Easier workouts & how to get the most out of your exercise

Easier workouts & how to get the most out of your exercise

Wait a minute..I can do easier workouts and still get the results I want? Yeah, I know, it seems too good to be true. But it’s not. You can get the most out of your exercise without spending all your time trying to burn calories.

In the fitness world there is this common notion that your workouts have to be grueling, hard af, and you’ve got to totally beat yourself up. If you’re not spending at least an hour at the gym, #didyouevenworkout ? 

I used to live by this notion too. There was one point in my life I was waking up at 4:30 am to hit the gym before a full day of college courses and wrangling my kids. I counted macros like I was getting paid, and beat myself up if I missed a workout. Needless to say, I was exhausted and surprisingly {or not} not so happy.

My life was out of whack. My priorities were messed up. My mental and emotional health was suffering. Worse of all, the people I said I was doing this for aka my kids and my hubby got what was left of me, not the best of me.

Fitness myth debunked

 We are told in order to get the results we want, our workouts have to be hard and miserable. The new fit ideal preaches the message to go hard all the time. Every day, busy women are taught to be just as disciplined and focused as professional athletes and pro body builders. And shamed or guilted if we fall short.

There was a time when only a few people were crazy enough to challenge themselves physically and mentally the way an elite athlete or body builder does. Now days it seems like this kind of intense focus has become the norm in the fitness realm and anything less is seen as a waste of time. 

Might I be the first  person to suggest that the everyday woman chasing those crazy fitness goals are the ones wasting their time?

Life is  about so much more than how we look, but somewhere along the line we’ve lost sight of that. Having the perfect body has become the standard by which all women are judged. If this is you right now, I’m not trying to beat you up because I know you do that enough. I’m trying to extend an olive branch and let you know there’s another way.

It is going to require you to do things differently than you may be doing it now. You will still have to show up consistently. But it doesn’t have to and shouldn’t feel like grinding 24/7. There may be seasons in your life when you want to crush a major fitness goal. That’s great. In fact, I’ll be the first one cheering you on to go for it. In those seasons it will be tough, it will require sacrifice, and it will feel like a grind for a bit. However, that’s not how your fitness journey should be all the time.

I believe your healthy lifestyle is one that fits into the rest of your life and enhances it. And when you’re in alignment with your deeper beliefs and values this will come more naturally. You’ll be able to tune into what you really want and what you don’t.

Does your relationship with fitness feel slightly insane?

I’ve heard it said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over  yet expecting different results. Isn’t this exactly what we are doing when we try the next diet or the next workout program. We cross our fingers and vow to be really good. To work hard, not cheat on our diets, and to develop iron clad willpower.

When we don’t get the results or we don’t keep the results, we beat ourselves up and add one more failure to the pile we’re lying under. This was me. Regardless of how much I was doing right, I only ever focused on the bad.

It doesn’t matter how much we beat ourselves up in the gym or in our minds, we won’t get the lasting results we want until we decide to do something different from what we’ve always done.

For me, I knew I couldn’t keep my 6 day/week 2 hour gym appointments any longer. I’m an ambitious busy woman, with a lot of responsibilities {just I know you are}. There are big dreams I’m chasing, but I realized I was standing in my own way by chasing someone else’s idea of what my fit and healthy body should look like.

Get the most out of your exercise by working out smarter, not necessarily harder

Yes, your workouts should challenge you. They should require you to do more than you did last time. Challenging yourself can like a variety of ways. One way is by adding more weight, doing more reps, or adding sets. But working harder is more of a mental game than a physical one, and it’s not about wrecking your body or your self-esteem in the gym.

Your fitness is your own journey. This means your fitness journey can be whatever you want it to be. Whatever fits into the rest of your life without completely taking it over. The real magic happens when you can fit your workout seamlessly into the rest of your day without feeling like you’ve dropped the ball in other areas.

Instead of focusing all of our energy around exercise or on some external goal, why not think about your fitness from the inside out? Focus on all the other ways becoming fit is adding value to your life beyond the scale, the size of your clothes, or the amount of calories burned. This slight mindset shift will take the pressure off you might be feeling if you’re not able to workout like you think you should.

