Why you need accountability to reach your fitness goals

Why you need accountability to reach your fitness goals

If we are honest with ourselves, we are all a hot mess from time to time. Sometimes those seasons feel a bit longer than we’d like. But there’s literally no reason for you to feel embarrassed or ashamed if you haven’t been able to reach your fitness goals…yet.

I failed time and time again. Starting a new workout program promising a bikini body in 6 weeks or less, or a new diet it seemed every other week. Each only lasting for a few days consistently at best before I’d quit on myself.

One of the biggest problems with *most* of the fitness information out there is the promise you can totally and radically change your life in a short period of time.

The reality is, change is hard. Change takes time. And change is a practice. We are sold the lie we should be able to completely overhaul our nutrition and movement routines with the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, that is not how behaviors are changed or habits created.

Change is about learning new skills, creating a support system, and changing your habits. All of that takes a lot of time, patience, and practice.

You won’t get it right all the time, and you won’t get it right at first. Ditch the guilt and the shame you might be carrying around. Simply decide to practice. Each and every day practice becoming the woman you want to be deep down just a little bit more.

And whatever you do, don’t try to do it alone.

If you’ve failed at this whole fitness thing, you’re in good company

One of the biggest lies we believe is you’re the only woman who struggles to implement radical changes to your lifestyle. But you’re not. We are all struggling at different times and with different things. Learn to embrace and even welcome the struggle.

Fitness really is a lifestyle change. And it’s not just the discipline to change your body, but it’s also the discipline to change your mind. The fitness industry has done a great job of teaching us that being ‘fit’ looks one way. This can often feel we are fighting an uphill battle if we’re either not able to achieve that fit ideal or we’re miserable once we do. Begin defining what fitness is for yourself, and you’ll learn you cannot fail.

Accountability is the key to consistency

For a long time, I struggled with consistency in working out and eating ‘right’. After enough time and practice, it’s become a part of my daily routine. In the beginning though, I needed accountability. Having others who knew the goals I’d set for myself and who were committed to helping me succeed was a game changer. I truly believe it was their support and their belief in me that kept me going on the days I couldn’t see the progress I’d made.

If you’re trying to make lifestyle changes, you are going to need to have as much support as you can. This also means changing your environment, changing your routine, and possibly even changing who you spend your time with. You want to set yourself up for as much success as you can, yet realizing you cannot control everything.

When ‘good enough’ is enough

There are days when I follow my workout plan and there are days when I don’t. But every single day I try to move my body, even if it’s just a leisure walk with my pup. And without feeling guilty or ashamed because I wasn’t perfect.

As a recovering perfectionist this mindset is not one that comes easily to me. Much of my pride and confidence used to come from trying to do things perfectly. When I could, it was great, and I felt so much pride in myself. The times when I couldn’t do it perfectly devastated me.

Own your struggles and use them as fuel. Don’t try to hide from them or sweep them under the rug. If you want to make true lifestyle change it’s not enough to try to add in new healthier habits. You’ve got to understand and acknowledge the behaviors that aren’t serving you. Don’t see your struggles as weakness. Use them to drive you forward towards your goals, and do it by bringing other women along with you.

When we try to keep all of our guilt and shame hidden it festers. And eventually you won’t be able to hide it anymore. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Whether that’s with your coach or a group of friends. Let others in on the struggles you have with food, exercise, and your body. Simply bringing those things into the open brings healing. It empowers you to face them head on.

Created for community

As women, we need community. It’s hard-wired in our DNA. What better community to have around you than one who is just as committed to your success as they are to their own?

In creating a healthier lifestyle it’s important to realize this encompasses all areas of your life. Being fit really isn’t just about what your body looks like despite what social media tells you.

Leave the toxic relationships behind. Maybe this will be just for a season, and maybe it will be for longer. When you’ve decided you’re ready to make positive change, there isn’t much room for people and/ or circumstances that don’t support you.

Replace the toxic relationships with healthier ones. Think about the women in your life that energize you and inspire you to be a better version of yourself. How can you spend more time with them?

You have everything you need

Allow yourself to be seen just as you are. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my fitness journey was thinking I had to learn how to do healthy living perfectly. The only thing that did was remind me of how inadequate I was, because I couldn’t do it perfectly.

