What We Measure

We can better manage.

I’m a huge advocate for the collection of data to better understand how the body is responding to dietary manipulation in tandem with fitness pursuits.

And, there is a wide spectrum of tools and resources available; the scale is simply one of them.

I believe that what we measure, we can better manage. We are better able to create our desired outcome when we have a clear understanding of the metrics.  Where we begin, the collection of data through various modalities to monitor progress over time, and what that looks like in terms of the trajectory of where we are versus where we are headed are important aspects of the process of modifying body composition.

We so easily get fixated on one aspect of measurement that it becomes difficult to view the bigger picture.

With my private nutrition clients, I utilize a number of different tools for gauging progress depending on the client’s comfort level. Scale weight, measurements, and photographs are the most common ones because they are among the easiest. 

I’ve also recommended body composition analysis, which is my favorite tool because the data is so in-depth but it’s not the most convenient option. (More on this below.)

For some clients, using other biomarkers such as overall feelings of wellbeing, improvement in sleep, consistent bowel movements, increased energy, etc. are used. 

I’ve had clients use a garment to help keep track of their composition changes by monitoring how the clothing fits and feels each time they put it on. (I’m a fan of this one too! Getting reports from clients that something that previously didn’t fit, now does, is a powerful way to witness the needle moving forward!)

I find that clients that embrace using a variety of these tools have better results. And by better results, I’m not only talking about weight loss or muscle gain. Having a solid grasp on changes in the body based upon data is really empowering; knowledge is literally power!

As for me personally, I monitor my body composition via Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) by InBody pretty infrequently because it’s not something that’s easily accessible. But I really appreciate the insight it provides me when I do make the effort. (And by effort, I’ll have you know that I delayed my coffee consumption by nearly four hours this morning which was absolute torture!!)

There are a number of other analysis tools via bioelectrical scan, hydrostatic weighing, etc., and I highly recommend seeking it out if you’re as interested in data and monitoring body composition changes as I am. Even infrequent analysis is worth it!

I wasn’t overly surprised by anything the data revealed, except for the fact that I am apparently shrinking. I’ve asserted that I’m a solid 5’7 despite knowing that I’m actually 5’6 ¾. However, today I was 5’6 ½. Geesh.

There are two main reasons I opted to get tested. First, I was curious about where my body fat percentage is currently sitting as I near the end of an anabolic state (building) or, in other words, trying to add some muscle mass to my frame before I switch to a catabolic phase.

The other reason is that I have deficiencies that I’m trying to resolve. For example, my right leg has more muscle mass than my left leg, which is visually apparent (and not ideal when symmetry is important for my sport), and I’ve been working to create more balance. My efforts seem to be helping so that was good news.  

(Today’s analysis did reveal that my arms are pretty imbalanced too, which I wasn’t aware of. My right arm is significantly smaller than my left. Dang, I’m lopsided! Lol.)

My intention in sharing all of this is to let you know that there are so many ways to observe our progress when we are striving towards making changes. And oftentimes, the best results are ones that we have the most difficulty “seeing” in ourselves.

Also, I am now offering a year-long coaching package! If you would benefit from having long-term support to help you navigate your personal nutrition needs, and accountability completely customized to you, check out the details via the link below.

The investment is your declaration that you are ready to take radical responsibility for your health and wellbeing and I’d be honored to take the journey with you.

Information about the package can be found on my Functional Nutrition page. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

A Deal Is A Disservice

It would be a disservice to you to offer a special deal on my coaching services just because it’s Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, or Cyber Monday.

(And for Pete’s sake, can we throw in a No Spend Sunday to give our wallets a break?)

Here’s why:

When something is “on sale,” it drives us to purchase because it’s a good deal even if it’s not something we need or truly even want.

My desire is that people purchase my services because they are ready to change the trajectory of their health and well-being. Not because they are on special, discounted, or otherwise reduced.

