Goals, Personal Development, Self Awareness

What is your Why?

What Is Your Why Existential Question

This question is one of my initial questions that I ask all of my clients. What is your “why”? Why are you reaching for healthier habits, a healthier lifestyle and a healthier version of you?

I ask this question to understand their motive. Is it external motivation or internal motivation? We are more likely to stay dedicated if we are internally driven. 

I ask this question because when life gets hard or things seemingly get in the way, I ask them to reference their why. Most times when we get overwhelmed or bogged down by life, our muscle memory is to revert back to the unhealthy habits that have gotten us in the situation we are currently in. By recognizing that life is slightly crazy, taking a moment to pause and revisit the “why”, this allows the client to regroup, reset and then recover. 

I have heard many different why’s, all individualized and true to the individual: I want to run around with my grandchildren. I want to look in a mirror again. I don’t want to hide from my family. I want to be able to go up a flight of stairs without being short of breath. I want to be able to put on shoes comfortably. I want to minimize my risk for heart disease. I want to feel better. I want to sleep better. I want to take control of my life again.

If you can identify your why and make it 100% true to you, this will help guide you on your journey.

I started running and working out diligently back in 2008/2009 to take control of my mental and emotional health. I had just graduated with my first bachelors degree and was moving back home to be with a guy. He dumped me 6 days before I moved home. I was waitressing after spending the last 4 years with an unrealistic idea of what life would be like after college. Needless to say, I was struggling emotionally and mentally. I spent my days sleeping in, going to the gym and then straight to work. On many of those days, I woke up wondering how I would get through the day and go to bed at night feeling grateful that I made it. I started consistently working out and running because I didn’t know how else to get through my days. I didn’t have any friends that were living back at home, I felt alone, desperate and was struggling with my situation; the future felt a bit hopeless. My why for working out and running was to take control of something when everything else felt like it was out of my control. I wanted to feel more confident, strong and able; the first way I knew how to do that was physically. To this day, I continue to workout and run multiple times a week, no longer just to control something, but because it fuels me and continues to make me feel good. It helps me feel strong, powerful, confident, capable and able to do anything. Who wouldn’t want to feel like superwoman?!

My recommendation for you as you approach your journey – whatever that goal may be – is to look past your goal itself and identify, define and create your “why” and make it your solid foundation. 

Without your “why”, it will be easier to lose motivation after a few weeks and revert back to your current habits… the same ones you are trying to change.

You’ve got this!

Goals, Health and Wellness, Pursuing your dreams, Self Awareness, Self Care, Self-Love

How to: Navigate the Holidays with your Health in Mind

Christmas sport composition with  shoes, dumbbells and note

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather change, the football, the family time and the coziness that accompanies the holidays. The sweet scents of Thanksgiving dinner and the Christmas tree, the Macy’s Day parade – just everything… I love it – I always have.

A few things that come along with the holidays are: homecooked meals, sweets and treats, maybe more alcohol indulgence and a lot of time visiting and sitting with family. It becomes an easy time to hibernate and neglect the effort you have put in towards your health and wellness all year. How do you navigate the holidays with your health in mind so you’re not starting over again when the new year hits?

Here are a few ways I like to navigate the holidays while keeping my health in mind:

