You shouldn't live on a diet. I hear the phrase, "I'm not dieting, it is a lifestyle," but what you eat should not be what makes your lifestyle. What you eat should fit in your lifestyle. I feel like we have this whole living thing backwards, or at least all mixed up.We are bombarded with theories and routines that encourage:
We are supposed to read labels for those terrible ingredients that we don't understand. We are told to avoid certain foods or ingredients and blame entire food groups for our weight, blood tests and lack of energy.What if I am not hungry at noon?
What if my body needs a little more energy than what my diet budgets?
Our bodies don't burn the exact same amount of energy every day, yet I know people who eat very close to the same number of calories every single day!
I studied over 150 dietary theories for my health coach training and I wonder what in the world we are trying to accomplish!
Do you think third world countries follow any of these diets? Have they even heard of them. What about first world counties just a century ago? How did they know what to eat if they weren't told about carbohydrates, glycemic index or even serving size?
I will give you a hint, they listened to their bodies rather than the TV or radio. Instead of trying dozens of "lifestyle changes" (read diets) why not slow down, take a deep breath and close your eyes.
Now, just listen.
Not just with your ears, but with your mouth, skin, tummy, nose, head....your whole body.
Does your tummy gurgle and feel bloated after every meal? No?
Do you crash everyday at 2pm or just after you eat drive thru food?
Do you feel best when you eat burgers and brats from the grill with your friends in the back yard?
Instead of counting calories and reading labels on those packaged foods, try reading your body and your symptoms (or lack there of) when you eat. Take note of where, when and with whom you eat meals with. Those are the ingredients that most seem to forget. Walk through the produce section or farmers market and let your nose guide you rather than coupons, sales and diet programs. Plan meals with the seasons and day to day needs. You don't need a grand buffet dinner every week. A few times a year-sure! Celebrate! Indulge! Feast! But on a Tuesday night after skipping lunch.....not a good choice.
There are times when we should eat less and times when we should have seconds. But don't make those choices based on how much money you spent or how everyone around you is eating or because you feel down. So stop focusing on the foods you are supposed to eat or are supposed to avoid and start focusing on your body. What does your body crave?
We crave slow digesting foods in the cold weather to keep our body warm and fast digestion and hydrating foods in the hot weather.Do you think any there are any watermelon binges in February in North Dakota? But watermelon won't last long in Florida in August. Listen to your body. You may have been ignoring your body signals for so long that you need help reading the signs. Your body may need to re-learn to give you signals after years of being ignored.
Communication is key to any relationship. This includes your body and your brain.
Learning to listen to your body is like finding the perfect pair of jeans that fit perfectly. You feel good, you look good, and you are comfortable.
Also, your body probably doesn't know what those packaged and processed foods are, so give your body whole, real foods so it can communicate better with you.
One last thing, don't let your body image speak louder than your body. Love your body all the time and it will love you back. I promise.
I leave in 3 weeks for San Diego and I’m excited to see my sister and to attend a workshop for my business. But, I fear I won’t look like the girls do in SoCal. They are all about looking gorgeous, and that, I am afraid, is not something I am familiar with.
I know what I need to do and where I need to go to look better, but I don't want to go. I deeply dread it. So many people seem to love going and they always look great. But when I go, if I go, I sometimes don’t even get out of my car. I sit in the parking lot and try to persuade myself to go in. But most of the time I just go to Starbucks or a drive thru and promise myself I will go tomorrow.
Finally, I get the nerve. I feel nervous and insecure. I am sure everyone is looking at me and wondering why I’m there. I don’t look anything like the other people that seem so at home here. I shouldn’t have come—who cares how I look anyway?
I start off by wondering around as if I know what I am doing. Then I see her, she comes towards me and asks if I need help. I freeze up and say, “No, thanks.” Then I dart off to the restroom where I waste as much time as I can before sneaking back out to my car. Why is this so hard for me?
Think I am talking about the gym? Nope. This is how I feel about shopping. Yes, shopping for clothes, shoes, or accessories.
After 40 years of avoiding clothes shopping and feeling clueless about fashion, I think I’m finally feeling more confident. But it took a long time and some really dear friends.