Trust that you’ve already got what it takes to reach your goals. You don’t need to look for the next diet or the next fitness fad. You know more than you think. Now it’s time to implement.

Tap into the pain, shame, and guilt you might be experiencing because of past failures. Instead of hiding from it or trying to conceal it, use it as fuel for your fitness journey. You can learn so much from mistakes and failures. Don’t let it go to waste, and remember it’s all of those experiences (and the successes) that make you who you are.

I want you to see and believe the very things you believe disqualifies you from reaching your fitness goals are exactly what you can use to move forward with confidence.

You’ve got this, and I’m here to help. Fill out the form below to receive weekly tips and pep talks right to your inbox.

Cheers to creating food freedom, finding joy in movement, and making peace with your body long before you reach your goals!

xo,

Alisha


How to leverage accountability to reach your fitness goals

How to leverage accountability to reach your fitness goals

There are some days I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. Some days I feel completely submerged by mom life, wife life, and work life.

I used to think balance was a magical destination. I imagined one day like my son’s lego block, it would just click, and I’d be there like all the other unicorn mommies on social media.

The reality is, balance is a constant struggle between all the important things in our lives. You don’t ever completely arrive. Balance is something you will always have to be intentional about.

Back in the day, one of the first things I would give up would be my gym time. I’d settle on eating whatever was quick and easy even if it didn’t align with my goals.

I lived with an all or nothing mentality. Either I could be an excellent mom or career woman, but not both. I could be fit and healthy or a good mom, but not at the same time. There was a time I believed accelerating in one area meant I had to sacrifice in the others.

You will have to make decisions and you will have to exercise self-control. You won’t have to choose between those things, you can learn to manage them.

Make time for relationships

If you weren’t my husband, my client, or my three year old I’d likely not be spending too much time with you.

I’m sure you’re not surprised to know after going on like that for too long I became a total momster (monster + mom). I felt less like the woman I was created to be, and a bit more like an empty shell shuffling through the motions.

I felt alone and isolated. Like I was the only woman who was having a hard time finding balance.  

I’ve been the mom and the woman who has just put her head down to work and have seen how lonely that can be. Not to mention how hard it is when you feel like you’re failing.

I’ve also been the woman who has let herself be totally into motherhood- she forgot her dreams. Forgot who she was. Who wasn’t filling anyone else’s cups too well because she wasn’t filling her own cup.

You’re made for community

I’m an extrovert. And I’m committed to doing the work I was put on earth to do well. There are times my intensity towards my goals or my passion gets in the way of me having the close relationships I crave as a working mom and wife.

I’ve realized in life if I’m not intentional about creating the space for those other important relationships they won’t happen. I didn’t realize in that season of small children how much I needed that connection to other women hustling for their dream life too.

You may not be extroverted like me, but you still need community. Your idea of community might look a little different from mine, and this is totally fine. Find what works, and do more of it. Whatever you do, don’t sacrifice relationships because life is easier that way.

Find women who share your values

The closer you are in your values and priorities, the easier it will be to let yourself be vulnerable without fear of judgment. The more vulnerable you can be together, the deeper the connection and commitment to one another. This is true of any relationship really. Learn to open up, and see what begins to happen in your key relationships.

Find other like minded women to use as an accountability system. When you connect with other women who you can relate with you’ll be more likely to reach your fitness goals and have fun. Life is about community, it’s about cheering each other on and fixing other women’s crowns when they slip.

Other women are not your competition

We are seriously not in competition with any other woman.

The only person you should concern yourself with being better than, is the person you were yesterday.

Unfortunately society likes to pit us against one another. There is no need to be catty. You don’t have to put someone else down so you feel better. And you definitely don’t need to put yourself down or let other women put you down either.

Stand together instead of letting your insecurities create division. Society seems set on creating competition between women. it’s more important than ever to choose unity and community.

Often there is a clear line between ‘us’ and ‘them’. We might be judging ourselves or other women based on how they look compared to us. What their life looks like on social media. Or how well they are performing in their roles as wives, moms, and women.

Getting sucked into the competition mindset, only ever leaves me feeling worse about myself. I think honestly this was why I avoided places like the gym for so long.

