For anyone who knows me, my number 1 pet peeve is excuses. Not just excuses about exercise, but excuses in life. I have always had goals for myself and when I see something I want, I ask myself- “how did that person get there?” Then I make a plan and set it in motion. You can achieve anything you set your mind to with determination, consistency, and a solid plan in place.
I think reading helped me keep that spirit and “can do” attitude alive. Since I was little I loved self-help books like SARK Eat Mangos Naked (a favorite in high school). Then, as I got older I found other books like “The Compound Effect,” “You are a Badass” and “Crush it.” It never hurts to keep learning.
On this continual quest for knowledge and empowerment, I was introduced to a podcast called “The Model Health Show.” A podcast I listened to struck such a cord with me, I decided to listen again and take notes. 99% of this blog post is courtesy of Shawn Stevenson’s Podcast from June 14, 2016- “5 Things that Hold Us Back from Happiness” with my own little quips inserted here and there.
In Shawn’s podcast he notes a study from the University of London that states people are 35% less likely to die if they felt happy and content on a typical day. Generally we are happy as children, then happy again as seniors but it is those in between years of the rat race that really wear us down. I can totally see that! Being a working mom with 2 kids, training for races, helping others, and trying to keep my family happy is no easy feat.
So, what holds us back from happiness and how can we turn it around? Here are his top 5 reasons (in no particular order)
This is probably why I loved this podcast so much. Our primary excuses are usually work, money, and health. Things are always so much harder when life isn’t going your way. Tony Robbins said we all have a blueprint set for our lives. For example, maybe your blueprint is you wanted to get a job, get married, & have kids before 30. How would you feel if your blue print did not match your life condition? What if you were 31 and single or unemployed? It isn’t a horrible thing, but since your blueprint does not equal your life condition you may feel unhappy. You have to be mentally aware of this and re-adjust your blueprint. Maybe because you are single and unemployed you can travel the world and paint or volunteer for the Peace Corps? The world is open and you are unencumbered. Change your perspective and make the most of the life you have.
2. The if/then syndrome:
If this happens, then I’d be happy. If I get this raise, then I’ll be happy. If the kids get into college, then I’ll be happy. If I got this beach house, then I’ll be happy. If I got this divorce, then I’ll be happy… This is what Jim Rohn calls living on “someday I’ll”. We can’t wish our life away. Live in gratitude. What do you have now? Sure, you can have ambition and work towards something but we need to enjoy the journey!
3. Skip the Drama!
I never thought about this really before, but I absolutely love it. Don’t bring the drama around you, don’t look for it, and don’t live into it. *To do something for someone else, WITHOUT expecting anything in return is the secret to long lasting happiness*. Oh My Goodness YES. There is nothing worse than having to keep score, make sure everything is fair, and decide when to be nice to someone else based on how they have treated you in the past. I am a HUGE believer that if I choose to care about someone, I will be there for them. I will buy them birthday gifts; I will go to their events… I will be there for them whether they make the same effort for me or not. I don’t measure my kindness or my happiness by how others treat me, but how I treat others. Nit picking and living into the drama does not do me any good. Maybe this is because I believe everyone is genuinely good at heart and everyone’s intentions are pure. Even if that isn’t the case. It makes me happy and I don’t want to turn into a cynic.
4. Future/Past Paradox
Do you mentally visit the past to predict the future? It is a blessing and a curse to think externally. People think past = future. We need to see the beauty in our current situation. If you still live in the past, you miss the power to change your future. A challenge for you is to change your perspective and CHOOSE to show up differently. Bring YOUR energy and happiness to the situation. When you walk into a room brighten that room. YOU bring the LIGHT. Living in gratitude is a reflection of the good things that are happening at the current moment. On a side note, I am LOVING the Instagram challenge #100happydays. It is forcing me to find the beauty in every day. Today it was eating a juicy peach.
5. BELIEF THAT YOU DESERVE IT!
I am amazed at this one. I remember watching “the Biggest Loser” last season and a speech Bob Harper gave to one of the contestants. They were having a heart to heart and her biggest roadblock was her deep rooted belief that she didn’t deserve to be fit, to take the time for herself, to win etc. Once she changed her mind set and told herself that she was worthy and she did deserve it, she started kicking butt! Realize how much you do matter. Enjoy the process, and overcome whatever challenges come your way. You have everything you need to live a good life within you, they just may be dormant. No one is better than you, but people may be different than you. Be 100% unapologetic for who you are. Like Sarah Jessica Parker was told in the movie “The Family Stone” Let your freak flag fly! No one will ever exist like you again and no one was like you before, so be the utmost you.
I just loved all this so much and it is great to be reminded again and again of these important points. Now lastly, being happy doesn’t mean being stagnant. You can have goals and be ambitious. Heck, you should!!! But, enjoy the process. You deserve to be happy if you choose to be, and if you need to make some life changes, make them.
Have a great Monday.
I’m pretty sure I wrote this before, but it bears repeating. The VERY first thing I ask anyone interested in starting any health journey is “why.” Why do you want to lose weight? Sure, looking great in your clothes and fitting into those jean from high school is nice, but that won’t keep you on track. Cupcakes and alcohol are way too good.
