What to do when you feel stuck in your fitness journey

What to do when you feel stuck in your fitness journey

In January, I’ll be celebrating my 13th birthday–no, not my actual birthday, but the birth of my health journey. It’s so crazy to think I’ve been on this journey in some form for the last 13 years. I remember all the times I had tried to get into a healthy routine before it finally stuck.

Probably not unlike you, I would try to overhaul everything at once. Totally changing my diet, promising to go to the gym everyday, cutting out soda, all the treats…

 I remember feeling like no  matter what I tried or how hard I tried, I would never be able to make a healthy lifestyle stick. It always felt like short term progress. Two steps forward and three back.

I was exhausted from trying so many different things and always failing. 

I thought there was something wrong with me.

 It seemed like so many others had been able to figure out how to make their healthy lifestyle stick, so why couldn’t I?

 Besides feeling like a total failure because I wasn’t making progress on my health goals, I also was in the middle of  planning a wedding and working full time, so I didn’t really have that much time to devote to exercise. Plus, I didn’t even like going  to the gym because I had no clue what I was doing. 

At the time I was pretty lazy–meaning I wanted to do the very least to get the most bang for my buck. I tried all the quick fixes, three day detoxes, cookie diets {insert laughter}. I was desperate and didn’t want to change my life too much. Just wanted the weight loss, and the magic life it seemed to promise.

There was one year when things finally clicked. It was actually the year we were getting married. My hubby-to-be joined a New Year Fitness Challenge at work. While he was more interested in winning the prize at work for winning the challenge, I saw this as an opportunity to try one.more.time.

We started running.  If you would have told me 15 years ago that running would have been what got me started on my journey toward a healthier, more active lifestyle, I would have laughed in your face.

Turns out I needed a little challenge and a whole lot of accountability to get and  stay going.

I didn’t really have a goal at the time, other than lose weight and not to die.

We laced our shoes up, and set out to run one whole mile without stopping. 

But we didn’t start by trying to run the mile out on the first run. 

Instead it was run to the first light pole, walk to the next.

After that became easy, it was run to 2 light poles, then walk for one. And so on.

Slowly over time I was able to run more than I had to walk.

While I did eventually make it to my goal of running one whole mile straight, there were inevitably some bruises and bumps along the way. 

Not too far into this new running thing, I got a running injury. Turns out not just any shoe will do for running. Lesson learned 😉 

After getting some better gear, a little rest, and some insoles, I was ready to rock again.

Not only did I run my first mile without stopping (on purpose), I kept going. 

I started going further and further. 

I actually ended up enjoying running so much, that I entered some different local races to see if I could beat my previous time. This became something I did for myself. It felt good. I enjoyed working hard to beat my previous time. I was in competition with myself. And it felt really darn good.

After years of trying I finally make being active a part of my daily routine.

I went from never being able to stick with an exercise routine for longer than a few days to consistently getting some form of movement into most my days for the last 13 years.

I was no longer the girl who couldn’t keep her promises to herself, but I had become the woman who keeps her word to herself. 

Starting small (one light pole to the next) is what helped me develop the culture of winning and it is what will help you too. What is the one light pole you can get to today? Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

There is no need to try to change everything at once. Start small. Like stupid small. 

Think about the smallest improvement you could make today toward living the life you were created to live. Then do that over and over and over. 

Once that is habit, then you can start making some other small changes. You might even be surprised that other habits just start “clicking” along the way. 

They all stack up in the long run to either create massive wins. 

The beautiful thing about habits is once they have developed, you don’t have to really commit any more time or energy doing them as they have just become part of your normal routine.

I get it, time is limited in our fast paced lives these days. And for most of the women I talk to, it is one of the major reasons they have put themselves on the back burner in their lives. If that’s you, I have something for you…

Get access to my 3 Step guide that will help you get more of your time back without feeling like you’ve just added one more thing to your plate.

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Embrace your lazy, use this technique to get in the best shape of your life

Embrace your lazy, use this technique to get in the best shape of your life

 

You’re probably going to die when you hear this, but there used to be a time in my life when I would work out 6 days a week for almost 2 hours a day. 