I felt like a fish out of water. It seemed like every other woman there knew what she was doing. I thought I was the only one not in my dream body. However, the closer I got to my dream body, the more I realized all my insecurities still existed. It was in that moment I knew they were probably more like me than I thought.

Choose women who will push you to grow.

I don’t believe you should just choose anyone to hold you accountable. Find women you click with, and make sure they will push you to grow and get better daily.

Finding your tribe will be inspirational, motivational, and at times a life line. On the days you feel like you can’t continue, want to give up, or like you’re a complete failure, they will be there to pick you up.

Life already brings enough challenges. We might as well make the most of them and our fitness journey by linking arms with other ladies on the same struggle bus.

Cheers to creating food freedom, finding joy in movement, and making peace with your body before you reach your goals!

xo,

Alisha

PS. Fill out the form below if you want to get weekly doses of inspiration sent to you.



4 Ways healthy accountability will help you reach your fitness goals

4 Ways healthy accountability will help you reach your fitness goals

One of the first experiences I ever had with weight loss came from Weight Watchers. At the time that program seemed like a God-send, and in many ways it was an absolute blessing.

After years of trying and failing what seems like hundreds of diets and quick fixes I was defeated. Finding something that actually helped me lose weight seemed too good to be true.

As time went on though, I started to see a couple of glaring flaws with this model.

Why Weight Watchers stopped working for me..

1) The public weigh ins. Sure they served as a system of accountability, and a bit like a scare tactic. For me, the weigh ins were driven by fear. I monitored every thing I ate, and meticulously tracked my points. Everything I ate during the week hinged on that one moment when I’d have to hop on the scale in front of every other woman at my meeting.

2) It didn’t actually teach me how to eat. I became more aware of what I was eating throughout my short stint with Weight Watchers. Slowly I started to make healthier choices, because I wanted to be able to eat as much food as possible, and the healthier food choices were less points. I essentially learned how to barter and negotiate with my food. This behavior only ended up furthering the disordered eating habits I’d already formed.

You could essentially eat whatever you wanted as long as you didn’t go over your points. If you opted to go with the WW Core plan, you could eat as much as you wanted as long as it was on the list of approved foods. I didn’t learn to listen to my body’s hunger cues. Weight Watchers didn’t teach me to eat slowly, or that sometimes it’s ok to eat for pleasure.

Years later I can see these problems. In the moment I was just thrilled I had found some sort of method to help me lose weight. I was desperate. And in all honesty, I would have done anything to lose weight. I thought my value came from the body I was in.

What did the weigh ins teach me?

Accountability isn’t a bad thing.

It’s simply taking responsibility and ownership for your goals, dreams, and your actions.

That’s scary, I know. Most of the time when we hear some of those words we cringe. Negative emotions might even begin to well up inside your chest. Lean into that, and give yourself some time to explore what’s going on.

Accountability isn’t intended to be a punishment reserved for the times we mess up. At it’s core I believe it’s about teaching us the power of self-control and discipline.

Being held accountable (whether by yourself or another) is actually a blessing in disguise. All of our actions have consequences–another word that might trigger icky feelings. Some consequences are negative and some consequences we view more as a reward. Some we try to avoid and others we try to get more of.

Accountability isn’t weakness 

You don’t need accountability because you need punishment. You’re not a screw up, and you need someone to tell you that or make you ‘pay’ for some sin against your fitness regiment.

Mainstream health and fitness accountability often looks a lot like punishment. Followed by feelings of guilt or shame because you ate something you weren’t ‘supposed to’ or you skipped a workout.

Sometimes we punish ourselves, and sometimes we let others do it for us through social media or in our closest relationships.

Remember, you aren’t seeking accountability because you’re weak. You’re doing it because you know it will help you reach your fitness goals faster and with more ease.

Healthy accountability will help you reach your goals faster.

Healthy accountability will make you want to rise to meet the standards you’ve set for yourself. You will have a desire to show up and do the work, because you know you can’t fail and you can’t mess up.

If your coach is a good one, they will provide the kind of support and environment that inspires you to keep pushing forward. Regardless of how much you feel like quitting you won’t because you know you’ve got someone in your corner. Your coach can’t stop you from quitting on yourself, but they can help you get through the times you feel like you want to.

