Struggling to find a healthy routine? Learn how to create a healthier routine + manage your cravings

Struggling to find a healthy routine right now? The transition to working at home can be a tough one to maneuver for busy female entrepreneurs if you aren’t used to self-motivating, keeping yourself on a schedule, or prioritizing self care. It can be all too easy to work from sun up to sun down, leaving you feeling like your traded your dreams of running your own business for another j-o-b.

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Meet Te, she’s a hard working, ambitious woman who is looking to make an impact through her work and feel good in her body doing it. She’s been cooped up during the COVID-19 quarantine and has noticed that working from home has definitely presented some challenges when it comes to keeping a routine for her busy schedule as a female entrepreneur, and as a result, here self-care has gone out the window.

Te wants to be healthy, she wants more energy, and she wants to feel confident in her body. She knows what she needs to do, but actually doing it is the hard part.

She is ready to make some changes, and wants to incorporate more exercise, healthy foods, and sleep, but just doesn’t know where to start.

We hopped on a non-diet strategy session and outlined a couple strategies she can start implementing this week! If you’re struggling to find a self-care routine as a busy female entrepreneur, this week’s episode is for you 😉

*BONUS* we even tackled some strategies around resisting the urge to satisfy your sweet tooth. And it’s probably not they typical advice you’d expect to hear from a nutritionist.

For a sneak peek at what the non-diet lifestyle looks like, hit play. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review if this was helpful for you!


 

If you are ready to take the plunge and start on your own non-diet lifestyle, head on over to:
https://alishacarlson.com/tmep30daykit/ to snag my brand new Mindful Eating Project Kickstart, a 30 Day mindful + intuitive eating challenge to help you fast track your progress into a less stressful way of eating… which means you’ll have more time to spend making an impact in the world and less time worrying about what to eat.

And if you KNOW you are ready to take it all the way, you can fill out an app to work with me here:
https://forms.gle/F6xdYk4yzGsvJGqg8

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Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Balancing work and motherhood during quarantine

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Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com

Is it EASIER or HARDER to prioritize self-care and down time right now during the COVID-19 quarantine?
I asked this question earlier this week as for an overwhelming response (over 100 women to be exact)
The results are in…
It’s a mixed bag.
For some, it’s been WAY easier
While others feel a little more like they are drowning in work, homeschooling, and all the housework.
 Working from home is a SKILL you develop over time. And even if you’ve developed that skill, trying to manage home schooling on top of that is a whole new hard.
 If you have found it to be harder to take care of yourself in this season of life, ONE major reason is that you’re likely still trying to live your life as normal—doing business as usual.
But this isn’t normal, and it certainly isn’t business as usual.
The thing I noticed in talking to some of these different women is, the ones who have been thriving in this time have adjusted their sails and have adapted to the changing tides day by day..embracing the uncertain.
The ones who have been on the struggle bus, haven’t.
There is a very good chance we will never actually go back to the old normal. This is potentially scary for some and exciting for others. The funny thing is, a lot of us weren’t all that happy with ‘normal’ when it was life as usual.
But now that it’s been taken away from us, we crave that old normal…because it is familiar and it was comfortable even if it was anything but.
In this new crazy season of life, figure out what you CAN do with what you’ve got. And start dreaming up the new normal for your life you want to create.
You can either keep trying to do things the way you did before quarantine
OR
You can adjust your sails to the changing winds.
One is going to lead to stress, anxiety, and massive frustration
The other leads to a lot less stress, anxiety, and frustration which will allow you to come out of quarantine stronger, healthier, and happier.
How to deal with negative emotions as a perfectionist

How to deal with negative emotions as a perfectionist

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

 

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

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

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

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

You deserve a little TLC too. Sign up below!

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!

 

Budget your time with this simple how to

Budget your time with this simple how to

 In our modern day, fast-paced lives it seems like rest has become a bit of a bad word…synonymous with lazy. If we aren’t filling every last moment with something to do, then are we even doing anything? Even with the best intentions, we often find our schedules bursting at the seams. This is where learning how to budget your time is a must if you want to live your life on purpose…your purpose.

In case you needed some permission to take a breather, here it is: it’s ok to rest.

In fact, it is absolutely critical that you do. You have lots of important things you’re doing in your everyday life, and it requires you to be the best version of yourself for that day. Whatever assignments you’ve been given in this season of life, they need you to be on your A-game.

I used to be so guilty of filling every last moment with something to do. My Google calendar looked like a paint by numbers gone wrong. If I got done with work or a project early, I’d immediately start in on something else even if it wasn’t on my calendar for that day.

 My brain never got a break. I felt exhausted, short fused, and like I wasn’t getting where I wanted to go any faster. You will never feel like you have enough time or got enough done. That is just a fact I’ve come to recognize and continue to wrestle with daily. 

 As women today we face so much external pressure  to be good at all the things we see others doing well, and when we can’t we often find ourselves feeling shame around not being good enough.

So what is your metric? How do you know when you’ve done enough? 

When you’re working on the things that matter most to you, that’s when. Whenever when we fill our agendas with things that don’t really matter to us, we are too exhausted to do the things we’d rather be doing. 

The “AHA!”  moment came a couple years ago, when I had overextended myself with projects and committees that were important..to someone else, but they were things I thought I should be doing if I wanted to be a good mom. It occurred to me I was trying to be someone else’s version of me. 

Instead of leaving my calendar to chance, I had to start telling my time where to go. I to start putting MY priorities on the calendar. Rather than trying to fill every last minute with something to do, I started leaving white space in my calendar. Which meant I also had to get good at saying “no, thank you” to the things that weren’t a heck yes for me. 

One thing to remember is: YOU own your time.

Which means YOU must tell it where to go just like you do your money (if you’ve got a budget set up, you know what I’m talking about).

If you’re not planning ahead of time *how* and *what* you want to spend your time doing, you’ll be answering to everyone else’s requests all day long.

So, set yourself up to win with this scheduling strategy—
1. Carve out some time this week to plan ahead (for me, Sundays work best)
2. Pencil in your appointments and fixed commitments
3. Pencil in YOUR free time. This is time you don’t have to do anything. Side note, even though I enjoy moving my body, it still feels like a must so that I can be healthy. So for me, that would not go into the free time category.

4. Pencil in the other things.

When you take charge of your schedule like this, you fill your calendar with YOUR priorities, instead of letting other people fill it with theirs. It’s amazing what that sense of ownership over your time will do for you in so many different areas.

If you’re working around others and their schedules, it’s good to know that perhaps not everyone will be on board at first. That is ok. Work together to find a solution that works for everyone. And be prepared for some difficult conversations if your family has a hard time with you setting boundaries around your time. 

When you set boundaries around your time and honor those boundaries, you find you have more time to have fun, to do something nice for yourself, be more present, and ultimately more engaged in your most prized relationships. 

 You go from feeling wiped out and resentful to feeling a sense of calm you may have never known before. When you create peace around your time,  naturally it will  lead to peace in other areas of your life too. In fact, you may find some of those pesky behaviors around food might start dwindling. Now that’s what I call a win 😉

xo,

Alisha

P.S. To get your hands on other strategies and insight, sign up for the wait list to join the Mindful Eating Project. Spoiler alert, it’s not just about the food…