Mindfulness: No More “Why Did I Just…” Moments

mindfulness

Please tell me I’m not the only person who has eaten half bag of trail mix or half dozen (or more!) mini Reese’s cups and then stop and say “Why did I just do that???”  Can anybody relate??  It’s like I lose my mind for a minute only to realize (too late!) that I just made a poor choice!

 

Mindfulness.

 

Let’s start with a dictionary.com definition:  “a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.”  

So first of all, WHEN do we have time to focus full attention only on the present???  Aren’t we usually doing 3 things or more at once?  

AND, what’s this “not judging” business?  I’m bad or a cheater if I eat half bag of M&Ms right??  I need to punish myself.  I need to verbally beat myself up.  

I’d like to propose that we can begin to take some steps towards mindfulness to reduce (and eventually rid ourselves of) “Why did I just….” moments!

I find that I have these out-of-control, mindless  moments most often when I’m tired, stressed, overwhelmed.  I’ve had it.  I’m over it.  I have no willpower or self-control left.  My tank is empty, and I think my tummy is too!  So I go on a spree before I realize what I’ve done.  

 

Mindfulness.

 

I believe that when we slow down, even a little, and take care of a few areas of our lives, we become more mindful.  It’s what we do in the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of our day that will save us from ourselves in those 5 minutes of losing our minds.  And it boils down to taking care of ourselves.  

Earlier this week I posted a picture of me getting a mani/pedi while reading a book and said that this is something that helps me stay mindful.  Now, how is that?  Those things (even though that mani/pedi was the first one I’d had in 2 months) provide some relaxation.  I took about an hour out of my day for some self-care.  I have a half marathon on Saturday.  I had PMS.  I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed with a few things.  I needed to take care of me.

Girls, it’s okay to take care of yourself.  You are better for everyone when you take a little time for you.  Because this is how it goes otherwise…..back to our scenario of “Why did I just do that?”  If one of those moments happen, then it leads to feeling bad about yourself, the negative chatter in your mind, and it all spirals out of control.  

So a key thing to help you stay mindful is self care.  It could be in the form of mani/pedi, a massage, bubble bath.  Whatever says “pamper me” to you.  

As I mentioned, when I’m tired it’s easier for me to have those out-of-control moments.  I think I need “fuel” and not in the form of lean protein or my superfood shake.  It’s usually in the form of chocolate!

When we’re well-rested and feeding our bodies proper fuel, it’s easier for us to practice mindfulness.  We have energy.  We’re not dragging in the mid-afternoon grabbing for a quick pick-me-up.  

Here’s the thing, when we have more energy and mental focus, we can Experience the signals we’re getting from our bodies and then properly Assess them as to whether to Take action.  

We’ll call it the EAT strategy 😉 When we begin to condition ourselves to slow down in other areas….taking the 5 minutes for quiet time, a bubble bath after the kids go to bed, a 10 minute walk before everyone else wakes up, scheduling an hour once a month for a mani/pedi….we can slow down in response to our hunger and craving signals and begin to assess what, if any, action we need to take to satisfy that urge.  

It’s a practice.  I still have moments.  In fact, a common phrase I use is “I need a moment”.  My son knows it’s like a “mom time out”.  I need to get my head right and my attitude right before I respond to anything or anyone.  

If you want more on mindfulness and exclusive content, sign up for my weekly email here.

Additionally, I have a free group starting on Monday April 11.  We’ll be talking about mindfulness and a whole lot more as it relates to your faith and fitness journey.  If you need some support and encouragement, reach out to me.  I’d love to have you in the group!  

 

I wanna hear from you….

When do you feel most out of control?  

Do you have a key word or phrase that lets your family know you “need a moment”?

How do you stay mindful?

Why You Should Trust the Process

trust the process

This Saturday I’ll be running the first of 3 spring half marathons.  Saturday is the Hoosier Half in Bloomington.  The next one will be the Indy Mini (If you’re an Indiana resident and a runner, you’re sorta obligated to this one, right??), and I’ll wrap up my spring with the Michelob Ultra half marathon in Chicago.  (I’m running this one with Team Momentum, first time I’ve done a fundraiser run. More on this in an upcoming post!)

