One quick way to stop your body shaming

One quick way to stop your body shaming

 
In early 2018 I had this radical epiphany.. I was dieting, and I was selling a diet lifestyle to my clients. 
 
Up to that point I thought I was just being healthy–always watching what I was eating, monitoring my calories or macros, and exercising daily. I tracked my weight daily for a long time. 
My focus was always to be healthy enough to be there for my family. 
 
If you looked out at the health industry, I was doing it all right. 
 
The catch?
 
All of this was stressing me out.
 
And that kind of stress is the same as being chased by a bear or a hungry lion. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Stress is stress. Ironically stress also contributes to all sorts of things…including weight gain, which is the main thing you’re being taught you need to avoid. Wah wah wah.
 
As you can imagine going from being so obsessed with food, calories, and what my body looks like to not thinking much about my body on any given day beyond what it ‘feels’ like has been a huge mindset shift.
One that has taken time, mindfulness, and so much patience to cultivate.
 

Will my body change if I stop dieting?

Not being overly worried about my weight or how much weight I “need” to lose has changed the way my body looks no questions asked, but not nearly as much as you might think
 
It’s softer now. It’s still strong and muscular, but  doesn’t look it at first glance because you can’t “see” the evidence. 
 
I’ve been doing tons of mindset work over the past couple of years. And one of the biggest epiphanies has been:  you get to choose what to think about your body.
 
This kind of thought work is what the Bible talks about when it tells us we should manage our minds. Be mindful of what you let in. Guard your mind from the lies and the toxic thoughts that want to come in.
 
If that is true, and you can choose what to think of your body regardless of the shape or size or weight, then that means that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ body. It’s all relative. It’s all about perspective.
 

Unlearning body shame

Being steeped in diet culture doesn’t make it easy to let go of those negative thoughts dragging you down. It takes daily work and practice. 
 
There will be days where you feel great in your body, and other days when you might ask yourself if you need to step up the workouts or tighten your diet up a bit
 
This will steal your joy. It will put you in a funk. It will make you second guess all your progress, all your effort. And it’s actually more likely to discourage you to keep going. You’ve been down that path, and you know how the story ends.
 
You will have moments when you are tempted to start pinching or berating yourself for you cellulite or your imperfect body. But if you’ve ever reached your goal weight or got your dream body, you likely did that stuff too.
 
The reason? You driven by negative feelings about your body. The fuel for the lifestyle changes were thoughts about how much better you’d be when you were a different size. But negative emotions will never create positive results.
 
It’s not always easy to jump right to positive thinking though is it? 
 
Especially when you’ve hated or have felt so negative about something–like your body for so long. 
 
At first it will feel  phony to tell yourself your body is ok as is. Remember, your body isn’t good or bad based on what it looks like. It’s a good body regardless of what it looks like. 
 
You may feel like you’re betraying some belief you’ve always had–that thinner was better, leaner is always healthier, or any other diet minded thought that has floated around in your head.

 

You get to decide what a good, strong, and healthy body looks like for you

 
You may be surprised with what your ‘good enough’ body looks like.
 
For me, it’s been the body that seems to take the least amount of effort to maintain.
 
This goes back to the minimum dosage effect.
 
Do enough to get the results you want, but no more.
 
Save that time and energy for other things–like building your business, going back to school, loving your family, or laughing with your girlfriends.
 
Take one tiny step toward a more neutral feeling toward your body today.
 
Appreciate what it allows you to do. 
 
Practice looking at yourself without judgement. And don’t judge when that negative voice comes back. Instead, observe. 
 
Unfollow accounts or media that triggers negative thoughts or feelings about your body.

 When you creep back into body shaming

 
The negative voice comes back from time to time. But it comes less often and is quieter with time and intentional work.
 
You will see images or messages in your feed that undermine the work you are doing.
 
You have to remind yourself that you don’t want to go back. Don’t let the magic thinking that it was better then get the best of you.
 
You will make peace with your non-diet body over time, I promise. 
 
When you do, you will have more time and energy to invest in doing the things that light your soul on fire and allow you to honor your calling.
 
