Graduated Success

Graduatedsuccess

Hello Everyone! It seems like forever since I have written. You will be hearing from me much more now that I have GRADUATED! I am so excited to announce that all my work can now be put to great use…YOU! Many who graduated before me talked about how overwhelming it can be immediately post-grad. My head nodded in acknowledgement, but little did I know how tough it would really be. As a proactive person it can be disheartening to hear “So do you have a job lined up yet?” Being a mother of two, working a part-time job, and being a full-time student there was not a lot of time for me to court potential employers or seek employment for postgrad. So immediately I applied for 50+ jobs online. It has been over a month and no word. As a go-getter sitting still is not my strength. My decision is now to focus on what I can do to gain experience in the meantime. There are still people who need my help even if it is not a company employing me. So down this foggy path of trust I go, pursuing my own business. It is exciting and scary.

Thinking about the path of this new change and challenge before me, it reminds me a lot of how people feel starting a new wellness program. Whether you are trying to eat better, get fit, attain a fitness goal, failure is a possibility. No one wants to fail. It is a reason many do not take the leap. We come up with barriers and put ourselves in boxes with excuses we falsely see as truth. It is time for us to wake up and see the facts. Yes we may fail. No failure is too big that we cannot learn and grow better from. Failure could be the key to our success. It tells you your limitations and focuses your attention on what you can actually do now.

When we can look at a big picture and are flexible to changes in that vision, failure seems much less stressful. Make a plan with graduated steps towards that vision. Refine your goals to 3 priorities and then break it down into more and more tangible steps. Look often at your progress and goals. Do you need to revise the plan? Revisions may be due to an evolved vision or complete change. It is okay to change and grow. If something doesn’t work out, use it as information and not an attack on your potential. Flexibility allows you to use failures and success as supporting steps towards ultimate success.

The toughest aspect for me is the patience. Understanding that things take time. For some reason I can extend more grace to others than to myself. We need to be fair and kind to ourselves. Getting down or frustrated doesn’t really make us more productive. Identifying complications, flaws, and strengths along with a positive attitude does. Be passionate about what you do and do the best you can. At the end of the day you can at least walk away knowing where you stand when you test your limits. If you never test and try to grow, you never can achieve your potential.

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Birthday Reflections!

Birthday Reflections!

Today I turn 27. This is scary to me, as silly as it may sound. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything and have so much left to learn. Yet upon reflecting, I see there is a lot I have done. This seems like a good day to remind myself from where I have come. Anyone who knows me understands well that I do not see myself as glowingly as others. I share this in the hopes that others can be inspired.

The incredible amount of obstacles I have faced are too many to tell, so I will focus on simply my weight and health progress. In 2005 I married the love of my life and we wanted to start a family shortly after. Try as we may it wasn’t happening. I was 126 lbs when we met and over a few years, in spite of being active I was gaining weight until one day I stepped on the scale at a frightening 209 lbs. My body looked strong, but was severely overweight. Frustrated and angry I felt like a failure, in spite of my efforts. I tried diet plans, supplements, workout videos, and gadgets. Nothing seemed to work. I found out I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and took action. Research showed that the problem was not as simple as I thought. My doctor put me on metformin and I began to use the research I found to fuel my diet. This also fueled my interest in exercise science. I decided to go back to school and major in something that could help me and others achieve a better life.

Three years later, 76 lbs lighter, and symptoms under control I finally got my prize. A beautiful baby boy. Knowing what a battle it was to get down to size I immediately got to work on losing the baby weight and dropped 54 lbs in 9 months. Soon after I dropped those pounds, I was pregnant again with a baby girl. I gained about the same with her as I did with my son. She just turned 8 months and I am already at 127, almost the same weight as when I met my husband 8 1/2 years ago. I am able to do things I wasn’t able to do before. With my symptoms under control I feel more empowered to keep going.

The key I found is living in moderation. True self-control and being present when eating make a huge difference! You can enjoy your food and eat well enough to actually fuel your body. Train your palate to have higher standards and your waistline will thank you. Don’t keep things “off limits.” Eat what you love in moderation and you won’t feel deprived. Make time for yourself to get in the shape you need to enjoy your life, whatever your goals may be. When you live like this, you won’t gain the weight back. You also can give your loved ones the best version of yourself possible. There is no reason to go on a diet and deprive yourself and those you love. You and your loved ones are worth much more!

Think Again

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Stop! Stop right there! This is what to tell yourself when the negativity rolls in. Whether you didn’t hit a deadline or even get off the ground, negativity can keep you from getting anywhere. Being honest and realistic with yourself about limitations and goals is fine. When simple honest self evaluations turn into self-destructive thoughts it can wreak havoc on your progress and ability to move forward. Who feels motivated to do anything after a good beating? Brush yourself off and stand again. Here are some tips to keep your mind on the right track and stay motivated:

1) For every honest comment of where you are lacking, think of somewhere in your life where you are doing things well or right. You might not have run all 4 days this week as planned, but maybe you chose to eat better at most meals.

2) Keep track in a journal of the good decisions you have made, until it becomes familiar to you to think positively.