Negative accountability is the opposite. It does feel like punishment, and it’s heavy. I don’t blame you for avoiding accountability if you feel like you’ll be condemned for not following the plan perfectly.

Negative accountability evokes shame, guilt, or other negative emotions. Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you’re in a situation where you feel guilt, shame, or like you’ve got to lie about your actions, you need to find a new accountability partner.

Avoid your own blind spots

You may not always see what is tripping you up on your own. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of what we are doing, and we just roll through life on auto-pilot.

Having your tribe behind you can really help you see the pot holes in your fitness journey.

As women especially we seek community, and deep down, we long for those tight friendships we had as girls. Sometimes it can be hard to find that tribe because we feel insecure, jealous, or too busy to let others in to see our hot mess. Don’t let those things stop you. We are all hot messes from time to time.

If you truly want to tap into the power of having a tribe, you’ve got to be willing to let your guard down. Learn how to handle your feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, and insecurity in a healthy way.

Accountability challenges you to show up when you don’t feel like it

I did it alone in the beginning and it was hard. Until you’ve created healthy habits it’s too easy to give up if you don’t have accountability. My son would eat cake for breakfast everyday if we let him.

There were many days I felt isolated , and like I was the only woman out there that wasn’t getting results and didn’t know why. When I linked arms with a running buddy that I felt a new level of commitment towards my fitness goals.

When you know someone is expecting you to show up, you just do. And you do it differently than you would if it were just you showing up for yourself.

I guess I’ve always sort of felt like a lone wolf. However ,that statement in itself is ironic. Wolves don’t travel alone. They travel in a pack. Because even they know there’s  power in numbers. The saying, “It takes a village to raise a kid” is also true when it comes to reaching your fitness goals–or any other goal for that matter. You need a village if you want to survive long term.

Allows you to tap into your inner strength, learn + grow

Look, at the end of the day no one is coming to save you from your circumstances. No one is going to persevere and rally for your dreams as much as you.

You’ve got to be the one who decides to own them. You’ve got to be the one who decides they’re worth fighting for. That you’re worth fighting for. Whether you decide to hold yourself accountable, or you enlist the help of a lifestyle coach, having to report on how you’ve been doing will allow you to tap into strength you never even knew you had. Take the time to reflect on and own up to your actions. Reflection is a great opportunity for you to grow as a person. It also gives you great feedback on your habits and thought patterns.

Why is this important? Because then you can actually do something about it. Becoming self-aware of your behaviors (both the things that are working for you and that aren’t) will help you change what’s not working, and do more of what is.

Find your tribe

Showing up is hard work. Often times it can feel icky, especially when we have felt for so long that we just keep messing up. The truth is there is power in numbers. Having your own squad will not only help you reach your fitness goals faster, but it will also be a whole lot more fun too.

If you’re tired of feeling alone on this journey, and want to join our amazing tribe of women fill out the form below. We’re committed to crushing our goals and living our best life. Are you?

Cheers to creating food freedom, finding joy in movement, and making peace with your body before you ever reach your goals.

xo,

Alisha

How to create a healthy lifestyle you actually like living

How to create a healthy lifestyle you actually like living

Motivation doesn’t come easy when we are trying something new. It’s scary and can be intimidating. For years I would sign up for gym memberships thinking *that* time would somehow magically be different.

I’d finally be well on my way to the perfect and happy life I thought weight loss would bring. And time after time, I’d cancel my membership just a few short months after signing up. No where closer to where I wanted to be than when I signed up in January.

I had no clue where to start or what to do. Everyone at the gym seemed like they belonged there, everyone except me. Day after day, I’d quietly put myself on a cardio machine in the corner praying no one would notice me. Eventually I did get up the courage to go ‘play’ with some weights. But I was still clueless.

Fitness can help you see what is possible for yourself but physique goals should be secondary to what creating healthy habits and investing in yourself does for you and in the world around you.

 Fitness was a floodgate for me. Once I finally figured out how to create healthier habits I started to see what else was possible in my life. Up to that point truthfully, I didn’t have much faith in myself. I had quit dreaming for myself, and was sucked into the daily grind. Though I had much of what I wanted–an amazing husband and two healthy kids, there was still something missing. 