  • Mindfulness and awareness – I find that if I am distracted by the television, visiting, playing games or just caught up in the joy of the season, I am more likely to mindlessly eat. Being aware of this is the first step. The second step is to acknowledge if I am reaching for the muddy buddies because I’m hungry or because they’re there. When I stop and ask myself this question, it gives me a moment to pause and tune into my body. Most of the time, I am reaching for the food/drink because I am caught up in the joy and fun of my surroundings. Being mindful and aware of your hunger cues and triggers for overindulging is essential for maintaining your focus and efforts towards a healthier version of you. What triggers you to keep reaching for the food and drink? Endless talking? Family stress? Personal insecurities? Recognize this, pause in the moment and make the best choice for you and your health.
  • A bit of bargaining – I enjoy sweet treats and I enjoy a nice glass of wine. When it comes to the holidays, in order for me to stay on track towards my health and wellness, I find myself bargaining. I’ll have that piece of pie, but I won’t have a glass of wine. I’ll have that homecooked roll, but I won’t have any green bean casserole. I’ll have that salad so I can indulge in a dessert. I find myself picking and choosing so I can stay energized, focused and present with my family and friends.
  • Continued Effort –  In the past, I have used this time of year as an excuse to not move my body or choose healthy options for myself. However, within the past 10 years, I have recognized that if I continue my effort towards staying active and choosing healthier options for me, it is much easier to stay on track or to get back on track if I have a slight indulgence or deviation. When I get in a morning workout, I set myself up for a great day; why wouldn’t I do something that helps me feel good and that I love on one of my favorite days or during my favorite time of year? Pursue that good feeling every day of the year.
  • Grace – This is the biggest thing for me, giving myself grace when I do indulge. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I do not live a life of restriction. If I restrict myself, I will then crave and indulge. I give myself grace when I have a second glass of wine. I give myself grace when I choose to eat a bigger piece of pie. I give myself grace if I go back for one of my mom’s home-cooked rolls. I give myself grace because I know that this one day of enjoying myself, my family and the food will not completely derail all the hard work I have put in all year. I give myself grace because I know I will be right back to my usual routine the next day. I give myself grace because I know this is not going to start a downward spiral of daily indulgences because I have created a habit of a healthy lifestyle. I give myself grace because I deserve it.

You can navigate AND enjoy the holidays with your health in mind. Just because the holidays are approaching does not mean that you can’t stay active or you can’t eat the salad – stay on track. Don’t succumb to pressure or family stress. Keep pursuing your goals and dreams of a healthier version of you. If anyone gets in your way or gives you grief, throw a pie in their face. (Disclaimer: Fit Together is not responsible for any outcomes of you throwing pies at people.) 🙂

Ed Mylett, Overcoming Self Doubt, Self Awareness, Self-Worth

Do you Doubt your Greatness?

Do you want to overcome Self-Doubt?

It happens – that inner voice creeps in at the most opportune time to break down any confidence you’ve gained to do something new, challenging or unfamiliar.

“Maybe I’m not ready for this yet.”
“Who am I to do this?”
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“There’s more important things to do than take care of myself.”
“I’m not worth the time. I don’t have the time.”

These negative statements that easily come to the forefront of your mind are all learned statements, thoughts and beliefs. They are all statements that at sometime, likely during your childhood, were instilled in you by someone else’s opinion of you.
So how do you overcome this voice? How do you overcome the self-doubt? How do you overcome the discriminating negative self-talk? Check out this podcast by Ed Mylett – it’s only 24 minutes and a really great place to start the process of overcoming your doubt and living into your greatness!

 

Click Here to Listen to Ed Mylett’s Podcast!

Goals, Health and Wellness, Self Awareness, Self-Care, Uncategorized

September Newsletter – When Life Gets In The Way

When I launched Fit Together, I knew there were going to be barriers to acquiring clients. There were 3 barriers that I identified that would likely get in the way of signing clients: money, time and effort.

Money – when I think about the financial obligations of choosing and pursuing a healthier lifestyle, I consider the following: purchasing whole foods, purchasing supportive footwear, and purchasing a gym membership or health coach/trainer. When the money barrier is brought up, I ask my client what they are currently spending money on each month that could be put on hold? Is it going out to dinner every week? Is it going out drinking with friends every weekend? Is it daily trips to the grocery store? Is it purchasing alcohol every week? If money is a barrier for you, what can you put on hold right now, to invest in your health?

Time –

“I don’t have the time.”
“I got home from work and I was too tired.”
“I had this to do or that to do.”
“Someone needed me and I needed to push off what I had planned.”
It’s easy to push off our own priorities to accomodate the needs and wants of other people in our lives. I say this with love and compassion, you HAVE the time, you are choosing (consciously or subconsciously) not to make the time – you need to MAKE the time. Prioritizing yourself and caring for yourself is not selfish, it is necessary. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t give or be 100% when you are running at 0%. Make the time. Put 30 minutes on your calendar to focus on your health and wellness and when it’s time – DO IT. It’s not enough to put it on your calendar, you need to stick with what you planned and DO IT. If you continue to break the promise you made to yourself, you are showing yourself that you aren’t worth your time and you aren’t worth your effort. You are reinforcing that other people in your life are more worthy of your time, energy and effort. Fill your cup first.