As long as negative thoughts about your body fill your mind, you will never have the capacity to do what matters most
 
Don’t be consumed with negative thoughts, feelings, or the insecurities they stir up. Your time is better spent elsewhere…
 
Like going for a walk, taking a new workout class, meeting a friend for coffee, or taking the next step toward your dreams.
 
Go from stressed out, self-obsessed, and insecure  to present, calm, and confident.
 
There’s a weird peace that I had never experienced even at a size 0. I have so much more room to enjoy the holidays or birthdays without thinking about how I’ll have to pay for it later.
That, my friend alone is worth following your heart right out of the diet mindset.
One mistake every woman needs to stop making

One mistake every woman needs to stop making

You don’t need permission to be yourself, but so often that is how it might feel like you’re living your life. Waiting for the signs and the sense that you are somehow doing it ‘right’. You look for those signs in affirmations from others. In the praise you get for a job well done. Or in how much you’re the envy of your friends.
 
Often times though, that praise is short lived. Being the envy of others isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and waiting for others to affirm you can be flat out disheartening when the affirmations don’t come
 
If you’re chasing those things, you are likely doing things you don’t want to be doing, to impress people you don’t care about impressing. Being someone you know you’re not meant to be.
 
Have you ever stopped to wonder if there was something wrong with you because you didn’t want to do it the way it’s always been done? I used to think there was something wrong with me. Well, ok, I have thought that more than I would ever like to admit and on many more occasions than one.
 

 I used to think I was broken as a mom because..

 
I didn’t want to homeschool.
 
I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom.
 
I didn’t want to do all the Pinterest crafts or be the room mom, head of the PTA, or anything else like that.
 
Full disclaimer, if that is you, I’m glad. And I am sure you are rocking it. That was never my jam no matter how hard I tried.
 
And I used to feel so guilty. So bad about myself as a mom because I was comparing myself to other moms who were doing those things and seemed   happy. Not to mention those were subtle messages I received growing up.
 
I wanted to  have it both ways–I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. Have my own thing and be a stellar mom. But for some reason, I thought it was either or. Not ever both and.. 
 
You’ve felt that tension too. Not in the exact same way as me I’m sure, but it’s there. Subtly holding you back.
 
Living with the belief that being a good mom meant I had to give up the desire to have something of my own outside of motherhood broke my heart and stressed me out
 

I was afraid I’d never measure up to what was expected of me

As long as I had my own thing going outside of motherhood and being a wife, and it seemed like if I wanted to be successful in work, I’d have to sacrifice my family and my marriage.
 
It felt like I was trying to cram myself into some other woman’s mold for her life. It never fit quite right, ya know?!
 
I wondered what the other moms thought of me for being career oriented and ambitious.
 
The problem with trying to hide bits of who you are or trying to manipulate them to be what you think  they should be instead of who you really are is that you will never truly be happy or fulfilled. That, my friend  will bleed into all the other areas of your life. 
 
There will always be a hole, something missing.
 
You, like me, will feel like you’re simply going through the motions. Like you’re living someone else’s life swallowing the discontentment and unrest you feel deep in your gut
 
But it won’t ever feel quite right. It won’t ever feel like you’re actually being true to the truest version of yourself…the one you were created to be. 
 

There is more than just one right way for you to be a good ___________

 
It never really occurred to me that so much of what I thought made me a good mom, was conditioned..from society, from my own family, from other well-meaning people..but that none (or very little) was actually true.
In fact, your very reality right now isn’t real at all. It’s a version of reality that you’ve created through experiences, beliefs, and messaging that you’ve been taught your whole life.
 
Talk about mind blowing. 
 
Has #momguilt ever gotten the best of you? Is shame about who you believe you are in your gut an old friend?
 
Have you ever considered where those feelings or thoughts were coming from?
 
If you’ve just sort of been going through the motions, and never really feeling like it’s a fit, it might be time to take a break from the race you’ve been running and examine what truly makes you tick

Does that spark joy? -Marie Kondo

 
What brings you joy?
 
What feels like it is missing from your life right now? 
 
