The key to losing weight for the last time is not giving up as you take small, continual steps to create a new lifestyle, or habit of living, that feels so good and natural to you that you can't imagine living any other way.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu
Six years ago I embarked on a weight loss journey that transformed my life. I did what statistics said were impossible. I needed to lose a lot of weight after my pregnancy. I gained almost 40 pounds during pregnancy and had gone into it with weight from the previous child. I lost all the weight plus some and have not regained it in the last six years.
There was so much wisdom and insight I gained from the journey. The golden nugget, however, is when you begin to transform your life look only at the improvements you are and have made. I thought to myself that every step, no matter how small, in the right direction was one step farther away from where I started and closer to my goal. I figured that every workout, every ounce lost, every size dropped, every inch smaller, every dessert skipped was a step forward.
There were slip ups. Each time, I thought of when a ball is kicked out of bounds in a soccer game. That doesn’t stop the game. The ball is thrown back in and play begins again. A weight loss goal is the same. It’s a game you are playing till the end. If you get sick and can’t workout, afterward throw the ball back in the field. Pick up where you left off. Continue the journey, don’t throw in the towel.
Small changes and small steps accumulate. After less than a year, all the weight was off. My body was fit and toned. I felt more beautiful, stronger, calmer, kinder, and happier. It was work, but the real work was to keep believing in myself, being my own cheerleader every day. This like most things in life only I could do for myself.
So, as January slips away, don’t lose hope. True, sustainable transformation happens very gradually. The longer it takes, the more time to establish new habits. Then, six years later the weight is still gone and you will find yourself fitter and fitter each year. I love coaching people toward their weight loss goals. Beyond my nutritional training, my own slow journey gave me a richer understanding of how to transform for good. If you are interested in ending the battle, I’d love to help you!!
With love and gratitude,
Workouts do more than burn calories or help you maintain your weight. The right workout rotation can also help you look younger and stay young looking for years
What must you have in your routine to stay looking young and vibrant?
1. Weight Lifting. Post menopause many women experience a loss of muscle mass. This effects not only posture, but your ability to do routine tasks in life like grocery shop, care for children, and manage your home. Research shows that resistance and body weight exercises such as yoga or mat work (such as in the jolie row class) reverses aging on a molecular level.
2. Sprints. Interval sprints are essential for maintaining fast twitch muscle fibers. These are the parts of your muscle that allow you to quickly regain your balance or react quickly. Sprinting, such as we do in the jolie row workout, helps maintain those fibers. This keeps your reaction time fast helping you navigate through unexpected circumstances and avoid fails. As one ages, the ability to quickly respond and recover balance is one of the first signs of aging. Maintaining and strengthen your fast twitch fibers will keep you nimble.
3. Flexibility training. Yoga and stretch maintain flexibility. Limber muscles allow you full ranges of motion and loosen joints as you grow older. In addition, the weigh bearing nature of yoga strengthens at the same time.
with love and gratitude,
MOTIVE TO MEDITATE
When you meditate, you plug into a supercomputer. When I meditate I solve problems, find inspiration for new initiatives, cut through my feelings to find the core truth, let grow of anger and frustration and have the most amazing conversations afterwards. It’s my superpower.
Meditation is more than sitting still and quiet. Many people resist meditation because they think it’s boring or a waste of time. It is easy to believe that time can be used more productively: working, exercising, going out, shopping, or seeing friends. Meditation can seem self indulgent. Time is limited: we expect those other activities will accomplish more in terms of money and relationships.
The benefits of meditation are so multifaceted- it can change your life in many ways. Eight weeks of regular practice will make you happier and more centered, rewire your brain, reduce stress related hormones, improve intuitive skills – that’s the short list. In our busy, complicated lives we don’t realize its importance because meditation does not immediately produce emotional, physical, and mental benefits we can see. Meditation works subtly from the inside out.
Meditation, in many cultures and traditions, is considered the way to live a balanced, harmonious life with others and the planet. Many religions, including Christianity, see meditation as an essential part of life just like eating, working, cultivating relationships. They begin and punctuate the day with meditation understanding that connection to Source or God grounds us and empowers us to work on our life’s purpose.
