7 MISTAKES I MADE DURING MY WELLNESS JOURNEY

Boy, do I wish I could go back in time and not waste all of the time and energy I did when I first attempted my journey of health and wellness improvement. I made some HUGE mistakes when I first decided it was time to change my relationship to health & wellness. I’m sharing the 7 areas where I screwed up with the hope that you won’t follow in my footsteps and make the same mistakes.

Reality Check: watching late night TV and scrolling social media for a quick fix feels like the greatest solution at 1am, but I promise you with every ounce of my heart & soul the answer to your problems isn’t in the Wait… if you buy now we will double your order.

MISTAKE #1: Throwing Money At Quick Fixes.

I can't even begin to tell you how many thousands of dollars I spent on shakes and pills. I've literally tried every weight loss program on the planet and none of them provided me with the "claimed" results - the only thing I ended up with is a depleted bank account. Of course, I am going to get some pushback - did you really do the program, you must have done something wrong, you didn’t give it your all. Truth… maybe, maybe not. Here’s why those options failed.

Rather than buying into quick fix products, I needed to understand why I was making the poor food choices to begin with. Along with understanding why I couldn't get off my tush and workout when I KNEW that was the outcome that would work. Until I had a clear understanding as to WHY I was creating these habits, my weight wouldn’t change, I wouldn’t have more energy, and I wouldn’t be closer to my goal.

PRO TIP: Stop spending money on shitty products with promises. You have to fix yourself because no matter the claimed outcome, you won’t make lasting changes. Oh and don't even think about calling me a hater because the products didn't work...let's be real for a minute: investing in a program that is attached to a subscription based product more than likely means that you will yo-yo right off the moment you cancel your order! #boom!

MISTAKE #2: Waiting Until Rock Bottom Before Seeking Help.

Some might argue that you need to hit rock bottom in order to muster up enough courage to seek help. Get over yourself, stop being stubborn and reach out for help. The truth is... if you aren't seeing results than something isn't working. End your self-sabotage/yo-yo lifestyle once and for all! Which leads to point #3

MISTAKE #3: Failing to Invest in Support!

I'm blown away by the amount of health advice that is provided from those who have little to no knowledge behind being a coach or providing nutritional support. I've seen this with several MLM business models where their product advocates are called "coaches" when many don't have a certification or education within the health and wellness realm to be calling themselves a coach.

On a personal note: I shelled out a lot of cash for a custom meal plan (provided by a well-known local trainer)only to request that the plan not include grains (it did!) and when I reached out for support, the "trainer" was MIA failing to return calls or texts.

Find a coach that is willing to work with you over the phone, in-person, skype, via email and text. This is an incredibly vulnerable time in your life and having someone who has been in your shoes and understands your struggle will help you far more than the jacked and ripped Instagram celebrity that just wants "fans".

MISTAKE #4: Not Lifting Weights Soon Enough.

I am going to call out my momma on this one. She embedded into my brain during my teen/high school years that lifting weight would make me bulky. Sorry momma, that just ain't the case. I wish I would have explored lifting at a much earlier age and/or at the start of my journey rather than being a cardio junkie. Now, I would rather do burpees, deadlift, and back squat than cardio!

MISTAKE #5: Not Sticking To What Is Working For YOU.

Once you begin to see shifts (weight loss, muscle definition, looser fitting clothes, etc), it's easy to take your foot off the gas and revert back to your old ways. In the past year, I've bounced around from diet to diet - counting macros, plant based, paleo, gluten free, grain free, intermittent fasting, and even following the crappy diet from Mistake #2. For the three years prior I knew that eating whole foods, drinking green smoothies and taking my vitamins worked for me, my lifestyle and my body - yet, I was looking for the next best thing - hey, I'm human and look for the easy button too from time to time.

MISTAKE #6: A Sub Category Of #5

Don't become fixated on what anyone else is doing. It's super easy to get sucked the latest fad diet or workout craze. I fell into this trap by following an excessive amount of fitness people on youtube - hence leading down the road of counting macros and adding confusion to my life.