Easier workouts–My ticket to freedom…can be yours too

I knew that if I truly wanted something different, I’d have to be willing to do something different. So I went to the drawing board and devised a plan.

First, I took an honest look at my life and assigned each area a score. Next, I decided to think about that particular season of life. I looked at all the things I had going on, and decided if that was the time in my life to be so focused on my health or not. Since I was overall pretty healthy, and didn’t have any nagging health issues, I decided I could let off the gas a bit with my nutrition and my workout regiment. 

This next step was perhaps the hardest…I decided to ditch the thinking that I had to be working on someone else’s idea of what my body should look like. It’s harder than it seems, but not impossible. I promise.

The first question you should ask yourself (honestly) is whether or not you can do what you’re doing forever. You might be tempted to answer with a quick yes. But do you really want to have to track your food forever? Do you really want to hit the gym hard every single day?

It can be hard to deviate from fitness culture in this. Especially when the women getting praised are the ones with six-pack abs (even after kids) and not a bit of cellulite to be seen.

I created a loose plan around working out and told myself I’d stay flexible. Since I’m a bit of a routine person, I still schedule my workouts, but also keep them short, focused, and fun. Instead of being so serious about training, I’ve decided to take a more curious and playful approach to fitness. It’s been a relief, and what do you know? I’m still getting results.

The best part is I don’t feel like I’m dropping the ball on myself or on my other responsibilities. I’m able to play with my kids, I feel darn sexy for my husband, and I went from feeling like a fitness robot to feeling free and alive. The way, I believe being fit was always meant to be. 

xo,

Alisha

PS. Are you ready to get off the insane exercise rollercoaster? Let’s chat to see if I’m the one to help you do that.  Schedule a FREE consult today!

 

 

How to get healthy if you can’t lose weight

How to get healthy if you can’t lose weight

Health at every size. Is that really a thing? I will be the first to admit I was skeptical about HAES  because I (like so many women) had a very narrow image of what healthy looked like.
 I thought health looked lean, strong, and thin. I thought that being obese was a disease.
And that if you’re overweight you’re also unhealthy.
 
Moment of truth, I’ve spent most of my life in the overweight borderline obese category.
 
Not because I’ve been unhealthy, but because I’m short relative to my weight. So why it was so hard for me to grasp the concept of HAES baffles me. 
The BMI, which our health seems to be determined by doesn’t take into account your lifestyle choices, your gender, or your lean mass. Both the medical community and the fitness industry seem to have forgotten is that your weight and your height don’t tell you anything else about the person or they lifestyle choices.
The terms overweight and obese used to wreck me. We’re taught that being either of those things is not beautiful, it’s not worthy, it means you’re lazy, and you don’t care about yourself.
 
The aha moment for me, and the moment those terms seemed to lose their power was when realized they were nothing more than arbitrary numbers.
 
You can be healthy no matter what the BMI says about you, and you can be healthy even if you don’t look like society’s narrow minded view. Your health isn’t determined by what you look like, but rather the habits, behaviors, and the lifestyle you choose. 
 
Your happiness and fulfillment does not hang on what you look like. It’s time we stop believing it does. 
 
 

Where many who follow HAES miss the mark..

 
 When I first started researching the health at every size movement, I was shocked to see some of the information out there. 
The messaging of some who follow HAES and its closely related Intuitive Eating spew about all discipline and self-control being bad is crazy. In fact, in the book Healthy at Every Size, the author Linda Bacon, PhD never says anything of the sort. She does warn against the dangers of continuing to believe dieting will work for you.
She also emphasized the importance of eating whole foods as much as possible, moving your body in a way that brings joy, and being intentional about the food choices you’re making. Which to some degree will require both self-control and discipline. Especially if you know certain foods don’t nourish you, but you still crave them.
Other harmful messages I’ve seen HAES leading ladies sharing is there are no such things as healthy or unhealthy foods, and essentially all foods are health producing. Again, I did not find this to be the message in the Health at Every Size nor to be true from a true health standpoint as a certified nutrition coach or my years of study in exercise and sport science.
I’ve even seen some supporters of the HAES movement encourage their followers to disregard healthy habits or behaviors. calling them restrictive or diet-y. Huh? 
Again, not the message I’ve seen from Linda Bacon or from the creators of the intuitive eating movement.
This is your superpower..
I am not one to believe we will be most happy or at peace if we just give into every whim and go for instant gratification. In fact, it’s been those times in my life where I end up being the least happy or at peace.
 
