How vigilant are you?

Vigilance as vast as the ocean.

Consistency is not the ONLY key. 

It’s one of many key elements that will impact the outcome of whatever it is you’re working towards. 

With that in mind, let’s chat about vigilance. 

Vigilance is defined as being mindful of potential challenges or difficulties. 

If there’s no vigilance, the probability of remaining consistent is unlikely. 

The compound effect is that the achievement of the desired outcome either doesn’t actualize or it takes way longer than it could have. 

In my work as a coach, in both the nutrition and activation and accountability spheres, I often find that a lack of vigilance has a huge impact on whether or not clients reach milestones or outcomes that they indicated they wanted when they began working with me. 

Here are the top five ways I see a lack of vigilance manifest into unmet goals: 

•Losing sight of goal. Not checking in regularly (daily and ideally, multiple times per day).

•Self-deprecation being the motive for desiring change. Hating X about yourself will not yield the results you want. (You might achieve some semblance of your goal but you still won’t be happy, satisfied, etc.) So stop with the negative self-talk and approach your quest from a place of love and see what happens. 

•Distractions and lack of integration into life/style. Life happens. But if you use it as an excuse, you’ll never find an opportune window. The actions required to meet your goal must be integrated into your life so that distractions don’t threaten to derail you. 

•Too much leniency and reverting to past patterns or habits. Enough said. 

•No accountability or infrastructure for feedback. Having support and resources for feedback in place can put you on the fast track but often not valued because of the investment of financial resources, allocating time, or any elements of education that will assist the cause. 

Be mindful of these sneaky little ways you might be holding yourself back from the fulfillment of what you want. 

If you feel pulled to explore this on a deeper level, I’m offering a two-week immersive experience to help activate you to your highest potential. Reach out if you’d like more information or to lock in your space.

Insanity

When repitition backfires…

Albert Einstein is credited for the definition of insanity.

Insanity: doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results.

Seems legit.

I had an epiphany related to a personal pursuit that is basically summarized by this quote. ‘Spinning my wheels’ might be another appropriate catchphrase.

The repetitive nature of what I was doing was unnoticed because I was looking at it from the perspective that there was safety in repeating the process. Over and over. And getting the same result.

All too often we hear consistency is key. Key to what? Doing the same thing over and over? Are we rewarded when we repeat our efforts? In a sense, yes. I cannot deny that long-term effort does yield results in some regards. However, it can also create a false sense that we are being proactive when we’re probably more complacent than anything. (See my last post to read about my thoughts on complacency.)

Doing the same things over and over feels safe. There is security in things that feel familiar. Routine can be really helpful to an extent. It can also impede progress.

I’m constantly questioning so many of the challenges I see people doing; 100 squats for 100 days, 75 Hard, running or activity streaks that span many weeks, months, or years, etc. They’re cool and a great way to build new habits but is there growth, figuratively and literally, in doing the same thing over and over? At the end of a 100-day streak of squatting how much strength have you built? Does doing 100 squats feel easier on day 100 than it did on day one? If you run a mile a day every day for 300 days, on day 301 are you going to feel fit enough to go run 13 miles? If you complete 75 Hard, what happens on day 76?

While I do love routine and ritual related to some of my personal practices (my 5-year sobriety streak or daily morning meditation practice for example), I know the value of getting off the hamster wheel once we recognize that we’re on it.

My newfound awareness of the repetitive actions I’ve taken out of comfort and safety has shaken me. It’s given me an opportunity for self-assessment and instead of throwing in the towel because I wasn’t getting the result I desired (and was getting pretty much the same result over and over), I’ve decided to switch things up.

Variety, changing things up, finding new ways to refine a process, and willingness to explore other ways of doing something, I believe, will yield better results than doing the same things on repeat over and over.

I think it will honestly salvage my sanity!

Overabundance of Complacency

This is not the result of discipline.

I detest the word discipline. 

It frequently gets thrown around in the world of fitness and nutrition; attributing a lack of discipline to why one might be challenged to meet their goals.

Listen, the word itself, by definition, has a pretty harsh connotation. It’s defined as training people to obey a set of rules or codes of behavior and the use of punishment to correct disobedience. 

I cringe when I hear people talk about not having the discipline to do something or that they wish they were more disciplined. I don’t believe it’s necessarily about being deficient in discipline but rather an overabundance of complacency. 

A complacent mentality is feeling content with the status quo. It’s being satisfied with your current situation so that you are not truly willing to invest in making the necessary changes in habits, patterns, and ways of thinking to instigate the transformation of personal health and wellbeing (or in some cases, other life-altering decision making).