Unhealthy comparison began to consume me. Rather than focus on how far I'd come and celebrate progress, I was was comparing myself to their highlight reel. I neglected to add that I run two businesses, have a husband, family, and dogs to juggle daily where many of these youtuber's have made their life youtube. Right or wrong - it doesn't matter - as long as you are sticking with what works for you and aren't comparing yourself to anyone else.

MISTAKE #7: Giving A Damn About What Someone Else Has To Say About YOUr Diet And Lifestyle.

When we (P and I) decided to transition to whole foods eating we took a lot of shit from our family and friends! At first I let it bother me, but the results (physical, emotional, mental) couldn't be argued. I no longer give a damn if someone is unhappy that I brought my own food or declined plans because my workout or meal prep came first. Oh and when we take a new recipe to share... we rarely come home with leftovers, so my shit isn't weird after all!

Can you relate to any of these mistakes? I'd love to hear how you overcame those mistakes, leave a comment below!

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HOW BODY IMAGE KEEPS ME BEHIND THE CAMERA - CAN YOU RELATE?

I want to be radically transparent for a moment to talk about body image and how it keeps so many women, including myself, behind the camera rather than celebrating our own definition of beauty.  

We live in a world of over photoshopping, perfectly styled outfits, hair, makeup and this crazy idea of perfection.  It's causing so many women (and men) to struggle with body image and feel a need to compete with each other even if we think we aren't.  

Sadly, I've fallen victim to this myself starting back in my 20's when my business was at its peak. Professionally I was riding cloud 9 but personally, I was sinking fast in quicksand.  I wasn't healthy, my skin was a wreck, and let's be honest my weight was out of control.  I'd compare myself to the stunning bridesmaids or guests at the weddings I was photographing.  

I'd do whatever I could to fade into the background while I was photographing weddings, I rocked all black like it was no one's business and did my best to conceal my weight gain.  Thankfully, lugging around a lot of camera equipment can help buffer problem spots. 

My wake up call came in the mail mid to late 2009 when a client had sent me this photo. Taken during the cocktail hour by a guest. I was mortified at the girl staring back at me in the photo. I couldn't believe I let myself get to this point.  I was an athlete in high school, I had a successful business, but I was in denial about my health. 

Bare with me, this post is about embracing who you are... I promise I am getting there. What I came to learn is that I gave food way too much control over my life and in turn my poor body image continued to multiple.  It wasn't until I had a true heart to heart with myself that something needed to change.  So... I enlisted help from a coach to help me transform my eating habits and in turn, I lost weight to the tune of 60+ pounds.  

Rather than embracing who I was during this time in my life, I was filling my mind and body with so much negative self-talk and truthfully self-hate, that it is no wonder I packed on MORE pounds.  In order for me to embrace my own definition of beauty... I had to find it from within.  This is different for everyone, but I found myself on the floor of the gym covered in sweat, tears, and a bit of blood.  Or in the kitchen where I completely restructured my/our diet to give me energy rather than deplete me. 

And because I am being transparent - Recently, I have felt myself slipping back into my old habits with the relaunch and expansion of the business.  Trading healthy eating and morning workouts for blogging, catching up on edits, or responding to client emails. 

So.... what I have decided to do is embrace my own definition of beauty and plan an upcoming photoshoot.  Yikes, I am putting it out there.  More than likely I won't have 6-pack ab's or a popping booty, but I will have a healthy glow and so much confidence about myself because I fully intend to embrace who I am at this photo shoot.  Love handles and all.  

Here's my challenge to you... EMBRACE YOUR OWN DEFINITION OF BEAUTY TODAY!  And if you aren't ready yet... what can you do today so you can embrace your beauty tomorrow?  

One final thing... don't hide behind the camera because you aren't happy with how you look at this moment in time.  If something god forbid happens to you, your loved ones aren't going to care about your weight, gray roots popping through, or any other ego induced idea you think about yourself. Instead, your loved ones will cling to the memories that accompany those photos - not the thoughts your ego is pumping into your mind. 

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HOW TO OVERCOME A STALLED SCALE

Have you ever been moving and grooving toward your health and wellness goals only to be halted by the scale?