For me, I feel comfortable as soon as I step into the gym. Some gyms are intimidating and others more casual, but no matter what, I know what I’m doing there and I can manage just about any piece of equipment or fitness class. I’m pretty open to learn from others and to share my expertise. But one step into a clothing store….Especially those big ones with tons of racks of discount clothes, and I am toast.
At the mall or any establishment where clothes or accessories are sold, I feel nervous and insecure. I am sure everyone is looking at me and wondering why I'm there. Wondering if I know how unstylish I am and maybe even thinking that I know what I'm shopping for. But I don’t know what I am doing.
I never know how to shop. I walk in and I feel a change in the air. It smells different, the lighting is weird and the clothes look strange. My stomach gets knotted and I freeze up.
I feel like the sales people don't really want to help me because I'm too much work. I don’t understand their language - fashion jargon and extended color naming is way over my head. Plus, I don’t ever think about accessories like shoes, purses or jewelry. No clue here.
I usually leave the store exhausted and feeling old and insecure. I rarely get what I go there for and I wonder why any woman in the world would do this on purpose.
This week, a good friend took me shopping. She dressed casually in a ball cap, a cotton top and shorts. She stayed nearby and asked me what I like. I thought she was going to just tell me what to buy, but she did not. She showed me some different tops and somehow read my mind, or possibly my face grimaces about which I had no interest in.
After I relaxed a little she showed me some things she thought I would like. They looked weird, but she said to just try them on and see. So I did. Some looked good and some did not. But each try-on got easier. Then I began to chime in about colors or styles I liked more. The time seemed to go more quickly and my “yes” pile started growing. My stomach was still in knots and my fear was only muted some, but I managed to buy 7 or 8 outfits for my trip to San Diego.
I am not sure if I can do it by myself, but I am sure I can call my dear friend when I need to go again.
When I think about those I’ve trained or coached, I wonder if this is what she goes through (or avoids going through) at the gym. When I meet her at the gym and I can see it in her eyes and body language; it looks just like all the same things I feel when I’m shopping. Fear, insecurity, overwhelm, and ignorance. And I know why I am there.
I am there to gently guide her and protect her and get her through it nice and easy. I understand that the exercises are not what she fears. The sore muscles are not a concern. She is insecure about a world that is not hers. Where she is supposed to go to feel and look good. A place that is supposed to improve her health and reduce her stress, but she feels stress from the moment she commits to meet me at the gym. She feels uncomfortable and out of her element until I can create a comfortable and safe place for her in the world that I feel most comfortable.
My goal is to make you feel at ease. To feel empowered about overcoming your fears. Walking into the gym (or for me the mall) is very tough. The excuses are endless for not going; costs too much, too busy, no time, too crowded, worries about doing it wrong, fear of judgment. You will breathe a little easier when you have a guide that will assure your security and comfort. I will be your native tour guide.
Contact me if you are intimidated by anything that is between you are your health goals.
Failure versus Success: This is such an interesting thing to me. When we fail at a goal or task we feel horrible. We are disappointed, and deflated and spend time reviewing where we went wrong and what we could do differently. But when we succeed, we feel like we shouldn’t brag, we credit all those who support us and we move on to the next goal with not much more than a little extra oomph in our spirit.
Why not feel the same for both success and failure? After all, most great successes were at the end of many failures with edits, updates and reorganization. It may not seem as glamorous to fail as it is to succeed, but I don’t think it is really failing.
Failing, to me, is not doing anything to reach for your goals.
If I just wrote my goals on a piece of paper and did nothing to pursue them then I WILL FAIL. But any attempts to accomplish those goals is definitely success, right? The point where your goal is complete is the end, not the beginning.
When I work on my goals, I put in my head that I may fail or succeed at each step. But each step is success no matter the outcome. Keep moving, right? Or as the famous Dori says from Finding Nemo, “Keep Swimming”. It is hard to know what works and what doesn’t if you don’t try anything.
Another imbalance when it comes to failure versus success and winning versus losing is in those close matches. Say you come in second place in a race by half a second. How are you not a winner? Is this not a success?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate of the new everyone is a winner concept, but instead, show what it is you gain by playing the game. If you are playing the game to get the trophy than your success is limited. If you are playing the game because you love it and want to continually improve then you are a winner-you are successful.