Just to be clear, I don’t think you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and however much you want without having to also make peace and accept the consequences of those actions. You wouldn’t act this way in any other area of your life, like your finances or in your marriage. So why would it be ok to act that way towards food?
I do think you are responsible for making mindful and the best choices in the moment when it comes to food. And sometimes it’s mindfully eating a slice of chocolate cake and enjoying it. Other times it might be skipping the cake and going for a walk instead.
 
 Your superpower lies in making mindful and informed decisions. Once you realize this, you can step into the role of expert of your life with confidence. 
No doubt, discipline used as punishment or as a measure of your worth is harmful. As is wearing it like a badge of honor or using it to judge yourself or others.
However, discipline and self-control used with compassion, grace, and love is powerful. Learn to harness that power, you will  make the best decisions for yourself.
 
 

It’s ok to be scared

Of course, leaning into the idea of health at every size is a little scary. If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering if you will be able to love yourself at any size. The decision to reject society’s idea of what your healthy body *should* look like is filled with doubt and anxiety. 
The fear of judgement or rejection based on what your body looks like is also a very real fear. Will your friends, family, and co-workers think you’ve  ‘let yourself go’ ?
My solution to these fears was to get crystal clear on my own definition of success, and my own healthy body. I believe that solution will work for you too.
We have a tendency to categorize everything as black and white. Good or bad. it seems when it comes to what a healthy lifestyle looks like, it is no different.
On the one hand you have people who have taken the HAES idea and have gone to the extreme of giving the middle finger to any sort of structure or discipline. While on the other hand you have diet culture supporting the idea that health looks a certain way.
Often we are uncomfortable in our ability to navigate and manage the gray area between the two sides, so we end up swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other.
Surely, it’s easier to just go from hardcore rules and restriction to binge eating on the weekends. It takes more work upfront to figure out how to listen to our bodies, how to care for them inside and out, and how to handle being uncomfortable.

 Is health at every size for you?

 
Like many women, I was doing all the “healthy things” and my body was revolting against me. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why all of a sudden I wasn’t losing weight or getting the results I once had.
Old disordered eating behaviors like food obsession started coming back. Monday through Friday I tried my hardest to be good on my diet, but the weekends were a pass for me. Saturday and Sunday were my days to eat without abandon and just start the diet back up on Monday.
 
I felt softer and fatter than ever. 
 
 Tired of trying so hard without anything to show for it, I knew it was time for a change, whatever that looked like.
 
You shouldn’t feel defeated because you’re not losing weight. 
 Almost as if a light bulb went off, it hit me. I’d been dieting again. This time though, it was more subtle and still looked healthy for the most part. This realization sparked questions in my head:
Could you be healthy and not look like it? Is it possible to do the same things (exercise, monitor food choices) and still get different results? Does the diet mindset exist?
 
I decided to suspend my idea about what healthy looked like for a moment. My focus shifted to effort and the consistency of behaviors over outcomes. Instead of tracking pounds lost, I celebrated the way I felt in my body.
This one mindset shift changed everything. At the end of the day, we can’t control whether our body will lose weight or not. Wee can control our effort, our attitude, and our outlook though. So why not focus on those things instead?
 
The thing that’s been the most surprising  I’ve found is I’m as happy now as I ever was when I was 9% body fat. I may even be happier. It’s easier to be more engaged in life. Meal time is more enjoyable too. 
 
Without the pressure of constantly micro-managing calories eaten and calories burned, I’m able to be more present when we sit down to eat as a family. And choosing what to eat has even become easier. 

