Have you ever wondered why you feel SO much better after cleaning out your closet? Or chucking out old junk? Or sorting through that ‘random’ draw that is full of old pens, elastic bands, and useless receipts? It’s so strangely satisfying…
Positive mental attitude is everything. It’s the difference between success and failure, excitement and nerves, and happy adaptation versus grudging endurance. But willpower can be a tricky thing to master…
We all have those days, weeks, or even months when we just don’t feel confident in ourselves. Sometimes it’s about the way we look, the way we feel, or a lack of confidence in our own abilities. Low self-esteem can be the reason we hold back from so many things in life, but we shouldn’t have to miss out! Here are a few practical strategies that can help boost confidence in no time…
Many of us struggle with over-eating or mindless eating. We’ll be soo good all day and then BAM!, before we know it, we’ve inhaled an entire pack of cookies. Over-eating can be SUPER frustrating and guilt-inducing. It makes us feel like we lack discipline, have let ourselves down, or set ourselves back from achieving our goals.
This is a post I wrote for my team, but it got such a huge response, I had to share it with everyone else!
Today’s topic is about what you accept and don’t accept in your life. I was always the quiet, shy person who just accepted whatever was handed to me. I would just settle for a job I didn’t want or going to school for something I knew wasn’t my passion..just to make others happy. I ALWAYS put myself behind others’ needs and others’ wants. Or I would just accept what was given to me, thinking I didn’t have a choice. As women, we tend to struggle with standing up for ourselves, with telling someone no because it doesn’t align with your values and thoughts. We struggle because we don’t believe in our own value. Because we don’t believe we are worth it. UGH, why is that?!?! No matter where we are in life or what we are doing, WE. ARE. ALWAYS. WORTH. IT!! Not just worth it, MORE than worth it!! YOU are a damn VIP!!!!!!!
Look, you always have a choice. Your choices and decisions got you where you are now…is where you are now truly acceptable to you? If you could change anything, what would it be? I don’t want you to dig into that regret and self-hatred part, let’s let go of all that. But, I want you to focus on making better choices and decisions in the future…I want you think about what your true purpose is. It’s tough to find that purpose and if you are struggling with that, look at the things you get super pumped up about. Look at your experiences in life and how it’s affected you. It took me a long time to find my purpose, but here it is:
To leave each person better than they were before they met me; to empower and inspire women to find their strong inside and out through coaching and training.
I also link that to horses; I have a huge heart for horses and I take that same part..I want to empower and inspire the abused and broken horses nobody wants…I want to give horses and women a second chance at life with new eyes….a new belief in themselves.
Those are my passions. What are yours? I feel we go through life half living. We just do the daily motions, do the daily grind, but are we truly living? Are we ENJOYING our life? Are we satisfied? Or are we continually hungry for something better…something more?
This post is very personal to me; I am a recovering nega-holic….yep, I sure am! I lived paycheck to paycheck, I always expected something bad to happen, I was overweight and self-conscious, and man..I just could not figure out why bad things kept happening! Does this sound familiar? Maybe it’s you’ve tried to lose weight SO MANY times in the past and kept failing, and just not sure why…is it that you’re lazy? Unmotivated? Maybe you’re just meant to be this way forever?
Nope. I guarantee you it is your thoughts that are holding you back from living the life you want to live! I want to tell you a little bit about my story (don’t worry I will keep it short!) You’re talking to a 3 time college drop out who literally had 13 jobs in one year (true story!) I used to be so defensive and negative because I truly thought others were just out to get me and hurt me in some way. I constantly expected something bad to happen because well…that is what happened in the past. I literally HATED my life, but couldn’t get over myself enough to change it.
I honestly don’t even remember when I started shifting my mindset; I know it was around the time I starting boxing lessons because that atmosphere was so stinkin’ positive! I will be honest and tell you I really despised their happiness…like they must be fake; who is happy and on all the time?! Being in that environment started to shift my perspective- maybe there is more to life than the next bad thing!? Whoda thunk it? I started to read books that inspired me and slowly but surely this nega-holic turned into a posi-holic! Girlfriend, I couldn’t have opened my own training studio or lost 50 pounds if I didn’t work on my mindset EVERY. SINGLE. FREAKING. DAY. I mean, would you want to come and train with someone who didn’t want to be there? Umm…no I think not.
Here is the point: Your thoughts truly do create your reality. Your thoughts determine where you go, how you do, and how far you can go in this journey called life! Let’s focus on the fitness part of mindset a bit. Now, as you may know I have created a 7 day course that digs into this a bit more. This really could be a 90 day course topic, but let’s just scrape the surface, shall we?! Fitness is 70% mental and if you can get out of your own head about it and just get over the BS that we use to self-sabotage, then you can totally and realistically reach your goal! With saying that, I took the liberty of jotting down my top 12 health and fitness affirmations for you.
