How to get more motivated without flaking out on yourself

How to get more motivated without flaking out on yourself

Nobody likes a flake. They are hard to rely on and you can almost never trust them to do what they say they’ll do because they don’t have a history of showing up. Sadly, we are sometimes the flakiest person we know. It’s not that we flake out on everyone else around us, but that we flake out on ourselves. On our dreams, our goals, and our deepest desires. Maybe it’s the fear of failure that stops us in our tracks or maybe it’s because we keep waiting for motivation to come knocking on our door.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you will NEVER feel motivated…that is not until you decide to do something about your current situation.

Motivation is like a muscle. The more reps you do, the stronger the urge or the feeling of motivation becomes. The problem is, we often wait to do anything until we feel like it.

Why is motivation so hard to come by? Because we are rarely ever excited about change. Even if we know that the change will be good for us, it’s still hard.

You’ve got to draw a line in the sand and decide you’re done with where you are and then take the next step. That one small action of going against the grain, doing something different sets off a chain reaction in your mind. It’s the wake up call you’ve been waiting for.

With that one action, you begin to feel more empowered, have more belief in yourself, and you eventually get hooked on the feeling of being there for yourself.

Think about it, if you had a friend that was notorious for flaking (let’s be real, we’ve all had them…maybe we were that friend) you would eventually lose faith they would actually follow through, and stop trying all together. Sound familiar? Hello New Year’s resolutions I’m talking to you..

We start to believe and feel the same way about ourselves when we are constantly starting a new diet or workout program and only stick with it for a few days before we go back to our old ways. I’m not at all saying that’s your fault. In fact, I think it’s the other way around. The diet and fitness industry is to blame. The major focus on weight lost and muscles popping doesn’t leave much room for variety. We’re taught fitness and health look a certain way, but we aren’t really ever talking about the dark side of what it takes to reach that ‘ideal body’. So time and time again we set out on the same journey to lose the same 15-30 pounds, using the same method, getting the same result. No wonder, motivation is lacking.

The more you show up, the more motivated you are. Especially when you are not so focused on the immediate results–they take time.

So, you don’t have a good record of showing up for yourself…

Let me guess, you’re usually the one that shows up for everyone else, but have a much harder time showing up for yourself. It’s so much easier to keep our word to others because we dont’ want to let them down or disappoint. 

We might also find it easier to show up for others more than ourselves if we don’t value ourselves enough to see we are worth investing in too. Low self-esteem was the culprit of my dreams for years. I didn’t feel worthy of my goals or dreams, and as a result it was easier to just not show up than face the painful feelings of not being ‘enough’.

If you’ve ever attempted to s set and reach personal goals before, but have always failed you can start to feel defeated, tired of letting herself down, and you may start to wonder what’s the point. So it just becomes easier NOT show up.

Here’s why you’re not showing up for yourself like you do everyone else.

Guilt, shame, people pleasing. These are all major reasons we have a hard time staying consistent when it comes to creating habits we know will move us in the direction we want to go.

First thing to learn is that it’s OK to prioritize what you want for yourself. Especially understanding that it usually makes you better for everyone and everything else you are doing in life. It’s not selfish or sinful to make your goals important enough to show up for.

Sometimes we put off showing up for ourselves because we think we have time. This is one of the reasons I’ve gone from setting annual goals to focusing on a smaller number of goals to hit in 12 weeks. You have to create a sense of urgency and desire for your dreams, goals, and vision. No one else will for you, and no one else will make it important, you have to do that for yourself. This means putting your goals in your calendar and scheduling the time to take the necessary action. So, if you’re set on creating healthier habits–like eating better or working out/ moving your body more you have to create the space in your planner and your schedule for it to actually happen.

Then you have to hold yourself to it. Just like any other important appointment or meeting.

Whether you know it or not, you hold deeply rooted beliefs about yourself, others, and the way the world ought to be or about the way the world is. These beliefs are hard to break and it’s impossible to get rid of the part of your brain that holds these beliefs–the subconscious.

The good news? You can learn from your subconscious and even begin to harness its power. But you have to be willing to do the work. Reaching your health and fitness goals are about the mindset and your thoughts about yourself, food, exercise, just as much as it’s about actually doing the workouts or choosing to eat healthier. Make sure your mind isn’t the thing sabotaging all your efforts in your workouts or your diet.