3) Surround yourself with people who encourage you to be your best and recognize when you make progress.

4) Leave positive notes around the house for you to find. Maybe other people in the house will find them encouraging too.

5) Be honest with yourself. Do not use false positives to boost yourself. They are not solid enough to stand on.

6) Use your ambition to motivate you. This includes reminding yourself of what your ultimate goal is. Get reinvigorated about it

7) You do not have to be in a hurry for every goal. We all want to get there, but do it the right way.

8) Forgive yourself when you mess up. See where things went wrong and adjust.

Have you tried any of these tactics? What works for you? Please share so others can gain from your experience!

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If The Shoe Fits..

If The Shoe Fits..

One shoe does not fit every foot. Neither should any health program. Everyone has different goals, starting points, interests, and availability. Pick and choose from a variety of sources until you find what is right for you. If you can meet with a certified health professional and address these aspects. Once you learn what works for you, it will be easier to stick with it!

One Step at a Time

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On days like today, it is easy to smile. The sun is out and everything seems to feel possible. When you come across a day like today it may be the time to start a new fitness plan. My husband worked for a company that had him do something I found interesting. The task was to make a list of everything you want to do in life that you can think of at the moment and then prioritize them. Once completed, you were to make a separate list of the obstacles keeping you from them. Next to that list you write out ways to overcome or work with the obstacles to make those dreams or goals happen.

So often in life we have dreams that are left in the dust. We had a bad day, things did not work out, or we even found something more important. The last reason is a good and acceptable reason. Life changes and so do our priorities. If you are blessed enough to have people added into your life, it is time to share some dreams and not be selfish. When you put dreams ahead of loved ones, it can be a nightmare instead. Be willing to change your priorities as time goes by. However that is not a license to come up with excuses to not go after your goals.

Instead of finding excuses why you cannot do something, find inspirations of why you can. Starting an exercise program is the topic I am choosing, as it relates to my blog. Everyday that passes something happens to keep you from living a healthier life. Most of us put time at the top of our list. Start small. Make three 10 minute bouts of exercise a goal for starters. Replace one soda with a glass of water. Wear your sneakers out to remind you to do something active. Take your family or girlfriend/boyfriend for a stroll. After making a first step you can see the excuses start to fade. Then you can challenge yourself to do more. Before you know it, you will be the picture of health you envisioned for yourself. It all starts with a small step. As time passes and you find yourself finding reasons to revert, stop and look at the progress and changes you have made. Is it worth going back on? Is it worth the way you felt before? Believe it or not, you can be healthy and live life fuller. It is possible one step at a time!

Ready, Set, Goals!

Excellent goal setting is crucial to the successful lifestyle changes. Change has to be based on a foundation of solid goals. What are your goals in general? Weight loss, more muscle tone, balance glucose levels, or to achieve a better race time are some you may be thinking about. General goals are nice to help you decide what to change and improve in your life. These are not effective in getting you to where you want to be however. When setting goals, consider the following questions:
-Is this goal Challenging? A challenging goal actually pushes you to improve your lifestyle.
-Is this goal Achievable? An achievable goal will remind you that you can do this!
-Is this goal Reasonable? Sometimes goals are achievable, but not reasonable. This keeps you from becoming discouraged by unrealistic expectations.
-Is the goal Specific? You need a measurement of how to know wheen you have reached your goal.

This is called the CARS method. When designing your goal these are important questions to ask.
Here is an example of a goal that meets these questions with all yeses:
Goal: To loose 20lbs by August 8th, 2013 and to get into a size 8 by August 8th, 2013. This gives 25 weeks to loose 20lbs and to get down 2 pant sizes. This is a healthy amount of weight to loose per week. The goal is specific and has a deadline.
After setting a solid main goal, there needs to be smaller goals targeted at the main goal. This breaks up where you are in your progress so you can see acheivements along the way. I don’t want to wait until August to feel proud of the changes I have made. I also need smaller goals to help me stay on track. Here are some smaller goal examples:
Smaller Goal 1- To run for at least 30 min.s a day on Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Friday.
Smaller Goal 2- To do strength training for every muscle group on Tuesday and Saturday.
Smaller Goal 3- Eat 500 fewer calories a day on average.
Smaller Goal 4- Loose 5lbs by March 1, 2013.
Smaller Goal 5- To eat 3 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.

These goals also follow the CARS method. The smaller goals are great motivators and help get you to your main goal. One very important thing to remember is that each goal should be reviewed every other week. It is okay to change any of your goals at any time! Maybe the goal you set is not challenging enough to reap benefits. Your goal may be too difficult at this point and need broken down even further. When you realize this, do not be discouraged. Life happens and things change. Rearrange goals to suit your benefit. These goals were set to improve your quality of life, so that you may enjoy it to the fullest! Do not let this become stressful. Goal setting should just clarify what you want to accomplish and give you an outline on how to get there.
Any time you want to follow a program, take nutritional advice, or exercise advice, please talk with your physician first. You are an individual with individual needs.
Next time we will talk about how to prepare to accomplish your goals. Hope to see you then!