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

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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
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!

 

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

PS. Are you on the list yet? Get strategies sent right to your inbox weekly by joining the list. Fill out the form below if you’re ready to embrace The Strong[HER] Way to live, move, and eat.

 

Is anti-diet the best approach to wellness?

Is anti-diet the best approach to wellness?

Is anti-diet the right way to approach health, wellness, and well-being?

Some front runners in this movement teach the WTH attitude. Which is NOT the answer either. That is the kind of thinking that keeps people stuck. In many ways it gives wrong idea about eating, and living life in general. Self-control is displayed as being a form of slavery. Instead, you’re encouraged to throw all caution to the wind, and do whatever the heck you feel like. 

Instead we ought to approach our well-being from a place of mindfulness and responsibility. Sometimes it means making the hard call, delaying gratification, so  you can grow into that next level version of yourself.

Throwing the middle finger up at the idea that self-control and discipline creates a sense of why even try? Apathy is not empowerment. Taking ownership is empowering–so long as you do it on your own terms. And not according to what you ‘think’ you should be doing.

 

 You know dieting doesn’t work

You just want to be healthy, but somehow you’re still struggling to make those new lifestyle habits stick.

If dieting isn’t the answer. What is? Initially it seems like it would be the opposite–not dieting. But that is scary right? For most of us, dieting in some way is all we have known. Dieting nonsense is everywhere in our culture these days.

 We’ve never really been taught how to eat when we aren’t operating from a diet mindset or with diet behaviors. 

 We all want to feel at ease around food and feel comfortable in our skin.

Whether it’s from a shallow place of  wanting to look good, or because of a deeper desire we have to feel like we are lovable, worthy, and good enough.

On the surface, most of us would say we know what it takes to reach our health goals–eat less, move more. No matter how many times we’ve tried this and have failed, we still carry this as our own failure. Not the diet itself.

 We try to fit ourselves into a box we were never meant to be in. We were created to be unique–that includes the formula for our healthy lifestyle too. My healthy lifestyle won’t necessarily look the same as yours, and that is ok. 

 About 18 months ago, I realized I was still dieting, yet calling it a “healthy lifestyle”.

I was operating by rules and restriction.

I wasn’t losing weight (long-term). I was obsessed with food all the time again. Even though I was working out 6 days a week, my body didn’t lose weight. 

 

Maybe time to do something different

What are you currently doing? How is that working for you? If it’s not working, it’s time to shake things up and do something you’ve never done before.

I’m willing to bet you’ve had seasons in life where you’ve said screw it, and have eaten whatever you wanted, and that didn’t get you what you wanted either. While I’m not proposing that we just go totally off the rails. I am proposing we find our own happy middle ground. 

 Look at ditching the diet mindset in a mindful way.

Neutralize food.

Give yourself permission to eat anything you want.

Toss out the food rules.

Get in touch with yourself.

Ask yourself these questions:

What do you want to look, feel, be like?

How do you want to engage with food and your body?

How do you want to feel in your skin? 

Guess what you can have those feelings now. You can have that relationship with food right now. 

Diet culture is everywhere you turn

I had to overcome years of dieting and living in diet culture. Sometimes it is near impossible to sort it all out.

When I first started my own non-diet journey, I went way off the rails. Gained weight, didn’t feel good. I knew I was self-sabotaging, but this time it was my fault. You see when we diet, and it doesn’t work–sure we feel pretty bad about ourselves for failing, but ultimately we still get to blame the diet for not working. 

When you go off the rails on purpose, and you initially start to leave dieting behind it will feel out of control. That is all the years of dieting and listening to the diet BS catching up with you. This is normal. No need to panic. And you definitely don’t need to go back to dieting.

 It’s a slow process. One that needs practicing every day. You may get to a point where you realize you aren’t happy with how you’ve been treating yourself (which by the way can and does STILL happen when you’re dieting).

When you’re recovering from the diet mindset there is an adjustment period. It will take you some time to learn this new way of eating and interacting with food.

But it gets better.

The rebel who just wants to eat everything doesn’t have to rule your world.

Instead, you learn how to channel into your inner guide and expert. You use her to guide you to the right decisions for yourself. Of course having some key habits under your belt will help until it becomes more automatic.

Where the anti-diet movement fails you

Some in the anti-diet movement will tell you to just keep going. Eat whatever you want how ever much you want.

It’s a ‘who cares’ attitude. This is irresponsible and doesn’t empower anybody. Maybe it feels like empowerment temporarily, but not long term. 

 Rejecting the anti-diet mindset is as important as rejecting the diet mindset.

When you finally step into the role of expert in your own life,  you take full ownership of your life and your results that is when you find TRUE freedom.

I had to teeter to both extremes to figure that out.

 The ironic thing? In both extremes I was unhappy.

One is the mindset you’ll never be good enough, the other says you can be whatever you want even if it costs you your health and the ability to manage yourself in a healthy, helpful way.

Finding your own center will help you walk through life with self- control, discipline, grace and self-compassion. That, my friend is the only way to live the life you were created to live.

If you’re ready to simplify nutrition and leave dieting behind click here to apply for my new group coaching program. Space is limited, and the early bird discount won’t last long…