As I became more confident in my ability to show up for myself and started making progress on my fitness goals, I began to  feel motivated, equipped, and ready to finally start tackling the other goals I had put on the shelf.

Fitness can become the same floodgate for you…once you figure it out that is. I want you to see what is possible for yourself if you learn how to create a healthy lifestyle you actually like living.  Abandon all the diet information; cookie cutter workout programs; and healthy meal plans. Focus that energy instead on creating a plan that was made just for you. 

I’m going to share with you four tips I wish someone would have given me when I was first starting my fitness journey.

Face your fears-What is the real reason you  are not taking action towards taking care of yourself?

Maybe it’s not knowing what to do. Maybe it’s because you struggle to see you deserve what’s on the other side of your fear.

Failure creates so much fear for people–especially women. You’ve got to let go of the idea of perfect and be willing to take massive imperfect action. Don’t see failure as a bad thing. Each time you fail, you’ve simply found one thing that won’t work.

Common fears some of my clients have expressed in the past:

 Doesn’t want to have to give up everything she loves to eat- You don’t have to. Sure you may need to make some changes to how you’re currently eating especially if your current diet is cardboard or manufactured in a plant. Moderation is key. And there are always ways to make your favorite foods slightly *better*. Nothing is off limits. No food is bad. 

I am too busy to figure it out– just start. Start where you are, with what you do know. Often times walking is underrated. But it is one of the oldest and most effective ways to move your body. And just about anyone can do it. 

I can’t afford a trainer– you don’t need one. But if you do feel like you’d benefit from having someone to guide you then check into some more affordable options. You can get into a small group training session, hire a coach (often for much less than a trainer’s hourly rate) you pay monthly. 

I’m not even sure what I like doing or that I want to go to the gym. That’s totally ok. Tap into your inner kid and think about things you enjoyed doing as a kid, try a new class, invest in some equipment to have at your house, or try a boutique fitness studio instead of bigger gyms. 

I’ve seen some of my friends get too obsessed with healthy living, weight loss, or fat loss. Me too. In fact, I was that friend at one point. Let go of perfectionism. Let go of someone else’s idea of what ‘healthy’ looks like. Set goals for yourself that aren’t necessarily physique related. 

Equip yourself with knowledge

>> Diets don’t work. Sure they may work temporarily, but diets are not a permanent solution. In fact 95% of diets fail.

>> Despite all of the info that pops up when you Google weight loss, fat loss, or diets–you don’t need  to calorie count, count macros, points, or portions. 

>> You don’t have to work out for hours/ day 6-7 days a week.

>> You don’t have to follow one certain workout program.

You get to decide what goals you have and how you want to reach them. It’s easy when you’re first starting out with healthier lifestyle changes to get sucked into all of the information on the internet. So much of it seems like good advice, “Eat healthier, exercise more, create a caloric deficit”. For most people (about 95% of them) that doesn’t work..at least not long-term. 

These ‘healthier lifestyles’ are just more diets packaged a different way. There are ways to create the change you want in your health or your body without dieting or resigning yourself to exercising in a way you hate.

The best workout program or ‘diet’ is one you can do literally forever. This is why one of the biggest issues I have with mainstream health and fitness is the emphasis on perfection and the unrealistic means to get there. When we are trying to follow rules instead of creating habits, we only set ourselves up to fail. When diet culture does include habits–it’s usually just build a habit of following the rules. 

Keep in mind it’s not about what you’re missing out on or taking away, but what you will be gaining by implementing healthier habits into your day-to-day routine. Since practically nobody likes living in deprivation focus on healthy habits over following rules. Focusing on what you don’t have (link to other blog post about mindset) or what you’re not is unmotivating. Instead focus on what you will be gaining by creating healthy habits = more motivating.

Dream big for yourself

I didn’t realize all the times I kept giving up on myself at the gym I was playing small. Every time I quit, I was feeding the self-limiting beliefs I had about myself. The gym isn’t where everyone will find the courage to be who they were created to be. In fact, it wasn’t until I started running (which I hated for most of my life) that I started to see what was possible for me. Then over time I had the confidence to give the gym another try, which ended up being much more successful.