Sure, I was in the ‘best’ shape of my life, or at least I thought I was because I “looked” the part.

But working out was my life. I trained like it was my job. And I didn’t have much left in the tank for other things or people. I’m not sure what I was thinking back then. I was a full time student, with two kids under the age of 4, and my husband was in the military. 

I guess I’m someone who tends to operate on extremes.

I thought I had to workout like that in order to get the results I wanted.

 

I was afraid that if I let off the gas, I’d lose my results.

I was afraid I’d gain weight.

Most importantly, I was afraid I would go back to feeling bad about myself-because I thought looking a certain way gave me my confidence.

There’s a better way though..and it doesn’t involve the all or nothing approach that seems so popular in today’s culture.

I couldn’t keep going the way I was.

My body might have looked like it was doing great, but I was nursing injuries from over training.

Mentally I was always thinking about calories, food, exercise, my body. Between raising a family, being a full time student, and all the thinking about those things..

I was exhausted.

While my mindset around exercise, my body, food, and all of that has been changing slowly over the past year or two.

This minimum dosage concept has been something that has come on more recently. 

Between balancing family and building my business, I just knew I couldn’t make time for hours of exercise like I had in the past. And truthfully, I didn’t want to.

After I figured out in my schedule when I could work out and for how long, I figured out what I could do in the time I had. 

Since keeping muscle mass is important to me (for strength and aging reasons) I knew I wanted to keep a couple of days for lifting.

But I also wanted to be sure I was incorporating some sort of cardio or conditioning as well for heart health, and because I like it.

Instead of doing several longer workouts throughout the week, I started doing full body workouts 3 days a week. Then on the off days, I will either walk or go for a short jog. 

Well, as you know life doesn’t happen inside a vacuum. We can’t always predict what life will throw at us. But that doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands up and ditch out on our movement sessions.

For example, there are days when I don’t feel like doing my scheduled workout.

Maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before, so working out first thing in the am doesn’t sound all that appealing. I want to give myself (and you too) some grace for those days. It’ not all or nothing, and the ‘no excuses’ mentality around exercise is actually doing more harm than good. 

Sure, you have to show up consistently if you want to see changes and improvements. But sometimes showing up for yourself looks different than what you originally planned.

 The first few weeks of figuring out my new groove was a little rocky. Just like all new things tend to be..so give yourself some time to play around and practice.

The point is, be patient as you figure out what your minimum dosage looks like. Chances are it will look different from mine, and that is totally cool. In fact, it should. We live different lives. Have different abilities, and different goals. 

On any given day, especially when you’re not feeling it, take inspired action. For example, on the days I don’t sleep well, I may be more likely to opt for a walk and some yoga instead of something more intense. 

Learn how to read and listen to your body. I promise, it will make this whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Taking the minimum dosage approach to my training (and really every other area of life) has saved so much time and energy because I’m not forcing it.

I’m able to do the very minimum of what needs to be done to get the results I want. And you will too when you implement these strategies.

This frees up time to do other things that maybe you wouldn’t get done or would be rushed doing. Again helping you feel less stretched, and more energized.

On those days when life feels super crazy or time is crunched, instead of just not working out or eating in a way that honors your body, do what little you can with the time and energy you have. Again, it’s not an all or nothing thing. 

Using this Minimum Dosage Approach has given me so much time and energy back. And I know it will for you too.

Instead of being stressed out by trying to do too much in any one area, I’m able to get more of the right things done and have energy left over. How nice would that be?

Rather than just not working out because I don’t have time, I take what little time I do have and get it done. Whatever ‘it’ happens to look like that day. Pretty sweet, eh?

Most importantly, I’ve found my middle ground, which feels so much better than living in the extremes of all or nothing thinking. Imagine how much more peace you’ll experience in the middle ground 😉 

Do you always feel like you’re struggling to find your groove? Like there’s never enough time? I want to help.

If you’re having a hard time finding more time, I want to help you get your time back..

Seriously, what would you do with an extra 3 hours a week? Sign up below to get some of my best time getting strategies sent right to your inbox, plus be among the first to learn more about The Mindful Eating Project…doors opening soon!