And while the price points of my coaching offers are modest, the investment is a part of the activation. The investment is intended to be a declaration. (Read that again.) The declaration is that you are serious about what you say you want whether it’s to lose weight/reduce body fat, add some muscle, fine-tune your selection of food choices to optimize your vitality or assist you in achieving a performance-based goal.

I have, and will probably again in the future, offer bundle pricing, early-bird offers, and reduced pricing on packages but not because I’m trying to attract clients for the sake of attracting clients.

Yes, my coaching is my livelihood and I earn my living from this work that I offer. However, I uphold a high level of integrity around how I earn and operate as a business owner. I’m not here to sell. I’m here to serve.

I want my clients to have an extraordinary experience working with me and achieve whatever it is they seek through our work together. Therefore, I’m only interested in working with clients who are ready to work, not show up half-ass because they bought a package at some percentage off or discounted rate simply because it was a bargain.

On a side note, I do make special accommodations for clients that need to split payments. I am also open to having a conversation about alternate levels of support that might better suit a client’s current needs and financial situation. If you feel called to that, please reach out and ask me. There is ALWAYS an option if you feel called to take responsibility.

All of my current packages for one-to-one nutrition coaching can be found under the Services tab on my homepage labeled Functional Nutrition.

If you know, deep in the core of your being, that you are ready to make some radical changes and you believe that I’m the right person to support and guide you, the links to payment are provided. If you need more information or want to talk through what you need, let’s schedule a phone call to chat. All of the options to connect with me are on the Contact page.

My Aligned Activation workshops, which address topics and themes to help support people in achieving their goals, are priced to be accessible to anyone looking for a deeper conversation around troubleshooting challenges. In fact, my December workshop on December 7, 2021, Service to Self, is FREE! All you need to do to attend is provide your email address so I can send you the link to participate. There will be the ability to watch the replay if you can’t make the live transmission. (Email submission form below.)

I’ll love you into your power if you’ll allow me the honor.

Feast Without Fear

Dropping in with a Thanksgiving love bomb.

If you’ve been following along recently, I’ve been going through a bit of a death cycle and trying to realign to my purpose. It’s been a bit wild. 

I’ve had a number of people reach out asking if I’m no longer going to provide nutrition coaching services over the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing and pondering and contemplating and doing the deep inner work to see if I can reconnect to the passion and drive that led me to want to work in the nutrition field in the first place. 

What I’ve discovered, even though I don’t have all of the answers right now, is that I do know I’ve been gifted with the wisdom and experiential knowledge related to nutrition for a reason. More so, I know that I want to help people experience peace with their bodies and move through life feeling a sense of vigor that is obtainable by eating well. I want to help people navigate their nutritional needs and achieve their goals. I want us all, collectively, to experience a connection to our food and to understand the basics of how our bodies use the foods we consume because we literally “are what we eat.” 

That’s all to say that I’m not planning to stop coaching anytime soon. But that’s not what I’m hoping on here to share. 

My intention for this post is to address some stuff I’ve seen come up for a lot of people this week around the holiday and the consumption of the foods we associate with it. I want to offer a couple of pieces of guidance to help you experience enjoyment and peace while celebrating Thanksgiving, not stress or worry about some overindulgence or that eating a little outside your normal protocol will destroy any progress you’ve made or cause you to completely come off the rails, so to speak. 

First of all, it’s a holiDAY. One day out of 365 days. One day, once a year, over a lifetime. Not your last day on earth. 

One day of indulging in the abundance of the season while celebrating all that we have to celebrate with our family or friends, in our cozy, warm homes, with clothes on our backs, and being surrounded by love, laughter, and memories in the making. (In the grand scheme of things, we should be celebrating like that all 365 days!)  

What I see happen is that within the moment, we make choices to indulge a little, but then, if we eat more than our bodies can handle or are accustomed to – if we eat things we know our bodies don’t thrive on – it tends to revolt a little.

We FEEL icky physically. Our bellies are literally stuffed and we might experience some GI distress… bloating, gas, heartburn… Uncomfortable perhaps but not the end of the world. 

