar". It is easy to feel a false sense of security. "Slightly" anything doesn't sound so bad, does it?
Here's what that "slightly high" blood sugar really means: INTERNAL METABOLIC ARMAGEDDON.
"Slightly high blood sugar" is the tip of the iceberg - the bit we can see. It is the warning that 'here be dragons'. It hints at the giant, invisible monster hiding beneath so perilous it can sink a Titanic.
When blood sugar starts to go up, it is a signal that our body's internal systems are unraveling.
Our HERO BODIES take whatever we throw at them - dozens of years of pizza and donuts and binge-watching TV and sugary drinks as big as our heads - and cope. And cope. And try to cope. And start to fail to cope...
Until we have "slightly high blood sugar".
I recently came across another one of those "Ultimate 3 day city travel guides" - this one for Paris. My husband and I recently spent a month in Paris, and I realized as I read their tips that MINE would be TOTALLY different.
Travel is my delight and my love (in addition to my excellent hubby and my Siamese). I've been excessively and unrepentantly in love with travel for over 30 years, and I know that I need to pay more attention now to what I'm eating and how much I'm walking and exercising before a trip than I used to. Especially when I'm going to a place with amazing patisserie, bread, cheese, wine... you know what I'm talking about!
But I digress. My other love - health and wellness coaching - stole the show there for a moment!
Here are (in no particular order) 6 experiences and planning tips we've discovered during several long trips to Paris. Enjoy!
1. Please please please spend some time listening to jazz and drinking rose at one of the barges along the Seine!...
What if I told you that:
You'll hear all kinds of descriptions of prediabetes, each of which gives you a piece of the puzzle that is prediabetes. Prediabetes is 'slightly high blood sugar". Prediabetes is "insulin resistance" due to being overweight. Prediabetes is when "your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes". All true - and for many of my clients, all underwhelming.
A description of prediabetes that in my experience is very helpful and motivating, because it actually gives you a visual that points towards what you need to do to stop prediabetes, is that prediabetes occurs when calorie and sugar intake have been so high, for so long, that the liver becomes overwhelmed and fat begins to deposit in our internal organs - organs...
Do you think that switching to honey or brown sugar, or buying sugar free foods is going to help if you have prediabetes or are worried about developing prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes? Think again... AND avoid these 7 mistakes:
#1 Using large amounts of honey, maple syrup or brown sugar instead of white sugar - and thinking it will help. Truth is ... they're all about the same to your body. The good news is that in a month or so, as you decrease added sugars, you'll get used to less-sweet versions of the foods you eat often. Your tastes WILL change... you just have to be patient and tough it out for the first few weeks. Try plain oatmeal with some frozen or fresh blueberries, have fruit for desserts or snacks, and for a treat: unsweetened yogurt with a little vanilla extract, fresh berries, cocoa powder, and a dusting of crushed walnuts or almonds should do the trick!
#2 Buying lots of sugar-free foods. Most foods sold as 'sugar-free' are PROCESSED foods that you should stay away...
I've been a nutritionist and health coach for over 20 years.
Whenever I hear, "I'm too busy" or "I'm too tired" or "I'm too stressed" to make a start with eating better or losing weight or starting exercise -
I KNOW I'm talking to a person who really really really NEEDS TO.
If you've caught yourself saying (or thinking) one or more of the above, realize that the upside, for you, is HUGE if you find a way to give yourself permission to make a start to improve your health and wellness and energy.
Our busy modern lives often create the perfect storm, where we are so rushed and exhausted and frazzled we don't have time to consider what it's all for and whose life this is, anyway.
Here's a small gift for you... a bright, cheery encouragement to take care of YOU. Do a couple of these things every day for a week, and watch yourself begin to FEEL BETTER - and the resistance to making that healthy change fade away. If you'd like to download it for extra reminders...