You know what you should be doing to get healthier , but you just can’t make yourself do it 

For most of us, we know exactly what we need to do in order to create a healthier mind, body, and soul. But we still don’t do it. The typical way we are taught to create healthier lives is usually through adding in more food rules, more exercise (that we may not even like), and doing it perfectly.

Think about all the times you’ve told a kid NOT to touch something and how much stronger the urge gets almost immediately to touch that thing. We are the same way. 

As soon as you tell your brain carbs are off limits and bad for you. What do you think about? Carbs. And eating them. All day long. Or if you decide you have to cut out sugar in order to lose those last 10-15 pounds it seems like sweets are everywhere and even harder to resist than usual.

Of course I don’t think you *have* to cut either of those things out or anythign else you enjoy eating. But I do think you need to become more aware of your choices and why you’re making them. I do believe in self- control, moderation, and discipline. Those are the backbones to reaching your fitness goals this year and any other year. However, those often get confused with  food rules and restriction. They are not the same thing. The difference? The heart behind it. You’ve got to become good at discerning your heart and your internal motivations behind every action you take. This is the piece of the health and fitness puzzle that seems to be missing from every other workout program or meal plan on the planet.

We usually don’t have a knowledge problem when it comes to our health. We have an implementation problem.

With a simple google search you can come up with diets, workouts, and meal plans all promising the body of your dreams. You’ve probably even tried a handful of them a time or two.

More information isn’t going to help you feel motivated to take action. You need to understand why the things you’ve tried haven’t worked in the past. This way you can learn from those past experiences and figure out what adjustments you can make moving forward. 

What if I’m too busy to commit to working out and eating better?

We make time for what’s truly important to us. Plain and simple. The things we value are the things we follow through on. It’s ok to acknowledge you may value comfort over pushing yourself. We all do. But at some point you will either have to lean into the pain of change or live with the pain of regret. I used to feel too busy too. I would put my workouts off until the end of the day, and most of the time they wouldn’t happen. Or I would say I’ll start eating better, and wouldn’t actually take any steps towards making that a reality. 

Not only did I not feel good in my skin at that point, but I also didn’t feel good about how I was showing up in the world around me. Your body isn’t the end all be all. And there are goals more worthy than weight loss or fat loss that is for sure. However, when I finally started showing up consistently to take care of myself my whole demeanor changed. I started to believe in myself again–or perhaps for the first time ever. It was pushing myself outside of my comfort zone through exercise and nutrition that I started to see my confidence rise. I became more courageous in other areas as well–regardless of what was happening on the outside.

Why it’s so much harder to create ‘good or healthy’ habits

We are hard wired for pleasure and comfort. Instant gratification will lure us in every single time unless we are intentional about exercising self- control or discipline. Im not 100% against seeking pleasure and comfort at times, but to give into those desires and temptations all the time ins’t going to lead anywhere good–mentally, emotionally, or physically. There’s a sweet spot that lives right in the middle of rules and restriction aka diet culture and have whatever you want-whenever you want it anti-diet culture.

 I don’t see self control and restriction in the same category. One is helpful, the other isn’t.

The ‘bad’ habits come easier because they are usually the ones hitting the reward center in our brains. That’s why its often easier to grab for the bag of chips or the tub of ice cream than it is for the apple or the carrot. 

At first you will have to manually override your urge for intstant gratification. Holding onto the vision and the goals you’ve set for yourself is one powerful way to do this. The more you do this, the easier it becomes. It does take sacrifice. It does take discipline. It will take you actively choosing to do the harder thing time and time again. But it does get easier. 

Keep yourself in check though. Stay curious and ask why you’re making the decision you are at that moment. Is it out of punishment or from the dieting perspective? Or are you making those choices to soothe and comfort yourself in a way that may actually be doing more damage than good. Eating your feelings only solves the problem temporarily.

“Life happened and now I have to start all over..”

Life gets in the way. There will never be a way around that. There have been so many times I set out to start a new diet or a new workout program in the past only to get sick or to have one of my kids sick. It threw me off. I was unable to keep going because I wasn’t able to follow the rules perfectly. 