 

Being in the best shape almost cost me my marriage

Being in the best shape almost cost me my marriage

I fell for the lies.

I used to think if I was in better shape I’d somehow be a better version of myself as a wife, mom, coach, or whatever other role I had in my life at the time. For me though, better shape had everything to do with how I looked. Not necessarily how I felt about my body, or how healthy I was mentally, emotionally, relationally. Being in the best shape almost cost me my marriage.  

And while on some level being in better shape did make me a better version of myself, it also made me a worse version of myself. 

A crazy thing started to happen, and it was so subtle I didn’t notice it until it was almost too late or really even until after the fact. 

The more ‘fit’ I became, the more selfish I had become. 

I was obsessed with myself, with my body, with the food I ate. To the point that my marriage was crumbling. 

There were times I thought about leaving my life, and my family behind. Starting over in this new, amazing body I had invested so much time and energy into building. 

You see, I think we are sold this idea that if we were in better shape the whole world would open up for us, and our problems would melt away…kinda like the fat on our thighs.

The reality is, if you’re just doing the work on the outside (and not also on the inside), you will have new problems. 

You can’t fix the outside, expecting it will heal the broken places on the inside. 

I was afraid of letting myself go, giving up my fitness obsession. Or my thoughts about having a certain body. 

My identity had become so wrapped up in my body. 

While my fitness journey may have started out as a healthy endeavor to get in shape to be a healthier version of me. 

It was fueled by negative emotions from the get go.

You see, I didn’t start out feeling ok or at peace with my body. I wasn’t grateful for what it had survived to that point. 

I was at odds with my body, and blamed my weight for my problems.

With anything there is a point of diminishing returns. Meaning more isn’t always better. Just like doing nothing is not better either. 

I think there is always the temptation to teeter between two extremes. This is dangerous because you’ll always either feel like you’re totally out of control or fall into the false sense of control that being too much of anything provides.

I fell prey to the lie that our relationship would be better if I was in better shape. That I needed to change my body in some massive way to be a better wife. 

What actually needed to happen was I needed to become a better wife by focusing a little less on myself and more on loving my husband regardless of what my body looked like. 

He didn’t care if I was a size 0 or a size 10. 

Here’s an outline of how I backed off of my fitness obsession little by little.

I didn’t realize just how much time and energy was spent on worrying about food, what I was eating, my weight, or what I looked like until after I left diet culture behind.

Thinking less about my body has opened up so much more time for me to think about my husband, yes, but also so many other things.  

The most ironic thing is I am to this day, as confident as I was at my smallest, if not even more. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight because you think it’s what you need to do to be more worthy of love from your partner or you’ve lost the weight, and now you’re frantically trying to keep it off, there is a better way.

And I want to show you how to get there. The Mindful Eating Project is opening soon. Fill out the form below to get more info, and just for doing so, I’ll send you a FREE gift that will help you get more of your time back. Who doesn’t want that?!

This is the worst advice you could follow for healthy weight loss

This is the worst advice you could follow for healthy weight loss

It might be time for some tough lovin’. What if you found out most of the advice out there on healthy weight loss was bogus?

Here’s the deal, most people think you have to follow rules around food to lose weight, but that might be the worst advice, and could actually be the biggest myth in the industry. In fact, did you know that 95% of diets fail within 2 years? Meaning that any and all weight (usually plus some) comes back. 

What about the other 5%? Those people usually end up being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

But I get it. Everyone says that you have to follow rules in order to reach a healthy weight, so it’s easy to believe. 

  If it were true that food rules resulted in weight loss, then everyone who followed food rules would be at a healthy weight wouldn’t they? And we all know that’s not the case. Just look at the statistics on weight, chronic disease, and the health of our nation. 

We have tons of information, and new diets are out every year. But the current model of food restriction and food rules isn’t working.

In fact, if you keep holding this belief you could actually be causing yourself to gain more weight in the long run.

 If you want to know how you can actually get to, and maintain a healthy weight then click here to watch a video that outlines a simple strategy you can start implementing today.