However, what happens is that we start to have FEELINGS about how we FEEL physically. They compound. And before we know it, we’re beating ourselves up for overeating or being careless or making the choices that we felt compelled to make in the midst of merriment. 

The trick here is to disassociate how we physically feel with the feelings that arise as a result. 

You can experience the physical feelings of discomfort without spiraling into a vortex of negative self-talk or worse, forcing upon yourself some form of punishment like not eating the next day or convincing yourself that you need to go run for three hours to burn it all off. 

The second piece to that is to put a positive spin on your choices. You’ve flooded your body with nutrients! Because even pumpkin pie has some nutritional value. You’ve provided your body with fuel! The day after Thanksgiving, you’re going to be running on all cylinders. Trust me! You’ll have ample energy to hit Black Friday sales, hit the gym to put those extra calories to work (using excess calories as fuel to build muscle is not the same as punishing yourself by slogging through hours of exercise out of shame or guilt), or spend the day decking the halls putting Clark Griswold to shame. And, as I’ve already implied, you made memories with your loved ones. That’s nourishment for your soul!   

My second suggestion, that I’ll share from my own experience in relation to the actual food element is this: you are not obligated to eat it all and especially if you don’t love it or you know that certain foods do not feel good to your system.

For most of my life, Thanksgiving was my least favorite holiday. I love food. But I don’t love turkey. I don’t like mashed potatoes and gravy at all. I really don’t like stuffing or dressing. And I don’t care for pie either. 

However, I’d force myself to eat it all because it was there and that’s what we do to express our gratitude for the harvest, right? 

A few years ago, I realized why I didn’t enjoy the holiday and decided to start making some of my own dishes that I would enjoy much better. (I’ll take the opportunity to plug my Aligned Activation workshop, Service to Self, because this is the perfect example! Also, I don’t have a webpage with details yet but it will be on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at 4:44 PST and it is FREE!! You can sign up via this previous blog post.) I make a little extra to share but most of the time I am the only one that eats it. And that is okay! I get so much pleasure from eating the things that I really love and enjoy. It’s completely changed Thanksgiving for me!

And that leads to my final suggestion. Be intentional about your choices and savor every single mouthful. Remember, it’s one day. Not our last day. We don’t have to shovel it in as though it’s our last ever opportunity to indulge a little. 

Indulgence should be special. It should be outside of the ordinary; outside of our normal dietary profile. And it should be enjoyed immensely. So be intentional about your choices and be intentional about your consumption of them.

I know there is a tendency to feel the need to “get back on track” following a holiday (or vacation or a period of stress when we might deviate from better nutritional habits) but one of the coaching strategies I employ is helping my clients create space within their plans to not only indulge but to do so deliberately so they don’t feel they’ve gone off the trails and need to get back on. 

Enjoying holidays, and birthdays, and celebrations can and should be part of your plan in working towards nutrition and health goals. Otherwise, it’s not sustainable. 

If you’re looking for this kind of guidance and support and feel I might be a good fit to help you succeed in achieving your goals, please reach out. Let’s chat!

I wish you a meaningful and memory-filled Thanksgiving!

xo, Hyla

Consistency is Not THE Key

Consistency is not THE key.

It is A key.

Look at your key ring. Do you have a single key that provides you entry to every lock you could ever possibly need to gain access to? 

Chances are, probably not. 

You need a key to unlock your front door. A separate key to unlock each of your vehicles. Perhaps you need a key to open your mailbox or a key to enter a storage unit. I’ve seen key rings with a dozen (or more!) keys on them. 

I know this will be a super unpopular opinion, but I really think “consistency” is over-glorified. If being consistent is THE key, what is the key to being consistent? 

My belief is that there are a number of keys we need on our journey to achieve a desired outcome or goal and I will likely provide my thoughts on more of them at a later date. Today, however, I will focus on one of the keys that I feel is really overlooked and imperative to success in endeavors of achievement:

Resiliency.