Trying to follow diet rules or workout programs you don’t like is really only a recipe for disaster. When we can’t follow the rules and we haven’t formed new habits to replace the old ones it is so easy to slip back into our old patterns and routines. Instead of creating more rules around food or exercise, create new habits. Habits will stick no matter what life throws at you. 

How to get more motivated without flaking out on yourself:

Strategies to start showing up for yourself consistently to help you create habits and reach your goals. 

  1. Do the work to figure out what your deep seeded beliefs or thoughts are about yourself, food, your body, exercise. Usually in this busy, fast paced life we just go through the motions day after day even if they aren’t producing the results we want. It’s time to wake up, sister! Start asking yourself WHY you just did what you did.
  2. Pick 1-2 things to work on at a time. Make them small changes, and action items that make you feel excited inside. If you pick things that bring up feelings of fear, anxiety, or dread, you’re not going to be very motivated to stick with it. So pick things that make your heart leap with joy. Even in the action items seem small and insignificant. Remember, you’re simply trying to build trust in yourself and your ability to follow through and create a new, healthier habit. 
  3. Create a schedule or routine. You have to schedule those actions from step 2 into your calendar or they won’t happen. LIfe will get in the way.  You won’t feel motivated in the beginning, so you have to rely on discipline and desire at first. You have to create the motivation to stick it out by action. Treat these commitments with yourself as important appointments that cannot be broken–just like you would if the appointment were with someone else. If you schedule time to move at 11 am, then that is when you are going to move your body even if you don’t feel like it, at least at first. You can work on creating more flexibility later. For now, you need to build the habit of showing up for yourself.
  4. Motivation boils down to discipline, action, and commitment. The more consistent action you take, the more motivated you will feel. Staying consistent will require discipline at first. Which can be uncomfortable or feel restrictive in some ways. Keep your eye on the prize–what do you want that you don’t currently have? Remember: You will never feel motivated until you commit to taking action each and every day. That means taking action even when you don’t feel like it.
  5. Focus on creating new habits that will fuel the healthier lifestyle you want to create for yourself instead of following rules. It’s important to emphasize the importance of creating habits you know will move you in the direction of you want to go and that align with your values and priorities. If you try to set goals or create habits that don’t align with your core values or the things you truly value, you will have a hard time sticking with them.
  6. Have fun. This is often overlooked when it comes to working on our fitness goals or any goal for that matter. But this might be the most important tactic of them all. If you’re not having fun while you’re reaching your goals, you’re doing it wrong.

 

Don’t let this information sit on ice. Do something with it starting today. Take one small action before you feel motivated. Then keep going. Commit yourself to showing up and start thinking like the version of yourself you want to be now. Work on creating motivation from within and you will be unstoppable.

What is one thing that helps you stay motivated even when you don’t feel it?

Be sure to subscribe and share this with a friend that needs a little pep talk today.

xo

Alisha

How to improve your body image and reach your fitness goals

How to improve your body image and reach your fitness goals

I don’t blame you for feeling burned out on your workout program or you meal plan.

It’s easy to get to that place of frustration and wanting to throw in the towel, when you feel like you’re doing *all the right things* and aren’t getting any of the results. I’ve been there.

For years, I tried all the workout programs promising a bikini ready body in six weeks. Little did I know in order to have a bikini body, you literally just have to put a bikini on your body. Or I’d read diet book after diet book thinking starting a new diet would be the answer I’d been looking for. After all, nutrition is 80% of your results.

After trying and failing so many times, nobody blames you for losing belief in yourself. But maybe the problem isn’t that you lost the belief in yourself. Perhaps it was never there to begin with. This would be completely reasonable if you grew up thinking you were a failure because you had a fixed mindset. It could also be completely possible for you to not believe in yourself because that is the way mainstream fitness is designed.

If the diets and the workout programs actually worked long-term, the fitness industry would be in big trouble.

 

You don’t need another diet, meal plan, or workout program.

You need consistency. When we fail to reach our goals it’s usually because we aren’t consistent enough, long enough to elicit the results we want. And most of the time, the reason we suck at consistency is because of our deep-rooted beliefs–some of which you may not even be aware you have. 