Most people know my story (and if you don’t you can check it out in about me section), but my why is making sure I am taking care of me so that I can have more energy and patience for my family. I have 2 toddlers, I also work full time as a scientist. I know that when I indulge too much and don’t exercise I am just a nasty person and my family gets the brunt of it. I feel tired, bloated, sluggish and screaming toddlers make me lose my sh*t.
What also keeps me motivated is having other people help keep me accountable or incentives. This week I have a private facebook group going. We are all going to post every day something we are doing to stay healthy, whether that be a workout or a healthy meal. At the end of the week I am raffling off a prize to a randomly selected winner. The only rule to be entered into the raffle is to post something in our group daily. If you need some extra accountability and want to meet some like minded people, I would be happy to add you too 🙂
I urge you this week to sit down with yourself, grab a piece of paper, a journal, a napkin, anything and be honest with yourself. Why do you need to stay on track this week? Maybe there is a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes in your family and you need to lose weight to stay healthy, maybe you need some extra patience for your kids, maybe you have a stressful week coming up and a few good sweat sessions will help make you feel better. Endorphins are a powerful thing.
Let me know your why in the comments below. I believe in you.
I can’t believe it, it is now official! I registered for the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon!
I have been doing at home workouts exclusively for 1 year now. While I got phenomenal results, it was time to get outside and switch things up.
A few weeks ago, my awesome sister in law invited me into her “summer running streak” group, in 3 weeks I logged 44 miles so I figured if I could do that I could sign up for a race. Nothing keeps me motivated like a race date. Super excited for this puppy, and yes I get excited to add a medal to my wall.
Now comes the hard part. For me, it is scheduling in those long runs. My husband works Saturdays, and my kids are 2 and 4 so I will either be headed to the gym for a date with the treadmill and Netflix, or an early morning Sunday before our family day.
Anyone else running this race? Anyone interested in training with me? I’d love to interact with fellow runners during the training. It is always more fun to train with a friend, even a virtual one.
With the warm weather upon us, we are reminded that summer is coming. I for one am so excited to do more outdoors. I just wish I didn’t have to cook dinner when I come home! Looks like I’ll be making more on the grill.
That being said, what I also love about this time of year is how committed people are to their health and fitness goals.
What are you doing to get fit? Is it working? Are you open to something NEW?
Last year, I started helping people achieve their health and fitness goals, and it has been the most rewarding experience. A few highlights include
- A mom who was on the verge of tears daily who is now content and enjoying her kids childhood
- SEVERAL running PRs (2 5Ks improved by 4 minutes and a half marathon by 20)
- 30 lb weight loss
- A few women who were able to advance their yoga practice (hello headstand)
- New friends made by all
I am looking for women, specifically working moms with little time on their hands. People who aren’t the best cooks and need quick and easy kid friendly recipes. Women who rarely take the time to take care of themselves and always put everyone else first. Women who are exhausted and just don’t know how they could possibly even find time to exercise. Women who have a gym membership, but never go. Women who are living on coffee for breakfast or their go to cereal they have been having since their college days. Women who used to have time to train for races before they had kids but now running takes too long.
I’m looking for you, because last year I was you! 30 minute workouts, easy food, and most of all SUPPORT have changed my life.
I’m not saying I can change your life, but you can. The power is in your hands and I have had the pleasure to connect with so many women this year, women who were hanging on my a thread and now just feel good.
MAY 1st is the start date. Send me a message and we’ll work together to find something that will work for your unique situation and preferences.
We are going to have an awesome summer, you ready to join us?
I am driven by FACTS (as a scientist) and I have been feeling that there is so much fluff out there, people never know where to go for information, and is that information true? Then, what does that information mean to ME? So, what I have decided to do is create a FACT FRIDAY post where I will highlight a different ingredient in food or skincare as or class of chemicals and give YOU facts from reputable sources and be as clear as possible without expressing my opinion, just the facts.
Please feel free to request what ingredients you are curious about.
For my first Fact Friday: I was going to talk about chia seeds, BUT I realized you may not know WHAT Omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants ARE or WHY you should even care?! So our first fact Friday is going to be about: ANTIOXIDANTS, what they are, how they work, and why they are important.
Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals….HOLD UP.
What are free radicals? What kind of damage can they do to your body?
“Free radicals” are unstable atoms, or molecules, in your body. They are missing important components that would make them more stable. So they rob other cells of those components to meet their needs. This causes injury to previously healthy cells. Over time, this damage can lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.
Your body produces free radicals through its NORMAL processes. Your body also contains ITS OWN antioxidant molecules, which deactivate harmful free radicals. But things like cigarette smoking, pollution, and excessive alcohol consumption can create SO many free radicals that your body has a hard time defusing them on its own.
Antioxidants- What they do
• stabilize those free radicals and can help minimize the damage to your cells
• Help decrease inflammation
• Help maintain the immune system
• Potentially decrease the risk of degenerative diseases
• vitamins (such as vitamins C and E
• some minerals (such as selenium)
• flavonoids, which are found in plants
• The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables
Antioxidants in Shakeology:
• Acerola Cherry
• Goji berry
• Green Tea
• Luo Han Guo
• Rose Hips
• Vitamins A, C, E
ACE Health Coaching Textbook
Don’t be scared of the word “fat.” Fat is essential in our diet for our cells to function properly in our bodies.