There are plenty of times you may find success or win when you barely try and then there are times you almost win or almost succeed and you will feel a rush! A rush of adrenaline that will fuel your journey to success. This, to me is the ultimate trophy, prize, and success. Man, I am pumped just talking about this.
I wish we had better terms and understanding of the growth and journey in reaching goals. Artists will credit their muse. Athletes will credit their coach. Stars will credit their agent.
But your passion is the igniter. Passion is the fuel for success.
Doing what excites you and not measuring the outcome but rather measuring the journey and all the steps along the way will ensure a feeling of winning, of success and of freedom.
Do you ever get a surprise gift—out of the blue—for no apparent reason?
I love that! But my version of a little gift may be different than yours.
About once a month I am asked to speak at an event about health and fitness. This is such a gift to me. I am not great at taking compliments. Direct compliments are difficult for me to accept. But when someone asks me to speak about what I am passionate about, I take that as the ultimate compliment. I feel honored that I am the one they chose to speak about a subject that fills me with passion.
I am a not-so-shy introvert. That may sound weird, but what I mean by that is that I am not shy, but I prefer my own space and get drained when I am in crowds like parties, or events. I feel like I have to be “on” the whole time trying to be pleasant and interactive with others but really, I just want to talk to a couple people I know and leave.
I am a control freak about pretty much everything; I think that may be part of the introvert in me. But when I am speaking to a group, I feel in control and in my world. I love to see the faces looking back at me engaged in my stories and words. I love to see their emotions on their faces as I speak words that they can relate to in their world. I feel connected to my audience. I feel inspired while I inspire them.
My inspiration may not be life changing or even memorable very long after my words stop. But I love the idea that I create a ripple by telling my story or teaching my passion. I hope that my passion is contagious. When others speak or live their passion, I get fueled with excitement and a feeling of boundlessness. It is fuel for my own passion.
I love when people tell me that they remembered a story I told once and that helped them through something recent. These are the best surprise gifts.
What is your passion? What do you get excited about? We are all creative in our own ways and sometimes we don't even realize it.
Here is a gift I think you will enjoy. If you have already read this, I think you should read it again. really dig in and get to know yourself.
My favorite advice to give is when I tell people they need to romance themselves--like a young man courting his princess. Be giving and caring to YOURSELF. Because you 100% Deserve it!
It is so important to spend time with your kids in a way where you both feel equal. In the relationship between parent and child there are so many ways the child is looking for approval, nurturing and praise.
The parent also looks to the child for innocence, energy and a glimpse into the child they once were. These are great and appropriate for the parent and the child. I think that we (as parents) also need to spend time on a level playing field with out kids. Get down on the floor and roll play dough between your fingers like they do. Open up the coloring book and get out the crayons and markers for some fun art.
Instead of sitting on the bench at the park, climb the monkey bars and swing in the swings. Nothing makes you feel younger than spending some time playing at the playground. You may be sore the next day, but it will be worth it.
Add to that a date night with your child. I think it is important for fathers (or other male role models) to take daughters on dates and mothers (or other female role models) to take sons on dates. This should be an age appropriate version of a grown up date.
Some ideas are:
Spending time together on a level playing field is an amazing nurturing experience for both of you. Sometimes a child feels so much pressure to follow all the rules and stay out of the way of adults that they don’t get a chance to see who you really are. And beyond the discipline and education, it is vital that we teach out kids how important it is to love who they are.
The best way to give them this lesson is to:
First: Be who you are in front of them and be comfortable doing it.
Second: Allow them to be themselves in front of you and show them how much you love their authenticity.
I remember when my older boys were at the gym playing basketball while I was doing my workout upstairs. I watched them shooting hoops for a few minutes and they asked if it was time to leave. I said, let’s play some HORSE first. They kinda laughed and said, ah, sure mom. So we each took our turns and played a round. We really had a good time and I think after they got over the surprise that their short mom could shoot a basket, they realized that being a mom doesn’t mean I am not competitive or fun or any other stereotypes kids have about “old folks”.