- I eat healthy and nutritious foods to nourish my body, mind, and spirit.
- Exercise makes me feel alive and energetic.
- I love that I can push myself to exercise and do things I couldn’t do before.
- Healthy foods make me feel happy and whole; they give me the energy I need to be a better (mom, spouse, daughter, girlfriend, husband, etc).
- I completely love and accept myself just as I am (this is SUPER important…if you don’t love yourself now, who says you will when you are at your goal weight? It is key to value yourself, not just your weight).
- I am improving every single day in everything I do.
- I am happy and healthy; my body feels strong and lean.
- My body is healthy, my mind is brilliant, and my soul is at peace.
- I am worthy and I can achieve greatness; the doors are opening for me to improve.
- I am the architect of my life, I build its foundation and choose its contents.
- I am my own solution
- My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.
Now, that is all just dandy, but how do I use these affirmation things? I want you to read them out loud to yourself at least two times a day. It won’t even take you two minutes! I’d also recommend either picking one from here or write one of your own that resonates with you and have them written everywhere. I have one on a sticky note on my computer, the book I am reading, my planner, my wallet, the car, etc. Anywhere I will see it and it reminds me that I am valuable and here for a reason! It is so worth it and eventually you will believe what you are reading! Focusing on believing in yourself and your abilities is the first step to actually achieving any of your goals!
You were going great! Your pants were getting looser, your energy was higher than ever… then all of a sudden you’re stuck. You’ve hit a plateau. Now what?!
Well, the best way to get through it is mix it up! You can do that by either increasing your weights, adding an extra 10 minutes of intense cardio 3 times per week, doing a HIIT work out 3 times a week or adding reps with less weights a couple of times a month. You could also go for a run instead of doing the cardio from a DVD.
It’s all about variety to keep your body guessing. Otherwise, it gets comfortable and holds onto the fat. I also want to add that as people work out, they get stronger. More muscle means you need more fuel, which means you need to eat more healthy foods. If you aren’t eating enough, you will gain weight. True story.
So, if you have hit a plateau and still feel dead after your workouts, then you definitely need to up your calories! (That’s good news, right!) Try it for a couple of weeks and see how it goes! This is more about learning your body and finding what works, not just the destination! The destination is what happens because of the journey, so focus on the journey!
Now onto your core, yep, I’m talking about your abs! This is a bit more challenging. First, I want to mention that going after six-pack abs isn’t healthy mentally because it’s something most people never get. So, I tell people not to aim for that. But, Cassy I do understand why you are, future Miss America!! Many women who are aiming for the super tight sexy abs wind up cutting carbs too drastically. Some use diarrheals before competitions so they can look super thin. I mention this because obtaining results like that in a short amount of time is just not realistic and most definitely not healthy.
So, let’s focus on some basic ways to get over your plateau and strengthen your core muscles:
1. Focus on Nutrition
You might have to cut carbs, but do not take them out completely. You’ll want to be sure to reign in your nutrition and make sure you eat enough. Toss those store bought items and make EVERYTHING yourself… even salad dressings. It will take at least 30 days of eating 100% clean, meaning everything is homemade and nothing is store bought (besides the stuff you get right out of the ground.. and must get organic when possible).
2. Eliminate Stress
The stomach is where we carry our stress. Why? Because cortisol gets released in our stomach and causes it to bloat and puts that layer of fat over our stomach. The more stressed we are, the more cortisol appears on the stomach and the more fat we get on our stomach. Many of us obsess SO MUCH about getting those six-pack abs that we don’t even realize we’re destroying the very thing we want by stressing and worrying.
3. Get Some Sleep
Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep causes stress. Stress causes fat (see above!)
5. Work your legs
Your legs are your metabolism muscles. You can work your abs all day, but you aren’t going to do anything but build muscle under the fat you want to get rid of… which makes it appear bigger. Yikes! So, work your legs following my program. Working your legs has a cardio, metabolic, and metabolism affect!
Locust of Control; this has a lot to do with the mental aspect of exercise. There are two kind of locust of control. The first is Intrinsic; this is defined as when only you determine your mood. You rely on yourself to build yourself up, not others. You rely on yourself to keep going. You have a great grasp of who you are and you keep yourself in check. Basically, you control your mood. The second is Extrinsic locust of control in which you let the environment, others’ opinions, and the external world determine your self-worth and value. It determines your mood.
Which one are you?