 

Today I want to take some time and talk about trusting the process.  I’m sure you’ve heard the quote.  Sometimes it can be a cop out, “well it’ll take time; just keep on keeping on”.  But you want results, right???  How long is this “process” going to take??  What do I do in the ‘waiting’?

You can’t trust a process you don’t even know.  You still need to identify your goals and how you’re going to get there.  It may be a training plan for a 5K or half marathon.  It could be some changes to your eating habits to lose weight or have more energy.  It could be a schedule change.  You may need a mindset shift.  Maybe you need to find a Bible study to follow.  

 

Just as the saying goes “April showers bring May flowers” so we have to do the work and spend the time to get the results.  

If you want to run a race, whatever distance it may be, you can’t just one day get up and go do it without having done at least a little training.  I’ve run over 50 half marathons and more than a dozen marathons, but every time I start a new training plan and am running 7 or 8 miles, I think “how am I going to be ready to run 13 or 26?!?!”  Well, I’m not ready on day 1 of training but by the 10th, 12th week, I’ve built up my mileage, and I’m ready to go.  

When you decide it’s time to make some changes in your nutrition, the first day you cut out your daily Coke or iced tea, you won’t lose 5 pounds.  But over time and replacing that coke with water every day for a week, two, or three, you will begin to notice a change in your body.  

The first day you set your alarm to get up early to read your devotions, you may want to hit the snooze and put off this new routine until tomorrow.  But once you get up Monday and then again on Tuesday and again on Wednesday and spend 10 minutes of quiet time, you’ll realize that these few extra minutes get you focused for the day.  You’ll face the day with peace and confidence.  

But all these changes don’t just happen.  The results don’t magically come as soon as you do something.  It takes time.  Time to figure out what changes YOU need to make (not what your best friend is doing).  Time for your body and lifestyle and mindset to respond.  

But just as these April showers bring forth beautiful May flowers, those changes you start making today will have results if you stick with it and trust the process.  

 

Tell me….

Are you having to trust the process in some area of your life?  If so, what is it?  

Do you have any tips on how to trust the process?   

8 Excuses Busted: Make One Change Today

no excuses

No More Excuses!  Easier said than done, right?  I mean, I don’t always make excuses, I just don’t  or can’t or won’t.  Anybody with me?

 

But there are definitely times when our excuses feel very real.  And honestly, they don’t feel like excuses.  They are facts of our lives.  They are real to us, and it’s hard to see a work around or another option.  Healthy eating?  I only have so much in my grocery budget.  Work out?  I only have so much time in a day.  Rest?  Have you seen my schedule???  Quiet time?  I pray when I’m falling asleep at night.  

 

Today I’m going to take on a few excuses, or maybe even facts of life, and bust them with some practical tips to a fit and healthy lifestyle.  

1.  Not enough time

  • As it relates to working out – For some reason we think that we must work out 30, 60, 90 minutes for it to “count”.  But that just isn’t the case.  Whether we do 10 minutes when we get up and 10 minutes at lunch or a 15-20 minute workout, something is better than nothing.  And those 20 minute workouts can give you some amazing results.  I recently reviewed some YouTube workouts that were only 10 minutes long, and they left me sore and sweaty.  Check them out here!
  • As it relates to preparing healthy food – Do you have a crock pot?  Do you have some time on the weekend or maybe one evening a week when you can bake ahead some chicken and put it in the refrigerator?  How about put snacks in a baggie or small container?  You can freeze a variety of dishes and pull them out to fix for dinner.  The key is to plan and prepare ahead of time.  

2.  Not athletic, can’t run, hate cardio – First of all, running isn’t the only exercise.  While some people (me included!) love it, others hate it, and that’s okay.  You don’t have to become a runner.  You didn’t have to be an athlete in high school to be able to exercise now.  There are so many workouts these days, I’m confident you can find something you’d like to do.  Do you like to dance?  What about Zumba or Cize?  Do you like hardcore bootcamps?  What about a kickboxing class or the new Hard Corps 22 workout?  Bike.  Walk.  Lift weights.  Yoga.  I can help you find a workout that’s right for you!  

