Do this when life feels out of control (like now) // how to improve your body image during COVID-19

Untitled design
With all this extra time at home do you find yourself thinking about your body and your food choices more?
Have you started beating yourself up again because you can’t get your workout in like you’d like or because your food choices haven’t been as good as you would like them to be?
I know I have.
I started body checking (glancing at myself when I stroll by a mirror) more, and noticed not so kind things popping up in my head.
I started mentally tracking what I was eating that day to make sure it wasn’t *too* much. And I’ve had to stop myself from going back down that road again.
When life feels out of control, we cope with what is easy—even if it isn’t helpful..ie coping with food when we are stressed or using negative thoughts about our bodies to create change, or over exercising to try to undo all the extra calories from stress eating.
In our culture all of that is normal. But it doesn’t have to be the norm for you.
You can be more relaxed around food and your body even in the midst of a crisis by using these simple strategy
1. Notice when those negative thoughts start to pop up about your body
2. Then ask yourself how do those negative thoughts make you feel?
3. Finally, notice what is your gut reaction is.
You’re probably used to letting those thoughts run wild, taking up so much space in your life.
You see, likely you’ve been listening to that story playing for so long, you believe it is the truth about who you are. But it’s not.
So the next time you notice you are beating yourself up for not looking a certain way, pause.
Interrupt the thought process, and pick a different thought.
Instead of my legs are so gross, so big, have too much cellulite (all thought’s I’ve had); remind yourself they allow you to play with your kiddos or run with your dog, or whatever else they allow you to do.
Instead of doing what you always do, do something different. Interrupt the habit loop of beating yourself up. Do the *opposite* thing.
With time, that inner mean girl will come around less, and when she does, you will know exactly how to shut her up.  You got this, I believe in you, and I am here to help <3
xo,
Alisha

Are you wearing perfectionism like a badge of honor?

Then there was that one time I stepped on stage in a teeny weeny bikini 👙😳
Perfectionism, like busy, was a badge of honor I used to wear proudly. 🥇
 
Which means, I was often ruled by feelings of anxiety, doubt, and fear of failure.
 
Which also means that I would werk werk werk to control everything in my life..
 
including my body, food, and my success in pretty much every single area of my life.
87147758_10206857227146955_4716015356777332736_n
 
For all the first born, 3s on the enneagram that may not sound too far off of how you’re operating.
 
By nature we derive meaning and our identity (if we aren’t careful) by being in charge, being the best, and being the over achievers of the bunch.
 
The problem is, we can’t really control any of our outcomes. 💁‍♀️
 
We can only control the action we take and the heart that drives us to strive to achieve.🤯
 
I believe you can pursue your goals—whether health related or not from 2 very different places.
 
1- you’re driven by fear aka comparison, perfectionism, unhealthy competition, etc.
 
and the result will always come up short. Meaning, it will never be good enough, you’ll never be good enough.
 
OR
 
2-you’re motivated by feelings of ALREADY being good enough, pretty enough, healthy enough, strong enough..whatever that enough thing is you’re after.👏🏻👏🏻
 
If you approach it from the latter, you can’t lose.💁‍♀️
 
If, like the old me, you are operating from the former, you can’t win 🤦‍♀️
 
By the way, if you wanna check out an article I wrote on how to beat your negative emotions as a perfectionist, check out this article
Know you’re ready to step off the hamster wheel of counting, tracking, and stressing over food? Sign up below to learn more about The Mindful Eating Project to see if it’s right for you👇🏼

One reason you shouldn’t be wearing a fitness tracker like Fitbit…

Full confession: I was a pretty late adopter to the whole smart watch craze.

One major reason: they can subconsciously trigger you to overeat because you think you’ve ‘earned it’.😑

Just to clarify—you don’t ever have to ‘earn’ food.

The other major reason: they can cause obsession around things like calories and steps…which as a recovering dieter is not helpful.

As a recovered dieter myself, obsessing over the numbers and the rules was something I spent a lot of time doing.

And now, that I’m not dieting anymore and not really into tracking anything, I didn’t want to get sucked back into that mindset.

If you’re more about living a healthy lifestyle than dieting these days 🙋‍♀️ then you’re likely not one to set goals anymore about inches or weight You want to lose. Which is a huge and scary step🙌🏻🙌🏻

But you probably do still set fitness goals for yourself because you want to feel good in your body🥰

One of my recent goals was to try to average 10k steps/ day since I coach from home most days, I do a fair bit of sitting, and was looming to get more activity throughout the day.

Woman running with farming watch

I noticed an interesting thing started happening, I’d find myself pacing around the living room at the end of the day to get to 10k if I hadn’t reached my goal yet..😳

That was a wake up call, that on some level there was still some of that icky dieting energy fueling my action. 👎🏻

When you decide to radically change the way you think about things (ie ditching the diet mindset after so long) it IS going to take time to unlearn dieting behaviors.

👉🏼If you start to feel yourself slip back into that negative space, interrupt the thought process with a simple command like ‘brain, stop’ or my personal fave ‘not today Satan’.

👉🏼Instead of making your goal a hard and fast rule you MUST keep, practice taking more of a mindful + intuitive approach to your life.

This means being mindful of the energy fueling your actions and being ok with changing it up as needed.