Your mindset is crucial in what you end up achieving. If deep down you don’t believe you can ever achieve your weight loss goal or if you associate losing weight with any sort of negative feeling, emotion, or thought you will subconsciously sabotage yourself.

It’s easier to think negative than it is to be positive. Optimism is learned and strengthened through practice much like motivation…

If you have a habit of always thinking about things in a negative light, you can change that. Whether we are naturally more pessimistic or optimistic is largely influenced by our environment. This means it can be changed. The process of changing the pattern your thoughts may not come easily, especially when we are trained to see the flaws in ourselves. But it can be done none the less.

One simple way you can start doing this is through gratitude. Start appreciating what you do have and what you have accomplished so far than what you don’t or you haven’t.

Reflect on your actions, do they line up with the goals you’ve set for yourself or not–be honest here. Then ask yourself how can you course correct. Your thoughts drive your emotions and your actions. If you want to change your actions, you must first change your thoughts. 

We think it is in reaching our goals that we will be happy, but we have the opportunity to live ‘as if’ (does this remind anyone else of Clueless- or is it just me?) WAY before we reach our goals. You don’t actually want your goals. You want the feelings you believe reaching those fitness goals will bring you. Why not work on cultivating those feelings now?

The health and fitness industry wants us to believe in order to *feel* confident, attractive, and beautiful we have to look a certain way. You don’t. You can start to create those same warm and fuzzy feelings right now.

Learn how to improve your body image while reaching your fitness goals with these tips: 

Remember all great things take time and a consistent effort to build. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built every day. Habits are grounded in consistency and they are they key to creating long-term, lasting change whether in nutrition, fitness, or otherwise. 

Start slowly and start simply. Either by replacing one habit at a time or by creating one new positive habit at a time. Instead of going all in on a meal plan, focus on changing one thing at one meal until it becomes so easy you don’t even have to think about it. If you’re not used to working out, don’t  commit to 5 days of working out start with 1 and do that one day consistently until it’s a part of your life. After the new habit becomes easy and automatic you can add to it or make it more challenging. They key is to go slow.

Whatever positive habit you pick to start creating or whatever negative habit you’re committed to changing you want to ask yourself how likely you believe you are to achieving it. Pick the habit and the change in your routine, then rate it on a scale of 1-10 how likely it will be to be consistent in working on it. Anything lower than an 8/9 needs to be made easier.

When you do fail or fall down, don’t waste your time or energy beating yourself up. Self-condemnation doesn’t motivate us to work harder or to persevere. It usually has the opposite effect. Get in the habit of giving yourself grace and pep talks. When a baby is learning to walk and they stumble we don’t make fun of them or call them names for falling. We encourage them to get up and try again. Practice that same kind of grace and compassion for yourself too.

Harness the power of your thoughts through visualization.

Often times by thinking about all the ways something could go wrong, we end up creating that exact reality with our minds. If you think you’re going to fail at your new workout program or you think you’ll only stick with your nutrition habits for a few days, then you will. Likewise, you can begin creating a new reality for yourself by visualizing different outcomes. 

  1. Know what you want and why: make sure you are chasing goals that line up with your values. Get a clear picture in your mind of what you want, how you believe it will make you feel to have that, and why you want it. Ask yourself: if you had no limits on what you could have, be, or do what would you have, be, and do?
  2. Create a detailed image: this is where vision boards or Pinterest come in handy. Find images of the life you want to be living and put it somewhere you will see it often. If you could wave a magic wand, what would your life look like?
  3. Start visualizing and create the feelings now: start to actually visualize your dream life as if. What are the smells, sounds, sights. Tap into the emotions and the feelings you believe reaching those goals will bring you. Practice creating your dream life now in your mind.
  4. Take action every day: You won’t get where you want to be in a day, week, or even a month–most likely it will take time…and consistent action. Settle in for the journey and commit to showing up each and every day. What action can you commit to taking daily, weekly to move you closer to your health and fitness goals?
  5. Learn how to have grit and perseverance: Challenges will arise along the way. Give yourself the upper hand by preparing for them in advance with a little extra planning. Practice overcoming the obstacles beforehand through visualization. See yourself successfully overcoming the challenges ahead of time, so that when they do come, you’re already confident and prepared to handle them like a boss.