Effort – Pursuing a healthier lifestyle will take effort – EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every action has a reaction. Every positive action typically presents with a positive reaction in 12-18 months. Every negative action typically presents with a negative reaction in 3-6 months. The question is: what sort of effort do you want to put in? How much are you willing to fight for your health? The effort will be uncomfortable, that’s how you know you are doing it right. We grow when we are out of our comfort zone.

Life is happening, it will ALWAYS show up when you have the desire to pursue something. There will be parties, work obligations, family obligations, arguments and more appealing options than showing up, getting up and reaching for a healthier lifestyle. Your want and desire for your health needs to be stronger than any excuse or any other option that conveniently shows up when it’s time to go after what you want.

Running, Self Awareness

Finding Your Niche

Woman Legs Sport shoe walk in Park outdoor Sakura treeYou have decided that this is your year to get healthy but you’re not sure how to do it and you’re having a hard time deciding what it is you like to do for a workout. I get it, working out is challenging and you’d rather be doing something you enjoy. So how do you find your “thing”?

For me, it’s running. I stumbled across running back in 2008 when I needed an outlet and a way to stay in shape. Was it easy? No. Was it fun? No. But I found that during and after a run, I felt more confident, happy and lighter so I stuck with it and it became my thing. So, what could your workout niche be and how can you go about finding it?

Running, Yoga, Spinning, Dance, Kickboxing, Barre, Zumba, Swimming, Gymnastics etc. There are so many options out there. My recommendation for you would be to try out a gym (some do 1 free week) that have fitness classes. Attend as many fitness classes as you can to get a feel for what you enjoy. Is it the circuit workout you like? Is it dancing to hip-hop music? Is it the slow, methodical pace? Is it the ability to take your aggression out on a punching bag? Maybe you’ll find that you like a lot of variation to your workout and enjoy mixing up the routine, and then it’s about finding the location/gym that offers what you’re looking for.

Don’t give up if you try one class and hate it, that just means that you know that isn’t your thing – knowing that is a success, move on to the next one!

You will find something you like. That’s not to say the workout will be easy, but it will be easier if you find what you enjoy. So get out there, check out your community gyms and go after it – your health depends on it!

Goals, Self Awareness, Self-Care, Self-Love, Self-Worth

Overcoming Your Excuses

“I’m too tired.” “Missing one day won’t matter.” “It takes too much time.” “I don’t have the time.” “It’s too hot/cold.” “It’s raining/snowing.”

The list can go on and on. We all have those excuses that can break down your determination and motivation. The thing about the excuses is that they always turn up right when we need an easy out. We choose to use the excuse because that is easier than it is to do something challenging and uncomfortable.

It is deeply engrained in us to avoid pain, to limit our expressions of emotion and to protect ourselves. Because of this, we limit ourselves from achieving goals we set out to accomplish. We do this to avoid vulnerability and in doing so, ultimately we limit potential greatness.

What if we chose the challenge over the ease?

What if we chose the discomfort over the complacent?

What if we chose the unknown over the known?

Where could we be? Who could we be?

What if you embraced that sweat and shortness of breath during that first workout vs. sitting on the couch watching tv again?

What if you chose to confront yourself and finally moved past those 20 years of anger and hurt vs. burying it inside you and living with it like it doesn’t still effect you?

What if you chose to walk past that wall you’ve built vs. sitting on the same side that you know is destructive to the person you want to be?

Where could you be? Who could you be?

Overcoming your excuses is about choosing the challenge, discomfort and unknown over and over again and trusting that you will be okay… if not stronger.

Overcoming your excuses takes constant effort, determination and willpower. It is not easy – but it will always be worth it.

Overcoming your excuses is about making your why more important and forceful than the line up of excuses you’ve been carrying around and using all your life.

Do it anyway.

Tired? Do it anyway. Too hot? Do it anyway. Angry, sad, frustrated, irritated? Do it anyway!

Stop standing in your own way, be stronger than your pile of excuses and do it anyway!