Learning how to live the non-diet lifestyle takes time..like any other good thing 🖤🖤

If you want to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle without constantly thinking about what your body looks like, fill out the form below.

Xo, Alisha

How to eat the right amount of food for your body…without portion control

Anyone else ever struggle with portion control…or just me 🙋‍♀️

Use these three tips if you’re not sure how much you should be eating 👇🏻

Portion control is a topic that comes up all the time when I’m coaching my students.

It kinda makes sense if you think about it, right?

There are so many different methods and philosophies when it comes to what and how much you should be eating. It’s hard to know which is the right method.

Believe it or not, there used to be a time when I wasn’t the only thing hopping on the scale.

Yep, you guessed it, I used to weigh my food out. Like every day, every meal. 🙈

Then I’d spend the rest of the day doing food math trying to figure out if I’d end up under or over on my macro count for the day.

There was also a time when I used those handy little calorie counting apps.

Oh man, I spent so much time searching for and adding in every single bit of food I ate.

I used those nifty colored containers and counted points too.

Basically any sort of portion control you can think of, I tried it.

And I always felt hungry. 😭🤬

So, how do you know how much food you should be eating?

🧘‍♀️You tune into your own body so that you can [re]learn how much is the right amount of food for YOUR body on that particular day. Which means you won’t ever have to count, track, or weigh again..

🐌You slow down when you’re eating so that you can better gauge what ‘full’ enough feels like to you. Which means you won’t have to rely on some external force to control you.

🤙🏻You give yourself the gift of enjoying your meals so that you can not only feel physically full, but satisfied too. Which means you won’t get done eating only to peruse the cupboards eating until you feel like you finally hit the spot.

What tips seem to work for you when it comes to portion control?

How to deal with negative emotions as a perfectionist

How to deal with negative emotions as a perfectionist

Perfectionism, like busy, was a badge of honor I used to wear proudly
 
Which means, I was often ruled by feelings of anxiety, doubt, and fear of failure. 
 
I thought controlling everything from food to my family was the answer. When life didn’t go as planned, I would to try to control my negative emotions by not feeling them.
 
Buffering negative emotions with more exercise and more control around food was a mistake I made. Though, at the time I didn’t see I was abusing exercise and my body. I thought I was managing stress and being healthy. 
 
Often times, my default mode is to work harder, hustle more, be more productive. I get tunnel vision when I’ve got a goal in mind, and will  grind through at the cost of everything else.
While hard work and hustle is admirable, it can also be damaging when left unchecked.
 
This kind of thinking leads us to never feeling like we’ve done enough, no matter what goals you’ve accomplished. There is never a stopping point when we work and live from this place of hustle. It’s an empty void that’s never satisfied. 

 

You will never enough time to get everything done when it’s all a priority.

 
Because I was so anxious trying to control everything in my life, I was overwhelmed. As a way to cope with that overwhelm, I would sabotage myself by drinking too much, watching too much TV or staying up late. Throwing all discipline out the window.
 
I knew something had to change. I was tired of being tired all the time and never feeling like I was doing enough.
 
Black and white thinking in any area (including food) never leads to life satisfaction or contentment
 
I couldn’t keep burying my negative emotions under booze, TV, or my other self-sabotaging behaviors
 
I thought I was ‘resting’ or relaxing, but the reality is, I was trying not to feel the anxiety or self-imposed pressure to be perfect. So I went toward things that made me feel good in the moment even though it wasn’t what I actually wanted for my life.
 
Here’s the deal: negative emotions aren’t bad, they are normal and as much a part of life as the positive feelings we experience. Often times, it’s more the way we deal with our negative emotions that creates problems in our lives. 
 
Instead of trying not to feel anxiety or fear or any other negative emotion, practice feeling the emotions and not reacting to them.
 
When you’re tempted to exert more control the next time you feel anxious or stressed, notice the feeling, give it a name, and let it pass.
 
I wish I could tell you this was easy. It’s not. But neither is continuing to engage in behaviors that sabotage you. Not reacting to urges takes practice, it takes patience, and it takes a willingness to intentionally choose discomfort. Here’s the cool thing, the emotion will pass through your body in 90 seconds or less. 
However, the not-so-cool part is we often spend way longer than that reliving the circumstance that just happened which keeps those negative emotions hanging out much longer.
 
This is a practice, and like any other change will take time. 
 
Don’t be surprised if you slip into old behaviors in the beginning.
 
We have to be mindful and deliberate about decisions, rather than running on auto-pilot and letting our emotions run the show.
 

Your negative emotions don’t need fixing, but the way you deal with them might.

 
The more self-aware you become toward your negative emotions and how you react, the easier it is to recognize them.
 
It’s easy to spiral down once a negative thought comes into your mind. It’s important to avoid sitting in the negative emotion too long. Give yourself enough time to notice, name it, choose how to respond, and move on. 
 
When you’re not ruled by your emotions, you will go from exhausted and burned out to feeling more in balance and calm. You’ll be able to make choices that honor all aspects of your health–physical, mental, emotional
 
When you do the work on your emotional health, you’re able to be more present in your life without sabotaging yourself
 
That’s a win-win for sure. 
By the way, if you’re looking to create a little more peace in your schedule, sign up below to get your hands on 3 simple ways you can get your time back starting this week!
xo,
Alisha