You have what it takes to reach your goals, whatever they are and I believe in you. It’s time for you to believe in you too.  Learn to see the world through a more optimistic lens by practicing positive thinking. Give yourself grace and compassion when you stumble just like you would someone you love. And get in the habit of seeing yourself succeed.

Don’t wait to put this to work for you. Your mindset about yourself, fitness, and health is just as important as eating  vegetables and exercising. Take the time to get your mind right, otherwise all the hard work you put in to reaching your goals will be in vain.

If you need a little help getting started, grab the PDF I created to get you started.

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 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.

Healthy lifestyle or disordered eating? Not as easy to spot as you might think.

I stepped on stage in a teeny weeny bikini, a tan, and 4 inch heels.

I honestly loved it. I loved the rush of showing off all the hard work and discipline the last 12+weeks had produced. I loved the challenge of changing my body– It was just as much of a mental game as it was a physical. There was so much about that sport that I loved.

It wasn’t until I took a step back and saw just what it cost me to get up on that stage and to prep for the next shows.

I was a full time student in 2012 with 2 kids under the age of 5. I was still breast feeding, training 2 hours/ day 6 days week, counting every morsel of food I put in my mouth like it was my job. I was happy. Or at the very least thought I should be. I did have my ‘dream body’ after all.

IMG_6332

What I didn’t realize during competition prep was how much my choices were impacting my kids and my marriage.

During prep, my 3 year old would parade around the house in my heels and a teeny bikini, cute right?! Right up until she started turning down all of her favorite foods so that she could eat steak and rice like mama. That was the last straw.

I felt convicted. I knew that I had let this get out of hand. At the time though, I didn’t see the full effect of what I was doing to my body, my mind, or my family. I thought I was being healthy–

I looked the part, and treated my body like a temple.

But I was emotionally, mentally, and spiritually sick. And I didn’t want to pass that on to Kenadie or KB for that matter.

I didn’t want them growing up thinking there was only ONE right way to have a body. And that anything outside of that was wrong or broken.

I knew I was done with competing. And while it might have felt sad for a moment giving up that thing for myself, I was relieved. –

Is your healthy lifestyle disordered eating in disguise_

Disordered eating comes in many packages, the least of which looks like a healthy lifestyle.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Stepping on stage in a bikini and heels tops the list for me…join the conversation below.

Cheers to all the ladies out there just trying to create food freedom, find joy in movement, and make peace with their bodies long before they reach their goals. I’m here for you!

Xo,

 

Alisha Carlson (8)

Don’t fall into the diet trap this Thanksgiving |Be empowered around food without any guilt or shame

Are you ready for the food olympics? aka Thanksgiving…or the stretch between now and the New Year.

We are headed out of town this week for the holiday and I am so excited. Yes, the food will be amazing and so will the family time. But for the first time, I am not feeling overwhelmed or stressed about ‘sticking to my plan/ program’. I know how silly that probably sounds. But its freedom, y’all!

I know I probably won’t make the time to do my full workouts (nor would I even have the equipment), but I am planning to still get in a walk everyday–trying to get those 10,000 steps 😉

I know I will probably drink a bit more wine that I usually do, so I plan to double fist it with the water in one hand and the wine in the other. You’ve heard the water to wine story, right?!

I know there will be so much good food, cause that’s how we do. So I am planning on eating at normal intervals (when my body tells me I’m hungry), making mindful choices (only eating what I LOVE), and eating it slowly (so I know when to stop).

Stop dieting and start living your life with food freedom

In the past, there was so much anxiety around the holidays for me. I couldn’t wait for them to come, but could always feel myself on edge. Because I had been living life in so much food restriction I couldn’t help myself but to binge on all the holiday foods that seemed ‘off limits’ for the rest of the year.

Giving yourself the permission to eat any and ALL of the foods you want, in the amount you want, whether you’re hungry or not is ok. But so is choosing not to.

Whatever you decide, make sure YOU are the one making the choice and the choices you’re choosing are intentional, mindful, and kind.