Ask yourself what you would be able to accomplish by creating healthier habits and ditching some of your less healthy ones. What would you do if you felt more confident, had higher self-esteem? What are some things you have missed out on by NOT being happy in your current body?

NOTE: Weight loss/ fat loss is not a magic pill or bullet. It absolutely WILL not fix your problems, and in some cases might even make things worse. Broaden your focus beyond the numbers and beyond trying to create someone else’s idea of a perfect body. 

 Start implementing healthy habits- movement, nutrition, mindset. 

>> change your environment to mirror the changes you want to make–make movement easier and healthier options more available while decreasing the unhealthier ones.

>> keep it simple to start and practice consistency over perfection and complicated strategies. 

>> focus on eating more veggies and adding in more variety.

>> Keep a pair of walking shoes at your desk if you sit all day and aim to go for a walk on your break, grab a co-worker and get outside.

>> Set a reminder or alarm to go off every couple of hours to remind you to get up and move.

>> Sample some classes at local gyms/ facilities to see what you like or sign up for a community class (often cheaper than a gym membership and you might find it less intimidating than walking into a new class or the gym for the first time or in a long time).

>> If you don’t like exercise or have a bad taste when it comes to healthy eating–try thinking about it differently: it’s not a punishment, but rather is something you get to do so that you can do x down the road.

>> Think about your values and your goals, how would taking care of yourself make those things easier?

>> Remember you don’t have to do any specific kind of exercise or follow any one type of diet to create the results you want. You get to choose what works for you and your lifestyle. 

 I’m not a huge advocate for fitting the rest of your life around fitness. Rather making ‘being fit’ fit into what you’re already doing. After seeing so many women try over and over again to follow someone else’s rules, and being one of those women myself; I know it doesn’t work. 

You shouldn’t feel like you’re starting a new job when you embark on the amazing journey of bettering yourself through movement, nutrition, or otherwise. And if it does, that’s probably not the “healthy lifestyle” for you.

Cheers to creating food freedom, finding joy in movement, and loving your body long before you reach your goals!

xo,

Alisha

PS to make sure you’re starting off on the right foot, sign up below to grab your copy of 5 of the sneakiest ways you’re sabotaging yourself.

Why moderation is the best way to create a healthy lifestyle

Why moderation is the best way to create a healthy lifestyle

You’ve been burned a time or two by the fitness industry before and it’s  caused problems by being too obsessed with living that “healthy and fit” lifestyle. It  doesn’t even look possible to be healthy and fit any other way than focusing so much on food–what you’re going to eat, how much you ‘can’ have, and whether or not you were on plan or off plan. If you’re not logging hours at the gym or during your workouts, you can’t possibly get the results you’re after, right?

Wrong.

 The mainstream health and fitness industry aka diet culture wants you to believe healthy looks one way and is achieved through a very narrow pathway–working out like the top instagram fitness influencers and following some cookie cutter meal plan. The issue with this narrow way of thinking is that it limits a majority of women to ever actually be able to achieve a healthy and fit lifestyle. Because for everyone not living inside a bubble the methods used are unrealistic, unhealthy, and keep you stuck in the same diet cycle. 

One of the best kept secrets of the fitness industry is that your weight (to an extent) is predetermined much like your eye color or your height. This doesn’t mean you should resolve to live an unhealthy lifestyle eating whatever you want whenever you want or ditch all forms of movement because you don’t like it. But it does mean you don’t have to conform to someone else’s idea of what a healthy and fit body looks like. 

  Find the middle ground: Not without discipline and self-control, but also not about rules and restriction.

You don’t have to workout for hours or be restrictive with your food to be healthy or to reach your fitness goals. In fact, I believe that type of behavior has the opposite impact on your health both long and short-term in that you end up sacrificing other areas of health to attain society’s idea of what a healthy body should look like.

Learning to be more disciplined in the short-term pays off big. It’s all about learning how to manage the tension between instant gratification and holding out for what you want most in your life. Becoming more disciplined and learning how to exercise self-control are two of your most powerful tools when it comes to leaving the diets and the workout programs you hate doing behind. Once you know how to exercise self- control in a way that allows you to *choose* whether you want to give into the instant gratification or you want to hold out for a bigger payoff you become more empowered and more motivated to do what you know is right in your heart.