I’ve talked about this before on various platforms but I relate self-punishment to a form of discipline that stems from self-depreciation. Hence, one of the reasons I don’t like the use of the word discipline or the usage of disciplinary action to evoke change. 

I much prefer to use terms like ‘show up’ and ‘aligned action’ to replace the extreme punishment evoking language that we’ve been conditioned to use when we aren’t showing up for ourselves or aren’t taking actions that align with the outcome you desire to achieve. 

My private clients, and even those in my close network, know that I’m very mindful about language and the words I choose. Repeatedly using words and phrases that are common in our culture that have negative connotations are actually programming our subconscious whether we realize it or not. 

I’ve had people message me and describe themselves or their current dissatisfied state with words and phrases like I’m fat, I’m a piggy, I made the scale cry, I’m nasty, and many other heartbreaking depreciating self-talk. 

There are a lot of elements to integrating change. And I believe, wholeheartedly, that it must be rooted in self-love. You cannot hate your way to healthy. You cannot hate yourself to being vibrant and full of life. You cannot hate yourself to transformation.

You don’t need more punishment, you need more love.   

Your Words Are Coding You

Challenging you to flip your perspective.

Depreciating self-talk is like HTML. 

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language; it’s the language used to create web pages and considered the building blocks for how a page will display to the viewer. 

I had a conversation with a middle-school-age girl, whom I’ve known since she was born, over the weekend that illuminated to me how critical it is that we examine how we speak to ourselves. 

She was telling me that she is really lazy. I don’t think it’s uncommon for kids to be considered lazy. By definition, it means unwilling to work or use energy. And in certain situations, I know laziness is the default label we use when we experience someone trying to avoid work or responsibilities. 

My premonition though is that the lazy label she’s given herself could lend to this beautiful, vibrant young woman potentially not achieving her potential simply because she believes she is too lazy to. And that saddens me.

This actually came up recently with a new nutrition client I’m working with. During our first session, I had to administer some tough love regarding the depreciating self-talk. I do not tolerate it and here’s why: our language, the words we choose, are incredibly powerful. When we speak, whether we are addressing others, or ourselves, attributes to our internal programming. 

There are many real-world examples of this, unfortunately. Children being told they’re “no good” or “losers” who won’t amount to anything and then we watch these kids actualize behaviors that affirm the labels they were given.

I saw the conversation I had with the girl as an opportunity to help her reframe her “laziness” as a means of energy conservation so that when she finds there is something that lights her up, she’ll have the energy to pursue it with purpose. I encouraged her to use language that signifies conservation of energy so as to not justify the label of laziness. 

Granted, it might not get her out of her share of chores at home but I do believe that there is great power in shifting how we label ourselves and our behaviors. 

If you are using depreciating self-talk or language of any kind towards yourself, please stop immediately.

You become what you believe yourself to be so if you’re constantly calling yourself a fat ass or pig, talking about your lack of discipline or that you can’t achieve what you want because you’re lazy or whatever, you are creating your reality.

Your choice of words – your personal HTML is code for how YOU view yourself internally and how you display yourself externally.

Your language is literally coding you so please stop talking down to yourself. Choose your words, your HTML, wisely.

Pry Bar

Get you a HYpe woman!

A bunch of years ago, a good friend of mine was approaching his 50th birthday. He was a fellow runner and together, we had formed a small running club in our community and I volunteered with a couple of youth running programs he organizes through his work with kids.

As the date approached, he decided that he wanted to commemorate it by running 50 miles the week of his birthday.

Being the friend that I am and always one to want to see my friends succeed with their endeavors, I offered to run as many of the 50 miles with him as scheduling would allow (his birthday falls around the holidays and I believe he had plans to travel out of state).

I can’t recall all the details but I do remember that at some point (early on if memory serves me), he felt like he’d bitten off more than he could chew. However, I was not about to let him quit. I made it my mission to cheer him on, to encourage him, and to drag his butt out to hit the pavement when he wanted to do anything but run. 

He gave me the nickname Pry Bar.

And, he ended up running all 50 miles over the seven days. I was so incredibly proud of him and grateful that I could support him in achieving what he set out to accomplish. 

I’m sharing this because a few days ago, I decided to cancel my February Aligned Activation workshop and not schedule any additional ones at least for the immediate future. 

There are a handful of reasons which I may expand on at a later time. But the number one reason is that I prefer the intimacy of working with people one-on-one. Group coaching feels sterile to me. I want to have real conversations, not just speak into a social media abyss. I want to connect and know who I’m working with… What makes them tick. What lights them on fire. What scares the shit out of them. What their roadblocks are. And, how I can best support them in whatever goals they desire to achieve. 