In conversations with clients this past week around planning for Thanksgiving, I’ve listened to a number of people share concerns about how to navigate the holiday. They’ve expressed worry that their efforts or any progress they’ve achieved will be derailed. (Therefore, this post is relaying the message in the context of dietary protocols with specific body composition goals in mind but it can be applied to everything.)

First and foremost, I really believe that enjoying a holiday by spending time with loved ones and savoring a thoughtfully prepared meal and some seasonal treats is imperative to a balanced relationship with food and enjoyment of the holiday season in general.

But I know for some, a day off plan will be challenging. What I’ve proposed to those I’ve talked with that are feeling stress or fear around altering their course to accommodate holiday meals (because, hello! Inconsistency.) is to let go of the need to be consistent and focus rather on being resilient. 

Resilience is the ability to withstand challenges and the capacity to quickly recover from difficult situations. It implies a tough will of character and an aptitude for flexibility. 

We can’t control every single aspect of our lives. But we can control how we adapt to them and bounce back from them. We cannot be 100% consistent in everything we do 100% of the time. It’s just not possible. We can, however, enter into a state of resiliency by focusing on the things we are doing that are in support of or in favor of the desired outcome. 

My suggestion is that instead of fixating on the things that perhaps highlight inconsistencies, note all the ways in which you are flexing your resiliency. Write them down if you need to be reminded! Consistency, by the way, is simply conformity to an application or process. 

You are stronger and more resilient than any of the challenging circumstances you face.

Aligned Activation Defined

Here is a visual depiction of me trying to make some tangible sense of what’s floating around in my head. Nailed it! Super fancy too, right?

The Latin root of act means “to do, move.”

I was recently asked to explain what Aligned Activation is. As in, verbally offer an explanation during a face-to-face conversation. And I fumbled to find the right words to adequately provide the depths of what it is. Because honestly, although I coined the term more than a year ago, I’ve only really recently had the full concept of Aligned Activation land within my system and I’m still processing what it means and what it looks like. 

(True to form, there were a LOT of hand gestures during that conversation though!)

What I initially thought Aligned Activation to be was simply a set of actions that were in alignment with one’s goals. “A marriage of desire, mindset, and actionable strategies,” I wrote on my website. 

It is that. But it’s also bigger than that. 

And I’m still trying to find the words; a way to cohesively string together and conceptualize the deeper meaning of what it is, how it works, and how it can profoundly impact the people who choose to be in my field. 

The best I can offer right now is this: Aligned Activation is a three-part process that encompasses activation, action, and actualization. They are aligned (as in positioned) but nonlinear, however. Activation and actualization orbit around actions that are the nucleus of the entirety. Activation precedes both action and actualization. Actualization begins with activation but is intertwined throughout the other stages. 

It’s simple yet so complex. 

In a nutshell, actualization begins when you become activated by envisioning the fulfilled goal or desired outcome. It’s reverse engineering in a sense. When you become excited or energized about something that you aspire to obtain and set that vision into motion through action, it will be created. It will materialize. 

Got it? 

I know. It’s a lot to digest.

But I’m deeply honored to have been imparted with this wisdom I’ve been gifted with and intend to use it to help impact others who feel called to explore it deeper with me.

My monthly Aligned Activation workshops (including my December workshop which is FREE! You can join via the form below!) are intended to dive into topics and concepts that help create clarification around alignment.

I’m channeling how I might offer this in terms of 1:1 coaching so stay tuned if that is something you might be interested in.

December Workshop

Any guesses what the theme for my December Aligned Activation workshop will be?

Oh, and it’s my gift to you. It will be FREE!

I’m confident that this workshop will provide valuable insight and a fresh perspective on how powerful and selfless taking care of one’s self truly is.

I’ll announce the date soon; I’m trying to resolve some platform and hosting issues in advance of delivering this workshop. There will be a replay available if you can’t make the live transmission.

If you’re curious about my Aligned Activation workshops and would like the opportunity to experience what being in my sphere is like, provide your name and email in the form below and I’ll make sure you get the link to attend. You won’t want to miss it!

xo, Hyla

Burn It Down Part 2

Contemplating collective confusion.