I am not saying be best friends with your kids. But I think a good parent can be their kids friend and parent. As long as the kid and parent both know the boundaries and expectations.
Buy your daughter some flowers or some jewelry for no reason.
I love this suggestion because my dad rarely did this for my mom and I think that may be why I feel uncomfortable and unsure when my husband buys me a gift for no reason. My dad is a wonderful father and was a great husband to my mom. He was just not one to buy gifts very often. I do remember every once in a while he would drive me to his favorite burger place and we would each get a burger, fries and Coke and spend time together. That meant a lot to me. I also remember as an adult my dad buying me earrings once. I wish he would have done a few more things like that for me. Again, I am not complaining, my dad rocks, but I do want my kids to have it even better than I did.
Whether you have great memories of your relationship with your own parents or not, I am sure you want to create better memories for your children about your relationship with them. Try some of these suggestions or some of your own ideas. I assure you that the experience will be beneficial beyond explanation.
Please comment below with your experiences or ideas to share with others. This is such a simple habit to start with a huge return on investment. Remember, we teach our kids how to treat others and how they should expect to be treated. Lead by example.Missy Martin, Holistic Health Coach and Founder of My Momentum Fitness, LLC
Do you need a Coach?
People who hire coaches are success oriented people. Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, and so many other successful in their field have hired people to fine tune and elevate their talents. Coaching is a tight focus on your current skills to improve them even more.
Hiring a personal trainer or coach to make personal or business, or fitness improvements is a big investment. One thing most people don't realize is that elevating your current level in any genre is very intimidating. For one, when you make the choice to hire someone you may be at a plateau in your development. As a coach, I see that as a success and I want to use the momentum that got you to this point to launch you to your next phase.
I find that most people choose a coach or trainer based on a referral from someone they know. That is great because you can find out some information before meeting the coach. Go ahead and get at least three referrals and make plans to interview with potential coaches.
The problem for most people is that they are anxious to start seeing results so they choose an immediate start date before find the right coach. This is a big mistake. You will waste a lot of time if you choose the wrong coach and you may feel stuck or not leave because you are already invested.
Are you curious about yoga? I love yoga, but I have to admit, that it wasn't that many years ago that I wasn't really sure what exactly yoga entailed. I saw pictures of skinny, hippie looking people with folded up legs saying ommmmmmmm with candles lit in the background. I remember the first yoga class I took and how I felt like I stuck out as the non-yogi in the class. I wore sneakers, not sandals, I wore workout shorts, not yoga pants and I didn't even own a yoga mat.
Well, I made it through the class and mostly enjoyed it. But I only went back for two or three more classes. It just didn't feel like my thing. I tried again a few more times over the next few years and just 4 years after that first uncomfortable class, I was taking my yoga teacher training class. My point? Try again, if it doesn't feel right. Find the class that feels right. And if after you try several types of yoga and different teacher you still don't love it; then don't do yoga. I won't be hurt.
I have tried a dozen different kick boxing classes and I did not feel right in any of them, it just isn't my thing. But I knew so many people who just knew I would love their class....nope, I tried it but I just don't have the coordination to punch and kick.
Many people ask me what type of yoga I teach or how hard my yoga class is. I am trained in Hatha Yoga, which is the most widely practiced yoga practice in the West, and is based on the breath. My classes start with a simple warm up, followed by 3-5 sun salutations then I run through some beginner level sequences. I like to start with standing poses, followed by floor poses from the table position (on hands and knees). I continue to prone poses followed by seated poses then end with supine poses. I end my classes with stage-by-stage relaxation calming the entire body so my students leave relaxed, refreshed and less stressed.
I find that people unfamiliar with yoga see it in one of two ways; as a stretching class or as a contortionist contest. It is more like a stretching class but the stretches and poses have specific functions that I explain to my students. I can lead with poses focusing on strengthening lower back muscles, or improving digestions, or increasing sex drive, or reducing allergies and sinus ailments. Yoga is a hygienic practice, meaning it is a way of healing and strengthening the body’s systems so they are more efficient and effective.
I keep my classes in the beginner level for two main reasons. 1. I want to avoid intimidation and fear of yoga for my students. 2. I feel that no matter your level of fitness or yogic ability you can benefit from a relaxing, beginner level yoga class.