3.  Weather – My husband has been known to be a “seasonal” exerciser.  I tease him about hibernating in the winter.  Lol!  I often say it’s not the weather it’s the clothes.  With the right clothes, you can get out in any type of weather (for the most part.  I know issues like asthma do make extreme conditions difficult.  Listen to your body!).

4. Too expensive

  • As it relates to working out – It doesn’t cost anything to put shoes on and go out the door for a walk.  But even if you want/need shoes and workout clothes, they can be found on sale all the time.  You can purchase one DVD with several workouts for a small amount of money.  There are several workouts on YouTube and Pinterest that are legitimate and easy to follow…and free!
  • As it relates to eating healthy – Places like Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Target know that people are interested in organic, gluten-free, and just all around healthy foods these days.  You can often find store brand for cheaper than name brand items.  Places like Amazon and Drugstore.com offer great deals on healthier versions of items.  Frozen produce or seasonal fresh produce are usually priced right.  

5.  My family doesn’t support me – This is often where it comes in handy to define your Why.  (read more here!)  Get your family involved.  Set the example.  If you have to, when they’re eating chicken nuggets and fries for dinner, have a salad.  Eat the protein and veggies while they go ahead and eat the starch.  Just choose smaller portions of whatever you have fixed for the whole family.  Take the kids to the playground and walk laps while they swing and slide.

6.  Healthy food doesn’t taste good – There are so many healthy Pinterest boards to follow with easy recipes.  One of my favorite websites is www.hungry-girl.com.  She has some great ideas on how to make your favorite recipes healthy without losing the yummy taste.  Seasonings are your friend.  Be willing to experiment.  Check out some ideas here.  

7.  I’m tired all the time – I know it seems backwards, but getting fresh air and movement will help your energy level and get those endorphins moving in your body.  Even if it means getting up 10 minutes early to go for a walk.  When you begin to replace sugary and starchy foods with fruits and vegetables and lean protein, you will notice improvement in your energy level.  

8.    God knows what’s in my heart – Yes, He does.  But He still wants time with you.  “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Just take a minute to really notice His presence in your life.  Write down 3 things for which  you are grateful.  Be purposeful in this time.  It will provide mental clarity.  

 

What’s next?  I know it’s not easy to bust these excuses on your own.  Accountability is key.  Support is critical, especially if you feel like you’re the only one in the house who wants to get healthy.  I have an answer!  Join my “Fight the Good Fight!” Facebook group.  This will be 3 weeks of check ins, encouragement, support, and accountability.  It’s free!  All I need from you is a desire for and a commitment to living fit and free!  It’s not always easy, but together we can “Fight the Good Fight!”  To get your special invite to this private Facebook group, please email me to let me know you want in AND what excuse you’re ready to bust!

 

Tell me….

Did I miss any excuses?

What other tips do you have to bust the excuses?

 

Boring Menu: Ways to “Healthify” Your Favorite Recipes

healthify

Do you feel like a healthy diet consists of a daily grilled chicken salad?  Rabbit food anyone? Carrots?   

I remember my son asking me one evening “What’s for dinner?”  And my husband sarcastically replied, “Chicken, chicken, or chicken?”   

Ok, so I could get by with eating the same thing everyday.  I don’t mind that my daily meals are pretty much the same, but my family wants a little variety.  So how do you keep some variety and stick with healthy choices?  

 

Protein and Dairy Options

Besides chicken, you have turkey, pork, and lean cuts of beef.  Starkist tuna has so many different flavors of tuna in their ready-to-go packets.  I love the new buffalo flavor, and the sweet and spicy has been a longtime favorite of mine as well.  My husband and son deer hunt, and we enjoy venison.  Bacon, anyone?  You haven’t had bacon until you’ve had deer bacon…just sayin!  We get most of it ground, so I use that in meatloaf, chili (well, my husband makes chili, not me!), tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers.  