Create moderation.

I’ve been there..for years I tried to live up to the popular body type, at the time it was being long and lean. The problem? I’m pretty short and have legs like tree trunks. My body puts on muscle fairly easily, and my lower body tends to holds onto fat. Trying all the popular workouts and meal plans I found in magazines and online to create the long and lean body only left me more defeated.  I thought something was wrong with me since I could never attain that specific body shape or size. Talk about motivating. 

Once you see there are MANY ways to be healthy. And that health and fitness can and should look different on every single body, you can find motivation to try again. This time without the fear of failing or having to keep up with what everyone else is doing to be #healthy. 

Define what “healthy and fit” looks like for yourself

Realizing YOU get to decide for yourself what healthy and fit feels like and looks like, empowers you to take action.

Though its taken me some time and lots of trial and error to figure out what works for me personally, you won’t have to navigate it yourself because I’ve compiled the strategies you need in order to begin confidently rewriting your story with fitness, food, and your relationship with your body. 

Aside from certain markers of physical health (like cholesterol, blood pressure, hormone levels, etc) your health is much more than your appearance, how many veggies you eat in a day, and how many hours you log at the gym. 

Your health is made up of your emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well. Though they make appear to be healthy on the surface, a majority of the workout programs, diet + nutrition information, and meal plans are only promoting disordered eating and body image issues. They tend to forget about how damaging it is to our overall health to be obsessed with obtaining a perfect body, and one that isn’t all that realistic for most women at that.

How to create moderation in lifestyle around food and fitness.

The first thing to realize is that in order to achieve moderation you have to start to let go of what you think you already know about getting healthy or what it will take to become fit.

Focus on discipline and self-control,  not  rules and restriction. Unfortunately the health and fitness industry as well as many in the anti-diet culture movement have made these four things seem synonymous, but they aren’t. The biggest difference lies in your motivation and the heart driving your behavior around food, exercise, and any other activities you engage in to create a ‘healthier’ lifestyle. Ditch the rules and the restriction. Keep practicing self- control with a dose of grace and self-compassion.

You can incorporate all kinds of movement and still reach your fitness and health goals. This is especially true once you realize you are the one deciding what your healthy body should look and feel like. Aside from certain health markers (briefly discussed above), you can choose what your healthiest self looks and feels like. Remember physical appearance is NOT an indication of someone’s health.

There is no best diet or no one size fits all nutrition plan. Most nutrition information you find places too much emphasis on weight loss and fat loss and not enough on eating to nourish your body or to simply give it what it needs to feel good. What works for one person, will not necessarily work for you. It’s hard to keep up with all the diet fads and fitness trends out there, so stop.

Instead of looking for another diet to try, focus on building good habits around food and eating (and drinking) in a way that fuels you to live the life you want to be living.

Habits over rules. By now you can see I’m not a fan of food rules or rules around what it takes to fit and healthy. Rules don’t work, and usually create an urge to rebel. Habits on the other hand can be extremely helpful (if they are habits moving you closer to your goals). Essentially you want to start small. Don’t try to change all of your habits at once. Choose one habit you want to create or one you want to change and take one small action. Then repeat that same action over and over until it becomes natural.

Become self- aware and more intentional.  This one goes hand in hand with creating habits. In order for you to change your habits or create more habits, you’ve got to be aware of what needs changing and why. Grab a journal and a pen and give yourself some time and space to think about your current habits; the habits you want to create; and the goals you want to set for yourself. Ask yourself what habits need to go and what ones you need to start. Then start intentionally choosing your actions.

Moderation is not the easiest path to take, but it’s the best one. Once you learn how to live without food rules and with more intention you can truly begin to experience freedom around food. Fitness can become fun again. And you’ll realize just how truly wonderful your body is right now.

Finding a tribe that is on the same mission as you and sharing your goals is one of the best ways to create lasting change. You’ll be more motivated to show up knowing you’re working alongside other ladies on the same mission as you–to live an anti-diet lifestyle full of laughter and joy. 

xo,

Alisha

PS to make sure you never miss a beat, fill out the form below.

Slow and sustainable weight loss |Not sexy, but it works.