I am going to throw some serious science at you guys today! As always my takeaway message is eat in moderation. Here try to eat foods high in Omega 3s (list below) and try to minimize Omega 6 rich foods (processed foods, certain oils etc)
What is the Difference?
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are a chemical class called fatty acids. The # corresponds to which carbon has the first double bond (Start counting from the right, and each point is a carbon)
Your body does not produce Omega-3 fatty acids, so you need to obtain them from your diet. Two crucial ones — EPA and DHA — are primarily found in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis.
How do they do this? They set off signals in our bodies to reduce INFLAMMATION.
Omega-3s curb inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body), this especially helps your heart. At high doses they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides. Finally, they can slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.
Omega 6 vs Omega 3
This may seem like a scary crazy image- but the takeaway message here is Omega 3s set off your metabolic pathway to release anti-inflammatories in your body. How cool is that?!
Where to Get Omega 3s
When possible, try to get omega-3 fatty acids from foods. Aim to eat fish high in DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids two to three times a week.
- Salmon (wild has more omega-3s than farmed)
- Lake trout
Good food sources of ALA are:
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- Canola oil
- Soybean oil
While foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits, some — like oils and nuts — can be high in calories. So eat them in moderation.
So I threw a lot of complicated stuff at you- takeaway message…. Live in moderation. Try to eat foods high in Omega 3s and minimize your intake of processed foods and oils.
I got a wonderful email today from my health care provider (Aetna) and there were so many great little nuggets of information I am going to dedicate a blog post to each one.
Stretching… don’t lie, I know when the video is over and there are 3 minutes left of stretching, you turn the video off and go put in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher. Don’t! Stretching is just as important as the workout both to warm up your muscles and cool them down. This prevents injury.
Experts say the best way to do this is to go at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes. So if you’re jogging, you should walk for a few minutes to warm up. And then again to cool down.
Stretching’s important, but bouncing is for balls
While stretching is important to remain flexible, if you don’t do it right, you risk injury. You should stretch your muscles a couple times a week. Hello yoga!
Avoid the following:
- Stretching cold muscles
- Holding a stretch for more than 15 seconds
- Bouncing (don’t do that)
Other ways to avoid injury include using the proper equipment. And having the proper form. No matter what the exercise warriors on television advise, don’t overdo it. If you push yourself too hard, you could go from warrior to war torn.
For more on how to avoid injury from exercise, visit the National Institutes of Health Medline Plus website.
I needed to get some fresh air. Work has been totally hectic and I’ve been spending so much time at meetings and conference calls I needed to step away so I took my lunch break to go for a wonderful run outside. There were so many people out! I think we all had the same idea. I made sure to pack my clothes just in case the opportunity presented itself!
Running has such a transformative power. You are outside, the sun is shining, you are pushing your limits, and all the stress from your brain starts melting away and you are able to really think. I came back in totally refreshed and with new ideas for how to innovate in the lab.
James came home with some Chinese food but I already had dinner cooking. I still took my fortune cookie though! I agree with this sentiment whole heartedly!
I don’t know about you but I just love steak. I’m super happy to report I made this recipe by winging it and it was delicious!
1 package skillet steak ($6.50 at ShopRite). I used 3 slices
Montreal Steak seasoning, lift coating
1/2 cup quinoa.
Softened the onion and pepper in olive oil in a cast iron skillet, cooked the steak on high heat about a minute or so each side. Had a side of quinoa for carbs.
My favorite dessert is a container of yogurt topped with fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwi.
I am going to get so REAL. I hate excuses. The number one thing I hear ALL THE TIME is “I don’t have time.” Guess what, That’s BS. What you are really saying is “This isn’t important to me”.
We are all given the same 24 hours in a day. If you want time, you need to MAKE it. We are all capable of anything we set our minds to. What sets you apart from that guy over there who runs marathons, runs a company, travels for business, and still spends time with his family? NOTHING. They MAKE the time.
Think about it, if you wake up at 6 and go to bed at 10, that is 16 waking hours!
- Full Time Job (9 hours)
- Hour commute (2 hours)
- Free time: (FIVE HOURS!)
What are you doing with those FIVE extra hours???? Cooking? Cleaning? Spending quality time with your partner, kids, pets? I hope so.
My guess is you are watching TV, Playing on your ipad, Scrolling through fb, surfing the internet…
I want YOU. If you are reading this and want a change in your life. Get OFF YOUR BUTT. I need you to give me 22 minutes. YES, just 22 minutes of those 5 extra hours you have when you aren’t working or commuting. That is less 1 TV episode.
I want a group of MEN and WOMEN, committed to changing their outlook on life, sick of making excuses for themselves to join me on March 28th to start a new fitness program. Do it from home, only 22 minutes and start taking control of your life.
Is it you?
Contact me now. No excuses.