Most generalized information about yoga is referring to Hatha Yoga. The word Hatha is derived from the two root words Ha=sun and Tha=moon referring to the left and right nostrils respectively. Breathing through the nose is considered harmonizing and balanced like the sun and the moon, positive and negative.
If you are interested in trying a yoga class, or if you tried yoga and it just didn’t feel right, my advice for you is to try it again. Every class is different, and every yoga teacher is different. If you can, talk to the yoga teacher before taking the class and ask what level the class is, how quickly the poses transition and how long the class is.
Here are a few more tips for your first yoga class:
**One more thing- be sure to tell you teacher you are new to yoga and speak up if you have any questions .
I would love to hear about your first yoga class experience. Please comment below.
Do you think you can get a fit body or lose weight if you don’t have a gym membership or a home gym? I think one of the best ways to get fit is with body weight training. It takes focus and discipline to use your body as resistance. I love that body weight training requires stabilizing your muscles to help you maintain your balance and form. And this tightens your core! Woohoo for a flatter tummy!
Using exercise machines is great for beginners because the machines are created to support your body and the weight you are moving. Free weights require more stabilizing muscles, but there are more chances for injuries to the weaker muscles when you are lifting higher weights. Using your body as resistance, like doing pushups or squats, directs the focus on specific muscles for strength and engages smaller muscles for balance and correct form.
Some of my favorite exercises are body weight exercises. Running, dancing, walking, burpees, jumping jacks, are all great aerobic workouts. Pushups, lunges, squats, crunches and leg extensions are all great resistance exercises. Alternate between aerobic and resistance exercise for a great circuit routine. Are you ready to give this a try?
First, write a list of 4 exercise per muscle group plus 4 aerobic exercises and use a deck of cards to determine the exercise and quantity. Flip a card and do the number the card is and the exercise the suit is. 10 of hearts is 10 x lunges. After 52 cards you will definitely be sweating and building muscles!!
This is a great workout for kids, adults, & teens. Take a deck of cards with you when you travel to keep up with your exercise routine. You may even want to exchange a week of your regular exercise with the card workout just to change things up a little bit.
Good luck, and I hope you enjoy my tip.
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We all know the importance of exercise, but finding the motivation is tough. Some common excuses I hear for not exercising are:
All of those excuses are easy to use when you use them on yourself. But if someone is depending on you to workout with, they are just bad excuses.
Why not learn a sport or activity together? Try a class at your gym together. Walk the walking trail together, do a workout video in your living room together.
Plan a month of workouts together and mark you calendar. People who workout with a buddy are a lot less likely to miss workouts. And another bonus is that it is good for your relationship too! Exercising with others is a social experience also. Maybe you walk around the block with your neighbor on Mondays and Wednesdays after work. You are getting exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and companionship! What a great way to reduce stress and feel great!! Or you can try a fitness class at the gym with a coworker. 3 days a week at lunch you get to try something new, get fit and grow your friendship!!
Next week I will tell you about getting a great workout without any equipment, without a gym membership and for no cost.
Fats and oils have gotten a bad rap for several decades. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and antioxidant phenolic phytonutrients. Yellow-colored oils are rich in beta-carotene and have a fruity flavor. Green-colored oils are rich in chlorophyll and poly phenolic compounds that provides antioxidants.
Here are some basics about Olive oil:
Storage - Store in a darkly tinted container in a cool dark location. You can extend the life of olive oil by storing in the refrigerator after opening.
Preparation - No preparation needing. Use at room temperature to top foods, or use for sautéing or roasting.
Cooking - Heating the oil does reduce nutritional value and heating at very high heat may cause toxicity.
*Tip Olive oil is full of calories avoid consuming more than about 2-3 tablespoons per day.
Olive oil Recipe
1cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 fresh lemon juice
4-5 cloves of garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Press and chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes
Whisk lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and pepper
Slowly pour in the olive oil and whisk into a creamy dressing. The slower you add the oil and the faster you whisk, the thicker the dressing.
Store in refrigerator then allow to come to room temperature before serving.