On a client call this morning, I noticed some contraction during our conversation when macros came up.

Ironic since a larger portion of my coaching is somewhat centered around guidance on macronutrient intake.

I am a nutrition professional. But I am finding, at an increasingly sharp rate, that I feel a pull to disassociate myself from the field. I don’t want to further the collective confusion around what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, which “diet” to follow, or any other variation of dietary BS.

Every day my Instagram feed is overflowing with contradictory information and nutrition professionals talking shit about this dietary approach or than consumption preference. For context, I do follow a very large number of nutrition professionals and while a lot of them share my passion for nutrient-dense, whole foods, I also get a lot of mixed signals too. Everyone means well, don’t get me wrong. But like any topic, there’s a wide range of differing opinions.

(Don’t forget: just because I consider myself a leader in the field of nutrition, it doesn’t mean I’m not susceptible to second-guessing whether or not I should reduce my intake of high oxalate foods, for example.)

To piggyback my above comment about not wanting to create more collective confusion, if you do follow me online, you’ll notice that I’m no longer sharing food-related photos, stories, or posts.

The reason is simple. I’ve come to realize that I, unintentionally, might be portraying an unrealistic standard in terms of how I choose to feed myself. I am extremely privileged that I get to eat how I choose to and more than ever, I know that is not possible or even desirable for others.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have extraordinarily high standards when it comes to food sourcing and quality. (I’ve heard the correlation made that most people care more about the quality of gas they put in their car than they do about the foods they consume for THEIR fuel which is sad but true.) But I don’t expect everyone to have the same standards I do. Not everyone wants to invest in premium gasoline and that’s cool.

I guess where I’m going with this is… I know in my immediate circle, I’ve made people feel bad about their choices. And I don’t want anyone to feel bad. I tend to be overly assertive in my delivery about how much I care about others’ health and well-being and I’m trying to reel that in.

As a byproduct, I’m electing to restrain from offering unsolicited advice, commentary, and content online that could contribute to the potential for more misunderstanding.

Anyway, all of this has created a lot of uncertainty for me in terms of how I wish to coach moving forward. I started with reconfiguring my coaching packages. And while I’m satisfied with the offerings at the moment, I’m still feeling a bit of an edge in terms of how to proceed.

I will say that two of the things I am really proud of in my one-to-one work with my clients are encouraging food sovereignty and asserting that macro tracking is used as a guide but not a stringent regime that lends to obsessive behavior.

My clients take regular breaks from tracking macronutrients and I encourage them to work to develop their intuition when it comes to dialing in ratios related to how they feel based on energy expenditure, activity level, menstrual cycles, sleep, etc.

It’s not all black and white; and the best person to determine what an individual needs is the INDIVIDUAL. However, it’s not common that someone has been taught to attune to their nutritional needs.

My intention in sharing this is to help me process what I’m feeling so I can find resolution and remind you that the people you seek for healing are doing deep healing work of their own. What I know above all else is that I do feel called to do this work so it’s been a challenge to navigate this swell of emotions that have surfaced the past month.

If my nutrition philosophy feels like a safe place for you in reaching your own health and wellness goals, I’d be happy to discuss ways we can work together to help you achieve them. (You can review my services and the activation (investment) for each offering on my Functional Nutrition page.)

If you’re looking for general health and nutrition recommendations, I have a private Facebook group, HY PERFORMANCE, you can join.

If you follow me on social media, please enjoy photographs of my garden, ducks and chickens, my granddaughter, and other random tidbits of my life that do not revolve around food and eating.

xo, Hyla

Evolution Is Inevitable

Evolution is inevitable if you are willing to open yourself up to the potential of growth. 

I’ve learned a ton in the past two years while working as a nutrition professional.  

I have extracted lessons from each and every experience and client interaction, and have explored the edge of my capacity to serve.  

And now, based on what I’ve gathered and in response to what I’ve learned, I refine. 