Living a healthy lifestyle should be easy

Food is not meant to be a sin or punishment. Exercise shouldn’t be a way to purge yourself from an evening of indulgent eating.
As a culture we’ve lost sight of that. We’ve normalized the idea that living a healthy lifestyle is either only for the select few who happen to be disciplined enough to follow a diet or should feel tough all the time.
I believe there is a happy medium, and it’s up to you to find it for yourself. The good news is you won’t have to do that by yourself. I’ve opened up a few spots in my program, and would love to see if it is the right fit for you. Click here to schedule your FREE consult.
I can’t wait to see what you can accomplish when you step into your purpose in the healthy body you’re meant to have.
xo,
Alisha

 
How to boost your confidence and reach your fitness goals

How to boost your confidence and reach your fitness goals

The big wins come from small daily actions. Fact–it’s the small and often insignificant actions that create our lives.

I remember thinking my weight loss journey would be one where something massive would happen and the weight would just fall off. In fact, I believe that is why I had such a hard time getting in shape when I first started.

My expectations and reality did not align at all. I don’t blame myself, and I don’t blame you if you think you’ll arrive in your fit n’ healthy body overnight or 6 weeks from now. That is after all what the health and fitness industry sells.

Hard work isn’t sexy, and it doesn’t sell. But the reality is, it’s the only thing that will ever work long term.

Why then do we keep going back to those silly quick fixes and false promises? Because it’s what we know. Because we want to believe that the next diet or workout program will be just the ticket.

However, in order to actually make your fit n’ healthy lifestyle a true lifestyle it’s got to be something you can do forever, and it’s got to be built on habits and routines. Not rules and restriction, guilt or shame.

And one of the best ways to create healthy habits is by tracking your consistency. I know, that sucks. And it’s the least cool thing you can probably think of when it comes to crushing your health goals this year or any year.

If you can track it, you can smash it.

One of the best ways to see how consistent you are is by tracking your daily habits + actions. Not only does it help you crush your fitness goals, but in my experience it has boosted my confidence. When I am showing up, that is.

For some tracking (much like accountability) can feel negative though. Like it’s restrictive and they want to rebel. For others it makes them feel empowered and strong.

Keeping track of your actions can boost or steal your confidence, but it all depends on how you look at it. Do you see being held accountable to your actions as being a punishment or a way to see just how much of a failure you are? OR do you see keeping track as a way to keep yourself honest?

The reality is, we think we do more than we actually do. Tracking is one way to help you close the gap between what you think and what you do.

You can only control two things: your effort and your attitude. Implementing a simple goal tracking system will help you see the effort you’re putting towards your fitness goals.

I want you to hear this: you can STILL make great strides if you hit even just 65%.

Yes, you read that right. In school, 65% is failing. We are taught from early on that you start with 100% and for every mistake you make, you lose points, percentages, and slip towards failure.

What if, we looked at it from the other way? What if you actually start at 0? This would mean that EVERYTHING you do moves you closer to your goals. When you look at it this way, then 65% is almost to 100. Pretty cool eh?

Create a tracking system, and do it.

You’ve got to figure out what works for you..just like everything else in life. Whether you go with paper and pen, a digital tracking tool–you decide, then do it.

This isn’t about doing it perfectly. It never is. Keeping track of your actions like days you moved or servings of veggies you ate for the day are just one tool to help you create new habits. It takes practice to get into the habit of tracking even. So when you’re first starting out, set an alarm or alert on your phone to remind you to check in with yourself. In fact, setting reminders can help you in so many ways in creating new, healthy habits.

Don’t look at tracking as a bad thing. Remember YOU are not bad if your score isn’t quite what you want. It’s just information. You get to assign the meaning to your score, and YOU get to be the one that does something if you aren’t happy with your effort.

Set up your tracking system with success


Showing up for yourself consistently will build self- confidence. Still not sure about keeping score? Watch this.

Why you need accountability to reach your fitness goals

Why you need accountability to reach your fitness goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accountability is the key to consistency

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

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

When ‘good enough’ is enough

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

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

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

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

Created for community

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

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

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

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

You have everything you need

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

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

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

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

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

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

xo,

Alisha


How to 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?

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xo

Alisha