I’ll let you know, it has nothing to do with cutting out food groups, monitoring your intake, or creating other rules around food ie when you should eat, what you should eat, etc.

I guess you have to ask yourself do you really want to keep  following food rules that aren’t even helping you find or maintain your body’s healthy weight and possibly even causing yourself to gain more weight?

Or do you want to finally be in control around food, and find your body’s natural and healthy weight? That is, might I add, much easier to maintain. 

The doors to The Mindful Eating Project are opening soon, if you would like to get some more information, click here to fill out a simple form, and just for doing so, I’ll send you a FREE gift.

Be sure to check back later this week, as we dive deeper into Mindful Eating and how to shift your mindset so that you can make 2020 your best year yet 😉

How to leave the most dysfunctional relationship you’ve ever been in

How to leave the most dysfunctional relationship you’ve ever been in

Diets are like relationships…toxic, dysfunctional ones. If you’ve ever been in a relationship like that or  seen someone else in one, you tend to notice a pattern. They leave one only to find  themselves in another one. Going through the same crap, just slightly different scenery.

This is because in relationships (much like diets) you can’t escape your own baggage, your own ‘stuff’. The only way that happens is when you work on it. If you go from one diet to another without doing the mindset work, the results will be just like the last one. 

Just like in bad relationships–unless you work on your own issues, you will be taking them into every new relationship.

Time to change your relationship status

For most of us moving from one diet to another, we are coming into each new next diet with a heap of guilt or shame around our bodies. A lack of trust in ourselves when it comes to food. Oftentimes we feel beat up and discouraged from previous diets or past comments about our bodies. In desperation we go from one bad diet to another hoping the next one will be the one that helps us find our happy ending. 

Here’s the fine print, most diets don’t advertise or tell you about: Without changing your relationship with food or yourself, every single new diet or attempt to lose weight will be a failure. It will leave you feeling empty and disappointed. And the results (if any) will be fleeting. Just like when you bounce from one toxic relationship to another.

Your body wants to be healthy, happy, and vibrant. It doesn’t want to be dominated by brutal workout programs or diets,  it also doesn’t want to be abused by food or lack of movement.

When you honor your body with movement and food, it will take care of you, I promise. It will find it’s natural , healthy weight not the arbitrary one on the chart at the doctor’s office.

One way you can begin to change your relationship with food, your body, and ultimately you, is by changing the emotion fueling you to eat better, move more, or any other lifestyle change you are making.

Here’s the catch though, you can’t change your relationship with food until you change your thoughts and beliefs.

Ready to ditch the dysfunctional relationship?

One exercise that can help you is called the 7 Why’s. Grab a sheet of paper, and at the top write what it is you want—to lose x weight, to have more energy, to lose fat, whatever it is.

Then ask yourself why you want that. Then ask yourself again…and again and again until you’ve asked yourself ‘why’ 7 times. If you’ve been totally up front and honest with yourself you will have the real reason you want that thing. Which will be pretty telling of the emotion fueling the goal. 

One thing I’ve noticed though in doing this exercise with myself (as well as my clients) is we aren’t always honest with ourselves about what is driving us toward our goals.

Another thing that can keep us stuck in our old ways is the amount of information we are bombarded with on a day to day basis around food, health, and weight loss we can get distracted. When we get distracted, we can’t give ourselves the gift of consistency. Which is what it takes to make any sort of change.  

What do you really want?

By getting to the real reason we want our goals, and the meaning we’ve assigned to having that thing, we can let go of having to have our goal before you can feel what we want to feel about ourselves. This frees you to pursue your goals with a different heart. Instead of chasing your goals feeling like a chore, it is fun. 

You’re no longer waiting on the goal to feel happy, fulfilled, or content because you get to experience those emotions here and now.

 Having a  healthy relationship with yourself changes all of the other relationships you have..including the one with food and your body. 

Suddenly you realize you don’t have to be so consumed with what you’re eating or if you’re doing it ‘right’. Which in turn gives you more energy and time to devote to the things that actually matter.. 