Low fat cottage cheese is a good source of protein as well as nonfat plain greek yogurt.  In a recipe calling for cream cheese, you can use lowfat or nonfat cream cheese or greek yogurt.  In a recipe calling for sour cream, you can use plain greek yogurt.  

When it comes to milk, you can gradually switch from whole to 2% to 1% to maybe even skim eventually.  And now there are several alternatives.  I use unsweetened almond milk in cooking a lot.  Again, big reduction in calories and the lactose in regular milk can have negative effects on some tummies.

 

Salads

You can do so much with a salad.  After your lettuce, you can toss in all kinds of cut up veggies, maybe even some fruit (grapes, strawberries, or oranges), low fat cheese, lean protein, a few nuts (slivered almonds or walnuts).  

 

Baking Options

I love baking with oat flour these days.  There’s also almond flour and coconut flour as well as whole wheat flour.  (Be sure to read about measuring adjustments if you use a different type of flour.)  For sweeteners there’s stevia.  Honey and pure maple syrup can be used in some recipes.  Coconut oil is very popular these days in both solid or liquid form to replace oils or butter in a recipe.  Protein powder is also an option to add a little flavor (vanilla or chocolate) in the place of the sugar and/or flour.  

These are just a few quick ideas to get you thinking about how to make small changes to recipes to either add nutrition or lessen the fat, calories, and processed stuff.  

 

Here’s one I make often….it’s a healthy alternative to rice krispy treats.  My son often eats them for breakfast.ricekrispy

1 cup nut butter (I use natural PB (Kroger brand is great!), but you can use nut butter of choice)
1 cup honey
Melt on stove over low heat
Add crisp rice cereal (or cheerios or maybe even a Kashi cereal) 4-6 cups depending on the cereal you choose.  Stir together to coat.  
Press into 9×13 pan.  Let set.  

This week in my closed Facebook group, I’ve been sharing some recipe ideas like this one with the girls.  If you’d like one of those recipes, sign up here to be added to my weekly email list, and I’ll send you one (or two!) of the recipe ideas.  

 

What is one of your favorite recipes that you’d like to healthify?
What is one of your favorite healthy recipes?
Let’s share some ideas and help each other with some new ideas!  

3 Responses to Stress and Simple Solutions

food&stress

This week I’ve been posting on various social media channels about this concept of Temple vs Trash Can.  It’s not an original idea.  You’ll hear it on several faith and fitness platforms.  But the idea here is how do we treat our bodies?  Do we treat them like the temple that they are?  Or do we treat them like a trash can?  

 

Let’s talk about food intake for a minute.  And more importantly how we use food to deal with stress.  I find that in those times when we are stressed and need our bodies to function even better is when we treat them the worst.  

To be sure, stress happens.  We have deadlines to meet.  We have to be at school and work on time.  We lift weights or run marathons.  These things, and countless others, cause stress in some form or another.  It doesn’t necessarily indicate something bad.   You can’t live life and make decisions without some stress.  When we let it take over is when it becomes a negative thing.  And it seems that more times than not, the way we deal with stress is food.  

 

3 responses to stress and simple solutions

  • We get in a hurry.  Stress makes us feel rushed.  And one of the first things that suffers is our mealtimes and the quality of food we consume.      

Solution:  Plan ahead.  Make meals you can freeze.  Have protein bars available.  Drink a superfood shake.

  • We wear ourselves out.  We get tired.  We lose sleep.  We grab something like sugar or extra caffeine to give us a jolt of energy.

Solution:  Make rest a priority.  Stick with a bedtime and wake up routine.  Consume foods like nuts and lean protein that will give energy that sustains.  

  • We lose our focus.  We become mindless when it comes to what we put into our bodies.  We grab ‘n go.  

Solution:  Take time to breathe.  Take five minutes in the morning to focus your day and pray and meditate.  Take another five in the evening to count your blessings or read a devotion.  