I did a training recently on psychology and exercise and it really shows that the people who have an intrinsic locust of control are those that will reach their fitness goals because they don’t have all the ups and downs an extrinsic locust of control brings.
Now, I have always had an extrinsic locust of control, meaning I truly care about what others think about me. BUT, in the past couple of years, I have decided that you know what, I don’t give a rats a$$ about what they think. I know my training is awesome and works. I know my accountability is awesome and works. I know I put in all the effort I can to help others..and it is not my problem if they don’t do their part in it.
When I first became a trainer I really took it personal when my clients didn’t see results. I really took it to heart and got super upset about it. But, I had to realize it isn’t my fault. Yes, i can always improve and I do. I read an hour a day on just personal training; I call it my study time. I also had to realize, the ones who were seeing results were those that were listening to my advice, reading my emails and posts daily, and truly giving this their all. They were posting their meals (even the bad ones) because that is true accountability. They were doing what it takes. Both set of clients had all the same info available to them. I had to learn that it isn’t personal to me. IT isn’t a direct reflection of me. Now, if none of my clients were seeing results, then yes..that is a reflection of my training. Don’t get me wrong, my goal everyday is to try to keep every single person motivated and inspired to do their best daily. But, as the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make ’em drink.” I tell you this because I had to shift my perspective. I now look at having haters as a good thing! I mean, if I wasn’t putting myself out there enough, then I wouldn’t have any haters…and I wouldn’t be helping those who need what I can offer! Friend, we all have something valuable and special to offer the world. But, most of us don’t let it out in fear of rejection and haters.
I know that was long and I touched on a lot of points, but the just of it is get yourself an intrinsic locust of control. It’s a mindshift. Read some books that teach you how to do that. Seriously, you have permission to not care about what anybody else things. You have permission to be you without any thoughts to how someone else sees you. You have permission to chase after your dreams and shout it from the rooftops! You have permission to not be afraid! You have permission to be apologetically you!! And I beg you to do so!
I often get asked the question “why a trainer is important or why it is even necessary with all the in-home workouts and classes available?” One answer: Personalization (forgive me,English teachers, I know it isn’t a real word). Let me tell you a little bit about my story about how I was doing in-home workouts and how it all changed when I took boxing lessons with a trainer. I started my fitness journey doing P90X, then I did Turbo Fire, and then ChaLean Extreme. Yes, I had great results, but it wasn’t the program that got me results, it was the person holding me accountable on the other end.
You can find a fitness program absolutely anywhere… magazines, television shows, the internet… geesh, it’s like a gold mind for getting in shape! With so many many accessible resources, how come the obesity rate, as well as tons of other health issues are still sky rocketing?!
What is it about a trainer that makes people see results? Accountability. Period.
You see, I was seeing okay results on my own because I did the workouts three to four times a week. If I didn’t feel like working out that day, I didn’t. Sound familiar? I thought if I bought a gym membership, paying the extra money would make me go. Yeah, we all know how that goes!
I also suffered from chronic low back pain from a couple of horse back riding accidents. I just figured I’d deal with it for the rest of my life, so I just worked through the pain. I was getting more and more frustrated at not seeing results and in my back, so I hired a trainer. This trainer didn’t work with me on correcting my back… in fact, I don’t even know if he knew what he was doing besides scheduling workouts. He actually had me do things I really shouldn’t have been doing. Yet, I appreciated him so much because that accountability… having someone waiting for me at the gym was exactly what I needed. If I am at the gym waiting for you, wouldn’t you show up on time?
Another thing a trainer does for you is creates a program designed for YOU. With my lower back issues, I can’t do regular burpees, sit ups, or other common exercises. We all have exercises we cannot and should not do because of injuries. A good trainer takes that into account when developing your program.
Personalized programs are HUGE. It’s like going to Victoria’s Secret and just picking up some bra without trying it on (I call it buying blind… because you have no idea how it fits or looks on you!) and then you put it on and it just fits all wrong and you hate it. Next time, you go in and have them measure you and you find the PERFECT one. I create the work out that is perfect for your body type, your goals, etc. I take everything into account from your weight to how fast your body builds muscle. Creating programs is an art and it is something I absolutely love.
I can also correct muscle imbalances. With my back, I found out it is because I had 2 muscles in my behind that weren’t working, so they left everything up to my lower back. Now, I still had a J-Lo booty, but apparently two muscles were MIA. Anyways, I did exercises on my own daily to correct the imbalance and, tada, no pain within two weeks. Amazing. I have researched this tons and so many of us have muscle imbalances that will cause pain and inflammation, if they aren’t already.
You don’t have to have a gym membership, just the cost of training (wow that saves so much money!) I mean, why pay for something you aren’t going to use? I often write workouts for my clients they can do at home.