Goals, Running, Self Awareness

Overcoming Challenges

The 2019 Vermont City Marathon was unlike any other half marathon I’ve run. This half marathon was the first time I had ever run a 13.1 mile race while pregnant. I completed the 2019 Vermont City Half Marathon almost 15 weeks pregnant!

In the lead up to, and completion of this race, there were 2 periods of time when I had to overcome challenges – first, 1 month before the race and then again on race day. This is how I overcame these challenges:

It wasn’t until the end of April that I felt physically ready to get back into running after a 4 week hiatus (thank you first trimester symptoms). I struggled with self doubt about my ability to properly train for a 13.1 mile race in one month. Luckily, my body was fairly accustomed to the activity. It was about consistency and putting in the effort to not only build back some strength but to also shift my mentality. Every run, whether a 3 mile run or a 10 mile run did just that; strengthened my body, relaxed my breathing and gave me the confidence that I could do it and I would do it. I overcame this challenge through consistency and pushing through my doubts.

The second challenge hit me hard on race day, just past the 10 mile marker. My legs that had felt strong and light for the past hour and 20 minutes suddenly felt like they weighed 1000 lbs., EACH. With that heaviness, the effort to keep moving at a running pace was brutal. Then came the mental monologue: “well, if you just stop and walk you’ll probably feel better.” Excuse. “You’re already slowing down, you might as well walk.” Excuse. “Do you really think you can run 3 more miles like this?!” Then came “Vivian”, the name I have given that evil voice that sometimes creeps into my head. The one that knows how to derail my successes better than anyone. I wavered between agreeing with her and believing in myself. I know with 100% certainty that if I allowed myself to slow down and walk, the end of the race would be even more of a grind. I knew if I gave in to Vivian and her script of negativity that my armor would weaken and it would be 100x more challenging to overcome her in the future. So how did I overcome this challenge? I kept running. I changed my mental monologue from one of judgement to one of compassion, empathy and encouragement. “Yes, people are passing you but you’re still running!” “I am light.” “I am able.” “I can do this.” “Push, push, push!” Shifting my mental monologue took effort, focus and self awareness. Then I was at mile 11… and then mile 12… and then mile 13 and I was still running!

This half marathon was unlike any other half marathon I’ve run. Not only because I was pregnant but because I have never felt so strong, fast and capable (both physically and mentally) before. With the exception of my cheering squad, it was me out there, just me getting through the ease and the challenges one step at a time and today I am so much stronger because of this race.

I finished this half marathon in about an hour and 52 minutes – about an 8:33 minute per mile pace.

We will have challenges from time to time and all we can control is our attitude and our effort toward them.

How are you overcoming your challenges? Are you?

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Goals, Self Awareness, Self Care

April was NOT a Wash

“This month was a complete wash…I feel like I took so many steps backwards.”

Two thoughts and expressions of discouragement as I settled into bed one night. I felt frustrated.

I have spent the past 4-4.5 weeks physically unable to maintain a pace that I am accustomed to. As sleep escaped me, I thought that night about what I had done during those 4-4.5 weeks: I rested… A LOT. I took care of Ella and myself. I did the bare minimum and I survived.

As my thoughts and mind kept me from a dreamlike state, I realized that the month of April was not a wash. It was a shift in focus of goals and a time to tend to what I physically needed.

Instead of my goal being the business and my fitness, my body forced me to focus on the goal of growing this baby inside of me.

Stop running so much.

Stop waking up every morning at 0500.

Stop going until you break.

Stop staying up late to work.

It’s time to rest.

It’s time to bunker down and reign it in to care for the massive biological process going on. I struggled with this… can you believe it?! Surprise, surprise. Me, someone who is so accustomed to achieving, going, growing, and progress struggled with a slowed pace and unseen progress.

“We saw a heartbeat this month, to me.. that wasn’t a wash,” he said to me as I expressed my discouragement towards the pause of growth for the business and myself.

He’s right. These past few weeks have simply been a shift in focus of my goals. What was more important was resting, listening to my body and settling in. That’s not a wash. That’s not moving backwards. It’s self awareness. It’s self care. It’s progress.