 

When we rush and grab or load up on sugar and energy supplements, we trash our bodies.  And when we trash our bodies, the stress on them only becomes worse.  Not only are we dealing with stressors outside but now our bodies are fatigued and low on energy, our mindset is negative and we lose confidence in the task at hand.   

But when we take some time to plan, get some rest, get our focus, we treat our bodies like the temples they were meant to be.  We honor them by filling them with good things.  We honor them with rest and time to breathe.  And when we do this, then those things that are demanding our time and our attention…..our schedules, projects, family, sporting events, etc…..we can show up for them healthy and present and ready to give our best and face the challenge before us.  

 

How do you deal with stress?  

Have you ever considered the concept that your body can be a temple or a trash can?

 

Be sure you’re signed up for my weekly emails.  I go more in depth with tips and personal experiences on how to live fit and free!

Turn Your Why into Action

How

We talked about finding your Why on Monday.  I firmly believe that this is the key to success in any endeavor…..health, fitness, business, etc.  (For our purposes, we’re focusing on living a healthy lifestyle.)  Still once you’ve figured that out, you need to figure out how.  

How am I going to exercise?

How am I going to fit it into my schedule?

How am I going to find the right workout for me?  

How am I going to structure my eating habits?

 

Your motivation is found in your Why.  You know exactly WHY you are choosing to get fit and healthy.  You have something deep within that is moving you towards health and fitness…..and it’s not a number on a scale or a pant size….it has to be more than that, because YOU are more than a number!   (If you still need help working through that, contact me.  I’d love to help you figure out your Why.)

 

The first step in the how, is to find what you like to do.  If you hate to run, then running isn’t for you.  Even if you think that’s the quickest way to weight loss.  You’ll never stick with it.  Even though getting a gym membership and a trainer seems like the right thing to do, if you can’t afford that or don’t have time to meet a trainer 3 times a week for an hour, then that’s not how to meet your goals.  So, what do you like to do?  

Do you like to be outside?  How about walking, running, or biking?  

Do you like to dance?  Ever thought of turning the radio on and just moving around for 20 minutes?  If you want more structure like a class or DVD, there are zumba classes everywhere and DVDs that can lead you in some dancing.  

Do you want to get strong?  Maybe you have a gym membership where you can go lift some weights or get hooked up with a trainer.  Or there are great DVD and online workouts like BeFit and Metabolic Effect that incorporate strength training.  

 

Once you figure out what you like to do the next step is to decide if you want to workout in the morning, lunch hour, or evening.  You can read all kinds of things that tell you working out in the morning is better than evening or vice versa.  But again, bottom line is you need to pick a time that you’ll stick with.  If you’re not a morning person, then exercising in the morning is likely not the best plan for you.  

 

If you still need help figuring this all out, you don’t have to do this alone.  Contact me.  I’d love to come alongside you and help you find your motivation and your soulmate workout.  Let’s do this!  

And to keep the encouragement coming, be sure to sign up for my email to be sent straight to your inbox each week.  I give even more tips and encouragement on following your why and sticking with the plan that is right for you.  When you sign up, I’ll send you my go-to scriptures and prayers that will get you started on that path to being Fit & Free.  

 

Tell me……

When do you workout?

Have you found your soulmate workout?  If so, what is it?

 

Product Review and Giveaway!

Befit

As part of my affiliation with @fitapproach and #sweatpink I was given the chance to review the following products.  As always you can be sure that my opinions are all my own.  

befitproducts

I received a bundle of products from BeFit including BeFit Pre, BeFit Whey Protein, and BeFit Burn.  These were to be used along with BeFit workouts that can be accessed via YouTube video following a 30 Day Fat Burn Calendar.  

 

Supplement Review….

BeFit Pre is a fruit punch flavored powder that is to be mixed with water and taken 15 minutes prior to your workout.  The powder mixes very well.  I just put a scoop in a water bottle with 6-8 oz of water, shook gently a couple of times, and it was ready.  Taste was fine.  

