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.

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

Warm-Up

Failed attempt or a warm-up for the next?

I was having a conversation with a friend recently and within the context of sharing the core of what Aligned Activation is with her, I called myself a “goal pro.”

Taking pride in the things I’ve checked off my list of desired achievements is fuel when I find myself challenged when things don’t seem to go my way in working toward or reaching a goal. 

Because 9 times out of 10, my first attempt at a goal was not when I actually achieved it. 

(I may be a “pro” but I’m also a pro at trusting the divine timing of things and that means trusting there is a reason they don’t always go in my favor.)

When I think about current goals and things I’ve dreamt of doing for a long time – and how far off they feel or how little progress I feel I’ve made toward them – it can be discouraging. And, for transparency’s sake, I’m currently in that state with a few aspirations.

A couple of relevant examples would be how many attempts to quit drinking I made before it stuck. I honestly lost count. But in less than two months, I’ll be celebrating five years of sobriety.

Or, my dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. When I got bit by the bug to run Boston, I really only had the intention to run two marathons: the marathon that I would run to qualify for Boston and then the actual Boston marathon. 

Guess what? I didn’t qualify on my first attempt. Nor my second or third. If my memory serves me correctly, it was my fourth attempt, nine months after my first try.

I’ve been giving a lot of careful consideration to something that has, for about 19 years, albeit in a cyclical fashion, been a dream. I’ve started, and stopped, for various reasons a handful of times and have questioned whether or not it’s something I really want to pursue given that after an attempt, I tend to think that maybe it’s not in my highest excitement after all or that I’m not cut out for it.

Plus, I’ve looked at each attempt as a “fail” because I didn’t really get what I’d hoped out of the experience and then, out of fear of further failure, talked myself out of trying again. (Out of a little compassion and fairness to myself, there have been a couple of other factors beyond my control that also played a part in changing course the past few years. But for the most part, I take responsibility for the choices I’ve made.)

Being that I consider myself an alchemist when it comes to turning challenges into opportunities, I’ve applied that mindset reflecting back over past experiences and this is what I’ve discovered: those previous attempts… the times I stopped drinking for a couple of months… the marathons I ran that weren’t quite fast enough to earn a spot at Boston… the bodybuilding competition prep that ended with a canceled show or placing just one spot outside of the top five…

They weren’t failed attempts. They were just part of the warm-up.

Every effort was a preparatory opportunity to gain experience and extract lessons that then could be applied to the next try. Offering me insight to apply to the next attempt. 

It’s like playing a video game. Do you slay the dragon and save the princess on the first attempt? Not in my experience. Typically, I lose a few lives before I successfully complete a level, let alone an entire game. However, each time I pass through level 1, level 2, level 10… I remember where the obstacles are. I’m able to collect the coins and extra lives quicker. I recall the point at which the giant venomous ants come out of hiding and know how to access the secret spring that catapults my character over the river of molten lava that instantly ends the game if you fall in.

Every attempt is a warm-up for the next attempt… getting closer to the prize, rescuing the princess, checking another achievement off the list of goals. 

Whatever goals you have yet to reach, if you don’t nail it on this try or it takes a few attempts before you do nail it, look at each one as a warm-up. Extract whatever lessons you can. And most importantly, if you feel a burning desire within the core of your being that tells you to keep going, to keep working towards that goal, please KEEP GOING. Even if you warm-up a hundred times, keep going. The princess is counting on you. 

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

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