I may not be able to physically go run with someone that has the goal to complete their first 5k or train for a half marathon. But I can offer support in overcoming challenges. I can provide perspective when things seem unclear. I can help generate a game plan and facilitate the creation of strategies that align with the goal. 

I can be your steadfast co-pilot, your biggest fan, and your loudest cheerleader. 

What I’ve decided to offer in lieu of monthly workshops is private goal support mentoring. A la carte style; 44-minute private, one-on-one sessions for $44. 

Together, with your desired outcome as a guide, we troubleshoot anything you feel is holding you back. We’ll explore whatever it is that you need to succeed, whether it be gaining clarity around what you seek to accomplish, the creation of systems, examining tools for implementing tangible actions, time management, habit stacking, or whatever else support looks like to you to help actualize your vision.

If you need your own personal Pry Bar or a HYpe woman in your corner, I’m your gal!

The Self-Sabotage Spiral

I know a thing or two about self-sabotage…

In my experience, most of our perceived challenges or roadblocks when it comes to reaching a goal, actualizing a desire, etc., are the result of our own self-sabotage. 

There are infinite ways that we get in our own way but I’ve identified what I see most common in my work with my private nutrition clients. And if I’m being honest, are challenges that I’ve imposed on myself in one way or another over the years. 

I view self-sabotage as a means of self-preservation; that means that we deliberately keep ourselves in a static zone of safety to reduce the potential for discomfort.

Sound familiar?

During my February Aligned Activation workshop, The Self-Sabotage Spiral, we’ll dissect three common self-sabotage diversions and deep dive into understanding why we default to them as well as explore some practical solutions to self-correct so that you can get out of your own damn way. 

The workshop will be held live on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. The transmission will be approximately 44 minutes within a private Facebook group and the replay will be available immediately afterward. An accompanying workbook will be provided. The activation (investment) for my workshops are $44 but I do offer an early bird rate so keep an eye out!

Portal For Transformation

I do what I do for ME. You do what you do for YOU.

I cannot want for you what you want for you more than you want it.

During a conversation with a client a few weeks ago, I made the comment that I have often felt that I want what she wants for herself more than she does.

For the record, I adore this client. I do want her to achieve what she desires so badly, and I have absolute faith that she is capable of it.

But over the course of our time together, it often seemed that I was dragging her instead of walking alongside her.

And to be frank, that’s not my job as a coach and mentor.

I am a portal for transformation.

However, if you want to be in my field and experience the fruition of whatever goals you have, the requirement is that you take the initiative to enter. And show up for yourself. Every. Single. Day.

I cannot do the work for you.

I can guide you, support you, steer you in the right direction, make recommendations, give you ideas, provide feedback, be your loudest cheerleader, and celebrate every win with you. But if I want it for you more than you do, it won’t work. Period.

I’m setting new boundaries with how I hold space for clients. My desire is to work with clients who are ALL IN.

I frequently get inquiries and messages from people who exclaim “I’m ready!” And then weeks pass without any action or further discussion. You’re either all the fuck in or not. There is no “I’m kind of ready” or “I think I’m ready but still on the fence about how ready I really am because life is crazy and I’m not sure and maybe next week, or next month, or in 2025 when my kid graduates high school will be better and then I’ll really be ready.”

I’ve worked with people who’ve said all the right things yet fail to follow through. I’ve had clients forget about their check-in appointments or get busy and not prioritize their commitment to themselves (and honor my time). I’ve witnessed every aspect of self-sabotage you can imagine.

My intention is not to be callous or without compassion. But it would be a disservice if I were to avoid administering a touch of tough love to trigger you a little bit.

If you have considered or are considering working with me, know that the requirement is going to be that you’re willing to prove that you’re all in.

Ducks In A Row

Hazelnut. The friendly one of the three.

Three life lessons I learned from raising ducklings this year.

I wanted a duck. One. Not three. But because I’m a “leap and the net will appear” type of gal, I often jump into things without preparing myself assuming that I’ll learn as I go. 

This serves me pretty well for the most part. It keeps life interesting and my Mister on his toes. Ha!

Back in April, I was looking for chicks but chicks weren’t yet available at the feed store; ducklings were ample. I bought two. I figured if I was going to get one, a second one just made sense.