If you weren’t so preoccupied with your body or food, what would you invest that time and energy on instead?

xo,

Alisha

PS. Is it time to upgrade your relationship with yourself? Learn how to do that and so much more in The Mindful Eating Project (registration opening soon, click here to get on the waitlist)

Define success on your terms-how to find your North Star

Define success on your terms-how to find your North Star

What lies or excuses are you willing to give up to become who you want to be? Because here’s the thing, you can’t hold onto your excuses or the BS story you keep telling yourself, and be the woman you were created to be. 

The other day I was on a walk with my dog, Pepper. She’s not the best at the game fetch, and truthfully would probably rather I chase her or play tug of war with the stick instead of her retrieving it for me.

To get around this, I will throw one stick and then another one so she’s alternating between the two sticks, because when I do this, she has to *choose* between the two sticks. She can’t have both at the same time—even though she does try.

While we were playing this ridiculous version of fetch the other day I thought about how often, this is  how we try to live our lives …we want to change, to grow, to become the better version of ourselves, but we aren’t fully ready to let go of the things we know we need to in order to reach that next level. 

Time to rip off the band-aid and get to work

We try all of these outside in approaches to ‘fix’ ourselves–meal plans, diets, new workout programs, new planners and time management strategies, but we don’t take a hard enough look at what’s really going on inside. 

 If you want to create lasting change in any area of your life whether it’s getting to a body you feel comfortable and confident in or it’s building a better relationship with your partner, you have to take the inside out approach. 

The problem we often face though is the ‘quick fix’ mentality. We are desperate for change, for relief, for better, so out of desperation we will try anything that promises quick change. Quick fixes don’t really fix anything long-term. And they are no more than a band-aid approach to something that may need a deeper level healing.  

You can’t have it both ways, you can’t operate using the same system or foundations you have been and get where you want to go, you have to be willing to let go of the lies, habits, and behaviors that aren’t serving the future version of yourself you are trying to create. You’ve gotta shift your perspective. 

 Find your North Star

I believe you are the best expert when it comes to your life. Only you can truly decide what matters most to you. So instead of looking for the next guru or expert to tell you how to spend your time, what you should look like, and who you should be…look in the mirror. Ask yourself those questions, and then wait for the answers to come. When they do, they will point you in the direction of your own personal North Star.

You can only do this by knowing yourself well. Knowing your deepest desires and dreams. What are the things that excite you? What are your non-negotiables?

If you could snap your fingers and be the ‘dream version of yourself’ what would she feel about herself? How would she show up in her life–relationships, work, etc? Who would she be?

Your roadmap to your North Star

Once you have the vision in your mind and in your heart, you can then draw up a plan. Reverse engineer the vision to figure out what you need to start doing differently in your own life to get you closer to your North Star.

For example, if you want to be known as being dependable, you must define that first for yourself so you have clear actions to take–does it mean you’re on time? Does it mean you’re prepared? Does it mean you do what you say you’ll do?

Then (and this might be the most important part) you must realize you have to be dependable for yourself FIRST before you can be that for others, because how you do anything is how you do everything, so if you’re not first dependable to yourself, how will you be for the other things that matter to you?

I get it, the band-aid solution seems so much easier. Just like my dog, Pepper had a hard time deciding which stick she wanted more, and which she was willing to let go of, we too, run into the tough decision of leaving who we were behind so we can grab hold of what and who we can be. This is a decision we will have to make moment by moment. 

Let go of the stick that doesn’t serve you, and take a firm hold of the one that does will bring a weird sense of freedom to your life. It’s as if your heart knows you are now acting in alignment with what you were meant to be doing instead of going after someone else’s idea of good enough. 

Once you have identified your North Star and the actions you must take to get there, you will have the blueprint in hand to live your life unapologetically, authentically showing up as yourself. 

This frees you up to be a woman of your word to yourself first and foremost, which is what allows you to be that woman to the world around you. Making lasting change in your life starts to feel easier, more doable. Which is far better than trying another quick fix and being defeated yet again. 

Do the tough work, my friend. You are worth it, and the world needs you to be who you were created to be.

x,

Alisha

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