Where do the thoughts and feelings of guilt or shame come from for you?
 
Mindfulness is such an underutilized skill, yet holds so many answers we are searching for.
 
By taking a step back, and asking yourself some simple, yet thought provoking questions, you will truly gain insight into how you’re wired. This is one of the best gifts I believe you can give yourself. 
 
After you’ve gotten some answers, you must be willing to take the next, little, and super scary step. Step out of the mold you’ve been trying to make yourself ‘fit’, and into the bold, audacious, and ambitious woman you were always meant to be.
 
Nasty thoughts of comparison will creep in as you begin to forge your own way, so guard your mind.
 
I used to wonder all the time (and still do on occasion) whether I was going to ruin my kids if I didn’t do everything by the book? If instead of doing it the way it’s always been done, I created a new path.
 
I doubted myself a lot. In fact, I still do. But you know what? 
 
Living in a more aligned, authentic, and intuitive way has only ever increased the joy, happiness, and contentment in my life. It will do the same for you too.
 
Why? Because even if you’re  not doing it right, there is no one else to compare it to, because you’re following your own path. You’re running your own race, and in that, there can ever only be one winner. You.
 
When you’re the one writing the rules and setting the standards for what your life should like and not society. Not your mom (as well intended as she might be) or your ‘friends’ on social media, you become the most powerful version of yourself.
 
Tune out the noise, the guilt, the shame, and tune into the unique and beautiful purpose God has for your life. 
3 Habits to develop this year, and why you need to

3 Habits to develop this year, and why you need to

 

Happy New Year! I realize at the time I am writing this, we are actually already one FULL week into January. Some of you may be happily humming along with your plan working on your goals. Others may be wishing upon a star that this year will finally be different.

Yet others of you may be feeling more like me at the moment…a little behind where you’d like to be. Even as I write that, I realize how ridiculous it sounds to be feeling behind when we are only one week into a year that has 51 more to go.

In the spirit of keeping this short, sweet, and simple, I wanted to share three things you can start doing today to radically change the trajectory of your year. And bonus, because it’s only three things and they are pretty quick to execute, you will feel like a total rockstar.

3 Habits to develop this year

Go to bed earlier-

Yes. It really is that simple. Whatever your typical bedtime is, shave off a few minutes and get yourself into bed a bit earlier.

Some perks to this:

You won’t be quite as tempted to dive into the cupboards for some late night snacking.

The amount of time you spend scrolling social media looking at how awesome everyone else’s life is while comparing your own will go way down (as long as you put your phone up before bed). 

You will be primed and ready for the next one…

Wake up earlier and start your day with intention-

I’m sorry, but this is a no brainer if you have kids. I used to be notorious for sleeping in until my kids came running in to wake me up or until I heard the baby cry.

This totally put me in a funk, and I felt like I was already behind. It didn’t make for good mornings for any of us.

So even if it is just 15-20 minutes, set your alarm across the room. And get yourself up.

You can sip a cup of hot coffee, enjoy the quiet, get in some journaling time to declutter your mind, or just drink that hot coffee thinking about how you want to show up today in your world.

Doing what you can with what you’ve got-

This one is simple, but not always easy. In fact, that could be said for the above too. 

Take a quick inventory of your life in this season. Do you really have time, energy, or the capacity to hit the gym for over an hour a day, pick the kids up, make dinner, help with homework, and volunteer on all those boards?

If you can’t do what’s on your to-do list without feeling totally wiped out by the end of the day, I want to invite you to whittle your list a little.

Or modify. Maybe your workouts go from an hour a day to 20 minutes..still better than nothing. It might be time to let the kids ride the bus, or take yourself off the volunteer rotation.

The point is this, working with what you’ve got is so much better mentally, emotionally, and physically than trying to do too much with too little.

Whatever it is for you, do what you can with what you’ve got.

 

Your worth isn’t determined by how much you get done. And I promise you, the to-do list will still be there tomorrow 😉

xo,

Alisha

P.S. Ready to get serious about making changes this year? Schedule a free consult to see if coaching is the next step you need to be taking.

 

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!

 

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)