Unfortunately, one of the ducklings didn’t survive more than a week. I didn’t want the remaining one to be alone so back to the feed store I went for a replacement. There were two left. The clerk begged me to take both and informed me that they cannot be alone. They need to be in pairs or groups. He didn’t even charge me for it. I got a buy-one-get-one-free deal!

And that’s how I ended up with three ducks and three lessons.

 Lesson One

The phrase “ducks in a row” is an idiom that basically means to have details in order, be well organized, prepared, or in proper position before embarking on a new project or undertaking.

I most certainly did not have my ducks in a row when I entered the feed store that fateful day in April.  If I had waited based upon the technicality that I had no idea what I was doing, I would have missed out on a lot of joy over the past eight months. 

I find it interesting that a natural characteristic of ducks is to walk in a row but slightly abreast. If you’ve never had the opportunity to observe ducks, they literally waddle around abreast with one another but slightly staggered. It’s quite comical. Their positioning is orderly without order, inline and misaligned, perfectly imperfect.

We often wait until the right time before we begin to do something. Waiting until things are in order, our schedules are clear, one project is complete before moving on to the next. The lesson I’ve extracted is that sometimes we need to leap before our ducks are in a row because frankly, they’ll never quite be inline. 

Lesson Two

Their cooperativeness is affected by my energy. Unlike chickens, ducks do not tuck themselves in for the night. My three are part-time free-range ducks so when we let them out, we have to physically go shoo them back into their coop before it gets dark. Or, if we get delayed, in the dark which is even more fun. 

It has gotten a little easier as they’ve become better trained but there’s also some strategy involved. And, one of the strategies I’ve come to employ is approaching them with a demeanor that exudes calm and unruffled (no pun intended).

They can read my energy. I’ve gone out to put them away and in my own haste, have ended up unproductively chasing them around in circles as my frustration level rapidly rises. In turn, they become leerier of my intentions and get worked up. So I get more worked up and advance from frustration to agitation. They get even more defiant and I get more pissed. And then… it just keeps escalating. 

I either have to walk away and come back later or send for reinforcement. (AKA Papa Rooster, my mister, who is the true keeper of our flock.)

Anyway, they are much more compliant when I tend to them when I’m intentional about my energy. Isn’t that the case in most situations? We have the power to choose how we respond and therefore, the outcome.

Lesson Three

The net really will appear. 

Any decision to do something comes with a learning curve. Preparing has its place and being proactive, instead of reactive, is a smart strategy a lot of the time.

But also, sometimes diving head-first into something forces you to rise up to meet the occasion. You can put one foot in front of the other and learn as you go. You can begin before you feel you’re ready. You can learn to trust your whims and that somehow, someway, everything will work out okay. 

Sometimes you simply have to have unwavering trust and faith that the net will appear. 

New Year’s Revolution

Walking into 2022 like I’m ready for a revolution.

Yes, you read that right. 

New Year’s Revolution.

I’ve never been much of a fan of New Year’s resolutions. The act of resolving something typically stems from the desire to find a solution to a problem. 

In the case of a person setting a New Year’s resolution, the root of desired change stems from the belief that there is something unsatisfactory – or wrong – about the person or their behaviors. And sure, some habits may be categorized as unfavorable but anytime we approach change from a place of self-deprecation, we are not setting ourselves up for success. 

By definition, resolution means to make a firm decision to do, or not do, something. However, it doesn’t address the need for actual actions that align with what the desired outcome is. 

You can make a decision to do something or not do something. To state a solution to a problem or problematic behavior is easy. But it doesn’t necessarily equate to change and that’s why I believe so many people are challenged in keeping their resolve. 

Revolution on the other hand implies radical change as a byproduct of activity or movement designed to affect change. It also means in favor of a new system. 

In order to evoke change, we have to be willing to actually change our behaviors. And the overtone of the word revolution elicits action and being in favor of new ways to do so. It’s not co-dependent upon feeling bad about ourselves but instead birthed from a place of self-love, excitement, and curiosity about what kind of radical change we can create. 

That is my perception of it anyway and from my own experience, a more sustainable approach to achieving goals whether they begin at the start of a new year or on a Tuesday in the middle of May.

I practice what I preach and I invite you to consider this as we approach January 1: are you ready for radical change or are you going to settle for stating you have a solution to X but have no tangible steps to actually achieve it?

The core elements of Aligned Activation are intended to help navigate the nonlinear nuances of actualizing desires. If you’re looking for some support, my January workshop will be looking into the prioritization of priorities in relation to actualizing a goal or achievement.

Actualization of a goal hinges on one’s ability to filter thoughts, actions, feelings towards, etc., through the lens that correlates to the desired outcome.

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!