 

BeFit Whey Protein comes in vanilla or chocolate flavor.  I received chocolate.  (Yay!)  Just like the Pre, this powder mixes well and tastes fine.  I didn’t notice that icky protein aftertaste that you get sometimes.  I actually stirred it into my coffee most days after my workout.   I also used the powder to make some protein balls, and they were quite yummy.  Made for a healthy afternoon snack.  

 

BeFit Burn is a supplement that is supposed to be taken about 30 minutes prior to your largest meal.  It claims to help metabolize or burn fat.  I always took mine before breakfast, because I didn’t want to risk any of the “stimulating” effect that may cause me not to sleep well.  (In general I don’t do caffeine or anything like that 11:00AM or so, because I’m quite sensitive to it.  Having said that, I didn’t ever feel like it caused any jitters or any negative side effects.  

 

Do the products work?  To be honest, I don’t know.  I have been using a Pre and Post Workout supplement for quite some time.  Therefore I can’t say if the Pre really gave me an extra boost or the Post helped in my recovery.  All I can say is that they tasted fine and mixed well.  I have no complaints.  If you don’t currently use a product, these may be something you want to try.  As for the Burn, I was conflicted in even taking it.  I don’t advocate for “weight loss support” pills.  I didn’t see any weight loss as a result of using them nor did I experience any change in my cravings as again I already have a nutrition plan that keeps me on track in these areas.  If you are beginning your weight loss journey and need support in curbing your cravings, this product may be helpful.  

 

Workouts Review….

The 30 Day Fat Burn Calendar includes 10 different workouts that can be found on YouTube that are 10 minutes in length.  The calendar lays out a schedule to follow and then about 2 weeks into the program, you double up and do 2 workouts on some days.  There are also rest days included.  Some workouts require weights, others do not.  A simple pair of 3, 5, or 10lb weights would work fine.  befitdvd

 

Following is a summary of each workout:

Dynamic Strength:  I was sore the following day!  14 exercises, 30 seconds each.  This is a kettebell inspired workout.  

Cardio Extreme:  This workout paired well with Total Body Shred the 3rd week of the program.  Cardio Extreme utilizes weights.  Great full body workout!  

Legs and Butt Shaper:  Nothing needed for this workout.  Killer on the lower body.  

Metabolic Booster:  No weights needed for this workout.  4 rounds of 4 exercises for 30 seconds but each time they get a little more advanced.  

Total Body Shred:  Need a set of 3-10lb weights.  The workout is 30 seconds of a body sculpting move followed by 30 seconds of power move.  Killer workout!

Cardio Burn:  Burn is key! I was super sweaty after this one.  45 seconds of weight training and 30 seconds of cardio.

Lower Body Blast:  This one is not even 10 minutes long, but it still kicks the booty.  45 seconds of low body move plus 45 seconds of a cardio push.  

Toned Abs and Arms:  This one resulted in some sore abs and arms the next day.  

Maximum HIIT:  Big focus on jumping jacks.  They come between strength moves.  

Cardio Crush:  This is basically an abs and cardio workout.  No equipment necessary.  

Summary:  I really liked the workouts!  The gals do a great job of showing modifications.  Nothing is difficult to follow.  Since the workouts are short, you could even view them before actually doing them just so you’ll be a bit more familiar with them.  I could easily see myself choosing a couple that I really like and working them in on days when I’m short on time.  I definitely felt like I was getting a good workout.  I felt it when I was doing it, and on some occasions I felt it the next day!  

 

So often we think if we don’t have an hour to spend working out then we shouldn’t do it at all.  But these workouts prove that with as little as 10 minutes, you can make a difference in your health and fitness.  I would suggest doing these even 3 times a week and adding in some daily walks.  I believe you would see and feel the difference.  

 

Now it’s time for you to get a chance to try these products.  This giveaway will go through Sunday night.  But don’t wait for the products, head over to YouTube and view the videos and give them a try. Let me know what you think!  

Click here to go to giveaway!

Giveaway restrictions:
  • U.S. only
  • One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from BeFit through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.
Let me know…..

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to exercise?  Finding something you like to do?  Finding time?  Lack of energy or motivation?

Or….do you love to workout and never miss?