The more relaxed and calm we are, the more we are receptive to the flow of experiences, information, and solutions in our lives. It allows us to be more aware of our environment and act with more presence of mind.
If you think there is not time to meditate, you are missing a key opportunity that can change your life. When you meditate, you plug into a supercomputer. When I meditate I solve problems, find inspiration for new initiatives, cut through my feelings to find the core truth, let grow of anger and frustration and have the most amazing conversations afterwards. It’s my superpower. Not to mention, my fine lines relax and my energy is more positive.
The most difficult obstacle blocking you from achieving your goals is that you don’t know yourself as well as you think you do. The activity of life distracts us from going inside and asking questions of ourselves. That is why meditation is so vital. It takes you out of the commotion: the awareness created in meditation helps you get in touch with yourself, learn about yourself, and love yourself. The more knowledge you have about yourself, the better you will understand yourself. From there it is easier to decipher why you are here and what your true purpose is. You are an amazing, powerful, creative being, but me telling you that is kind of like your mother telling you you are beautiful. You need to discover yourself beautiful just like you need to uncover your own powerful, amazing, creative self.
There are many types of meditation. At jolie we teach various forms. This allows you to find the types that work best for you. You can learn and refine those and can take them with you into the rest of your life. My favorite guided meditations are visualizations, body scans, and sitting in silence. Using those forms I shed stress and manifest things like crazy.
Here are some tips to get you started: take five minutes in the morning and focus on your breathing. I often do this after hitting snooze on my alarm if I’m sure I won’t fall back asleep otherwise I do it after my shower. It helps to focus on the light of a candle or imagine myself walking across a never ending field. Notice how your body feels, emotions that arise, thoughts that come up. Gradually increase your meditation time as you feel comfortable. Guided meditations at jolie are also a wonderful way to kick start and deepen your practice--it’s akin to having a private trainer for your mind. You move forward finding greater peace within and your own superpowers.
with love and gratitude,
Come on a journey with me this year. I declare my mission to live 2017 differently. I sometimes have a false belief or expectation that causes me to live on this planet as if everything is going to be perfect, but this is a planet of refinement. Refinement means people, myself included, are going to make mistakes; people are going to not do the right thing; not live up to expectations. But, it also means that is okay. Refinement is growth; it's sorting out what's working and what's not; it's letting go when a thought pattern is holding us back or keeping us stuck.
This morning I went for a walk in the woods and then directly to church. Ordinarily, I'd change my clothes, but didn't have time. I was very tempted to keep my coat on during Mass because everyone was dressed up, except for me. My internal guide said no - take it off. It's what I'm working on--accepting what is every moment and not judging myself. Who cares if I have hiking boots and workout clothes on? If they do, why should I care? Plus, it's all in my head, it's my desire to be perfect, to meet expectations. I'm not perfect, I misjudged my time, but I am here where I want to be.
The advantages to living on the planet of refinement are threefold:
1. We get to set any goal we want and work for it. We fall off the diet/workout wagon, we blow up at our partner, we screw up a project: learn from the experience and continue; no time for stewing. 2017 we say no to self doubt, self criticism, and negativity.
2. Mistakes are good. Ben Franklin said, "I haven't failed. I've had 10,000 ideas that didn't work." Thomas Edison said, "Of the 200 light bulbs that didn't work, every failure told me something I was able to incorporate into the next attempt." Carry that perspective into 2017.
3. Focus on you. Our happiness has a ripple effect as well as our energy when we are depleted. When my kids were little, I called 5:00pm the bewitching hour. I'm exhausted, my patience is spent, I'm trying to make dinner; and somehow the kids sense it and chaos ensues. Finally, I started taking a mommy time out around 4:30 and things smoothed out. To meet the challenges on this planet of refinement we must take care of ourselves.
The first leg of this journey of refinement is 100 days of self care. Why self care? Honestly, it's because there is so much I want to do this year and I will get easily burned out if I don't. The less personal reason is how well you take care of yourself is a clear indicator of how positive you feel, your self confidence, and gives you so much energy. When you feel good, you treat others better too.
Yay for 2017! I am full of excitement.
Words to Live By
Don't wait for the world to change, change it yourself.