Don’t let others push their agenda on you or their own food issues your way. Likewise, notice if you start slipping back into some of the diet-y mindsets.

Be sure to grab your FREE guide before you head into the holiday weekend. It’s packed with all sorts of strategies you can use not only during the holidays, but year round!

Here’s to happy, healthy holidays,

Xo

Alisha

Overcoming Emotional Overeating through Mindset

 

I wanted to chat with you about kind of a sensitive and private topic emotional overeating and I would say honestly for myself, this was something that I really struggled with probably as early as middle school.  I grew up in kind of a crazy household. I watched my parents struggle with alcohol, drugs, infidelity, and abuse. My parents’ marriage seemed like it was always falling apart. And my brother and I were just along for the ride.

When my mom wasn’t numbing her pain with substances (illegal and legal) I remember seeing her numb her pain through food. Eating became what you did, whether you were having a good day or a bad day, you just kind of turned to food. It didn’t matter if it was a  celebration or a stressful event you went to food–or alcohol–or drugs. As I got older I knew more and more that  didn’t feel confident about who she was and I don’t know that she ever saw herself as beautiful. She may not have been the type of person that would have turned your head by her physical appearances alone, but her smile was warm when it was genuine and she had a heart of gold. Willing to give and to serve and to love to the best of her abilities. She carried a lot of wounds.   She would tell me stories of hurtful things said to her by her parents and others.  I see that she turned to substance abuse as a way to cope, and in this case food was used as one of those substances.naomi-august-138149-unsplash.jpg

When I really think about my own food story and how I’ve interacted with food over the years,  I see that it’s really been kind of this dysfunctional relationship. It’s taken years to overcome and honestly, I am still always editing my food story just as in any other area of life. As long as there is breath in our lungs, there is room to grow, and ways to be useful..a purpose to serve.

My use of food as a way to cope only seemed to get worse the older I got. We’ve all either heard  or have been the leading role in the painfully awkward stories of the teen years. No doubt, I started putting weight on and I started to become even more uncomfortable in my skin. I already sort of had this sense that there was something wrong with me. I felt  broken or like I was damaged goods. I didn’t know if there was a place for me to belong.

As my weight continued to climb I started to become desperate for a solution. I had no clue what to do, and I felt so out of control. I just wanted to feel like I could do something, anything… I tried starving myself. I tried gagging myself. I tried all the quick fixes that promised quick weight loss. Little did  I know at the time those quick fixes would only make things worse. Either because I would only fail again and again. I’d gain all the weight lost and more, or I wouldn’t actually be making any healthy and lasting changes. I wanted to do it in a healthy way, I just didn’t really know how to do that.

Like so many women I see, I just kept trying one thing after another hoping something would stick. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was always only trying to fix things on a surface level. Trying to use a bandage on wounds that needed to be healed from the inside out, not just covered up. It really wasn’t until I started doing some deeper work around my thoughts, feelings, and ultimately my beliefs around food that things started to change for the long term.

So, today if you find yourself in any part of my crazy story I want to ask you if you’re doing the thought work? Are you allowing yourself to be healed from past wounds that you’ve been trying to cover up with food? Have you ever questioned where your feelings/thoughts/beliefs around food have come from?evieanna-santiago-589692-unsplash

I know this is not necessarily fun work to do, but friend, it is SO necessary if we want to make lasting changes. Nothing will change unless our minds are changed. And unfortunately that starts by questioning our current way of doing things.

So today’s assignment, is to spend a few moments pondering your current relationship with food and with yourself. Ask yourself the tough questions and allow the answers to come forward. Then decide what you want your story to look like going forward. How do you want to feel around food? How do you want to feel about yourself? Who do you want to be? This is the fun part! This is the part where you decide what you’re going to do and who you are going to be from this moment on.

If you are struggling with over eating, emotional eating, or anything else mentioned in this post please don’t struggle alone! I’m here to throw a lifeline, just like I wished had been done for me.

I’ve got a 5 day free challenge coming up that will help you get the start that you may need. Email me and we can see if this is the best next step for you 😉 alisha@alishacarlson.com. I can’t wait to hear from you!

xo,

Alisha