I had a really hard conversation with myself a few days ago (if you can picture it, I was driving down a rural country road talking to myself, lol) and a question popped out. 

“Am I still fulfilled by nutrition coaching?”

I love coaching. I love helping people. I love the intimacy of working one-on-one with clients. I love food and nutrition. And I love alchemizing challenges into celebrations. 

And while I do what I do because I truly care about the experience of those who’ve chosen to work with me, I also care about my own experience. Because if I’m being honest, a large part of what I do is because I’m devoted to my evolution as a leader and who I become in the process. 

In my opinion, you cannot serve if you’re not interested in your own growth. 

In addressing that question, I discovered that there is still something that is driving me to serve as a nutrition professional. I still desire to help people navigate their challenges with nutrition and be an integral part of their success.

But I can also choose to alter how I go about doing that. (Shameless plug for my upcoming Aligned Activation workshop on Nov. 16th titled The Power of Choice. Check it out HERE.)

I’m in the process of updating both my Functional Nutrition and Aligned Activation pages so if you have any questions about my services in the meantime, please reach out. 

Simplicity (paired with minimalism) is one of my core pillars and I know I’m making moves that are more in alignment with where I am currently and where I see my trajectory heading. 

I’d be honored to serve you if you feel called to work with me. 

xo, Hyla

Burn It Down

Burn it down.

I’ve been in a vortex of wild energy.

Yesterday, on the first day of November, 2021, I archived 8 years’ worth of Instagram posts. I believe I shared more than 1200 posts since I began using the platform in 2013. 

There are a handful of reasons why I elected to strip away all of the “content” I’ve created. For starters, the glory days of Instagram are long-gone. The photo-sharing app that I started using back in 2013 has been replaced with an information dissemination platform. While I do sometimes seek out information on social media – and disseminate it myself – it’s not the reason I was attracted to it in the first place. I know a lot of people have had great success growing their following and in turn, their businesses if they have them via Instagram, but my experience has been more along the lines of disheartening. 

When you have a heartfelt message to share that you truly believe will transform hearts, and then get about six “likes,” thanks to a computer-based automated reasoning system that decides who gets to actually see what you’ve posted, the level of frustration is beyond.

There are other reasons too. Primarily though, I am not the same person I was eight years ago. Or eight days ago. 

I’m exploring other ways of connecting. Looking for other networks to share and receive information. And, reverting back to my own media platform: my website. 

Thank you for being here as I navigate this next phase and whatever changes it brings as I burn it down and begin to rebuild from the foundation up.

Service to Self

Raise your hand if you’ve been in it deep this week.

And by “it,” I mean shit.

What keeps me anchored in times of chaos, uncertainty, and fear is my ability to choose service to self first and foremost.

(If you are – or have been – a client, you know I speak of service to self frequently.)

The former flight attendant in me reminding you: “should additional oxygen become necessary, put your own mask on before assisting others…”

I was corresponding with a client a few days ago who is also in “it” right now. Physical ailments, being out of their routine, the loss of a loved one, job stress, the daily demands of life, and family dynamics compounding and taking a toll on their ability to stay grounded in their commitment to self.

One of the main elements of caring for ourselves during times of duress is ensuring that we are able to adequately nourish ourselves.

It is how I stay grounded when times are challenging and it’s my assignment to remind you that service to self first is the most selfless act.

You are needed at your best.

If you don’t put your mask on first, you will be no use to those around you that depend upon you.

You can be in “it” but you can also choose the route of empowerment by electing to feed yourself to the absolute best of your ability.

I think there is a misconception that my work as a nutrition professional revolves around macronutrient ratios, weighing and tracking every morsel of food in an app on our phones and that the only measure of progress is a number on a digital device that dictates how hard we’ve worked to restrict ourselves.

That is NOT the foundation of the legacy I desire, however.

My mission, first and foremost, is to transform your heart so that any effort you’re making towards vitality and wellbeing comes from a place of love and service to self above all else.

xo, Hyla