Here is a long list of what a Trainer can do for you!:
- Ensure you get results, but also help you set a realistic timeline for your goals.
- Provide a positive, encouraging, and empowering atmosphere.
- Educate you, so you don’t always need to rely on a trainer.
- Keep you motivated
- Give you nutrition advice and help
- Answer your fitness questions
- Hold you accountable
- Give you a fitness plan (no more guess work!)
- Empower you, so in the future you can do this on your own
- Create a schedule that you can and will stick with that is convenient
- Ensure good form to prevent injuries
- Create work outs based on your goals, posture, muscle imbalances, injuries, etc.
- Correct muscle imbalances, which will decrease your chance of injuries.
- Weekly weigh ins/Nutrition Check-ins
- Create a fitness community for you to answer your questions
- Mark work outs fun, so you aren’t hating every minute of it.
- Control your soreness. In the beginning, we aim to help your body adjust to exercise, not make you so sore you can’t walk!
- Every session is designed specifically for you based on the information you provide.
Whew! See, trainers are pretty amazing! I realize not all trainers provide in-home work outs to complete outside of the trainer and all trainers are different. I am a very hands-on trainer, meaning at first, I’m going to keep you accountable more and as time goes, I will slowly and slowly back off, leaving it more up to you. I think of it like I am graduating you from elementary school to high school to college. I do this to empower you to do things on your own, that way you don’t have to hire a trainer for your whole life!
The past couple of months, I have really been struggling with eating right and committing to my work outs. I just couldn’t figure out what was going on..I mean, I know what to do and I know how to do it…so why can’t I just DO IT? So many of my clients say this exact same thing; so what’s been holding us back?
My freshman year in college, I decided to stop being the fat girl and lose some weight. I pushed myself daily and lost 30 pounds my freshman year; I was feeling great, I had abs, and for the first time in my life, I loved myself. As I kept growing on the inside and shrinking on the outside, my fiance at the time, grew more and more controlling and mentally abusive. I used to be this shy, victimized person, but with the confidence I was gaining through fitness, I started to stand up for myself. As you can guess, my fiance at the time didn’t like it; he started to become physically abusive to tear me down. “Your boobs look deflated.” “Why can’t you look like her?” “I went to the strip club today because I needed to see some real women and you will never look like them.” Those are just a few of the insults that took me years to overcome. My life felt like it was falling apart; I was losing control and couldn’t handle it anymore, so I started working out four to five hours a day (doing insanity and P90X). When I was working out, I was confident, I was happy, and I felt worth something. When I wasn’t working out, he was in my head; the insults and abuse had claws in me and I couldn’t get over it. In the evening, I would binge because my body was literally starving. With all the exercise I was doing, I wasn’t feeding myself enough and my muscles were literally deteriorating. You could see every single bone in my spine; I looked sick, but I couldn’t stop. I would binge, then go to the gym at midnight to work it off and start the whole process over again four hours later. I had exercise bulimia.
Why am I telling you all that? Because that is why I have been struggling. Recently, I was reading a book called, “You’re a Bad Ass”. This book opened my eyes to the subconscious and how it can make us self sabotage because of fear or some deep correlation/association that we are unaware of consciously. For instance, some people can’t keep a job longer than 6 months because they associate that with failure because in their last 2 jobs, they were laid off or fired at the 6 month mark. So I started digging deep and really thinking about what could possibly be holding me back right now when it came to fitness.
When I really thought about it and asked myself some serious questions, I realized that I am scared. I’m scared I will get to my goal weight and not be able to adjust to maintaining my weight; I’m not scared I will gain it back, but that I will keep trying to lose and look sick again. I’m afraid my boobs will look deflated and that I won’t be attractive anymore. I’m afraid of not being able to control it and stop like before. Subconsciously I linked my goal of being ripped and having amazing abs with abuse, losing myself, and losing control. Now, am I the same person I was back then? Heck no. Would my husband try to control and abuse me? No way! Am I 100% better than I was then? Yes! Have I found a healthy balance now? Yes! So why am I struggling with that? Because my subconscious is trying to protect me by self sabotaging, so I stay where I am at.
You can think I’m crazy if you want, but we all have things in our life like this: somehow we have associated something with something else that isn’t true and that is holding us back. Is there something that you constantly ask yourself, “WHY CAN’T I JUST…” If so, then I seriously recommend 1. Getting this book and reading it (pic with link below). 2. Digging deep and figuring out what is holding you back!
Now that I have found what the cause is, I am over it. I found the secret, laughed at it, and told my subconscious where to go and I am back at it!