2019 is right around the corner and if you haven’t already been bombarded with messages about creating a ‘New You in the New Year’  Or any other promise of quick and easy weight/fat loss strategies—hold on, they’re coming. But before they hit your news feed, I wanted to tell you a little story.

I had these two friends. One, was always working out, ‘eating clean’, and tracked all of the food she put in her mouth.

The other ate when she was hungry, stopped before she was full, and focused on nourishing her body with healthy and whole foods first. She allowed herself to enjoy treats and the occasional happy hour.

My first friend was always starting a new diet or constantly had to start over because she’d usually binge on the weekends and around the holidays.

The second friend never seemed to be stressed around food or exercise. She enjoyed the healthy foods and the treats and her weight didn’t seem to fluxuate all that much. In fact, she seemed to relaxed and chill around food.

Spoiler alert:

The friends in those stories above are both me. One was before-when I was heavily stuck in diet culture. Trapped by diet mindsets. And continually restricting what and how much I ate all in the name of a 6 pack. Which I regret to say I never had anyway.

How many diets or lifestlye changes have you tried?

You don’t have to really answer that. But think about it. Most of the weight loss products/ diets ont he market are designed to get you the quickest, most extreme results possible. The lucky few who actually do get results usually cannot hang on to them for long, and the others? They quit before they even finish. Why?

For most people they aren’t making lifestyle changes they can or even want to  maintain. Who really never wants to eat their favorite food again?!  I can’t even tell you how many times I swore off sugar, carbs, or alcohol. Ok, so I guess those are all essentially the same thing..but you get the idea. Restriction aka dieting doesn’t work long term. And it makes you miserable in the process.

Breaking up with your diet (2)

Girl, what you need is a friend…someone who has been there before

Having people in your corner who have been in your shoes can help you see what you don’t. The right friends and coaches see your blindsides and they are committed to helping you overcome them.
Not to mention when you and your friends go in on a fitness adventure together or you and your besties vow to make some lifestyle changes together you get the effect of positive peer pressure. Sheesh, where were those friends back in high school?
Inviting a few trusted friends on your journey gives you the sense of being known.
Which, let’s face it, being known is a big deal. For most of my teen and young adult life I just wanted to be seen. To be known. To be wanted. I am convinced that is why I spent so much of my time chasing the perfect body, trying to catch the attention of the cute guy I was crushing on, and why I negotiated bits and pieces of who I was.
When you blab to you friends about what you’re doing, it puts you on the hook.
It’s easy to let your goals and the big dreams you have for yourself slink off to die a slow, quiet death when you keep them quiet.
A word to the wise: Be choosy with the friends you invite to join you on your health and fitness journey. Find someone (or a group of women) that are excited for you and not threatened by your desire to change.

 Focus on small changes daily rather than big extreme ones that don’t last

My rule of thumb: the more extreme the measure, the less sustainable the result. If you can’t see yourself living life ( as in a healthy, vibrant, and full life) on salads and shakes then it won’t work. If you can’t see yourself committing to the gym 6 days/ week for 2 hours a day until you die, then that’s not the right answer for you. Pick a few small changes to make and start slow. Practice those changes for a few weeks consistently before adding anything else to your plate.

Can you do whatever it is you’re currently doing to get in shape forever??
Right now ask yourself on a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to stick to your current lifestyle?
Anything less than a 9 means you’re not going to stick with it long enough to see change forever.
I want to let you in on my secret…it should almost feel too easy. Like so easy, you don’t see results in a couple of weeks. The changes will be subtle and that will be frustrating no doubt, because we have been conditioned to demand quick results.
Hold on to hope
If you stay consistent, you WILL get the results you’re after. And you’ll be able to keep them forever. Seriously. But you’ve got to be relentless–kind of like my dog when she gets her sights set on a squirrel.
Fight the good fight. Choose foods that nourish your mind, body + soul. Move your body with indulgent joy. And take a moment to evaluate your current game plan going into 2019. Does it look the same as it did last December? If you were less than thrilled with the results, it might be time to do something a little (or a lot) different.
Did this resonate with you? Share this with one person who needs this message and leave me your thoughts below.
Cheers to women creating food freedom, finding joy in movement, and making peace with their bodies long before they reach their goals!
xo,
Alisha Carlson (8)