Ugh, I know the feeling! It’s discouraging and deflating, but don’t lose hope. All of your hard work isn’t going unnoticed even if the digital read out on your scale isn’t moving in the direction you’d hoped.

 

Ask yourself…

…..am I feeling better?

….are my clothes looser?

….has my energy level increased?

…..am I enjoying restful nights of sleep ?

….has my zest for life returned that was once missing?

If you answered YES to any one of these questions then your hard work in the gym and in the kitchen is going to good use. As someone who has lost 40+ pounds, but hasn’t seen the scale move in two years in any significant amount, I can say that I feel stronger, faster, and more energized at 36 than I ever did at 28 even when the scale was dropping constantly. The scale won’t take those feelings away from me.

However, when I started to feel defeated or want to dive head first into a cup of froyo, I ask myself...am I truly doing everything I could be doing to see the results I desire on the scale?

 

Truth is… we become comfortable, we receive compliments on how our body is transforming- we feel confident and tend to take our foot off the gas pedal.

Perhaps you’ve recently started to go out to dinner with friends once a week and instead of splitting an appetizer with the table you’ve started to order one of your own in addition to your meal consuming extra calories without realizing it.

Or maybe you are attending a family gathering with grandma and her famous pie that you couldn’t resist so you took the biggest slice instead of splitting it the slice?

Maybe work has gotten into the way of your workouts and you aren’t getting in as many workouts per week as you’d like.

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When I was personal training, I often hear the struggle and disappointment in my client’s voice all too often when the scale isn’t playing nicely. In most cases the reason for a stull is because we aren’t being a mindful of our eating or workouts.

From time to time the scale does halt due to stress, lack of sleep, or shockingly; our bodies become used to what we are doing and aren’t burning as many calories. If the scale has not moved in weeks or months, than we should talk! Let’s see if there is a greater underlying issue at play. In the meantime, get back to keeping a food journal to log each meal and snack throughout the day to make sure you aren’t mindlessly eating an extra serving of carbs or overindulging at happy hour. Switch up your cardio - if you’ve been logging miles on the treadmill try using an ARC trainer or a spin bike to challenge yourself. And, last but not least, give yourself a break!

 

What we dwell on tends to manifest itself - focus on the positives!

Don’t forget to re-take your measurements and progress photos. Remember the scale can be unforgiving and you might be thinking of throwing in the towel when in reality you’ve been transforming in the way of inches lost without even knowing it!

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WORKING WITH CBD

When I started experiencing anxiety and panic attacks - my initial goal was to avoid prescriptions completely and opt for the most holistic approach. After speaking with my doctor we decided that I should work with a prescription for a few months to keep my anxiety at bay was the best course of action. Still, I wasn't convinced medication would be the answer and continued my quest for a holistic options.

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After sharing my anxiety symptoms with a few friends, they suggested the using CBD oils.

Incorporating CBD oil has been incredible for not only managing my anxiety, but also improved mental focus and sleep quality. Currently, I am using My Soul CBD and am loving the 500mg peppermint option.  Our pups are also taking their pet blend at 250mg in bacon flavor. 

I should also mention that I was a nightly sleep-aid user and couldn't even attempt to go to bed without taking an over - the - counter sleeping pill or dosage of liquid sleep aids. While the pills and potions claimed to be non-habit forming, a habit was created and since transitioning to the oil I haven't had the need for any other sleep aids.

My dosage has been two - four drops under my tongue before bed and wake feeling incredibly rested, if I am feeling a little stressed or my anxiety peaks during the day, I take two drops under the tongue. The next purchase I intend to make will be for a balm or salve to use to aid in recovery from workouts and training.

 

Let's chat about the benefits to CBD: 

Personally, I've been attracted to CBD to aid in settling my anxiety but CBD can also help aid in inflammation reduction, pain, joint and muscle relief, digestion, and provide assistance to overall health.  

How to use CBD: 

Everyone is different so your needs/dosage may vary - but you can ingest CBD by taking a dropper under the tongue or add a few drops to your coffee or tea.  CBD can also be in a balm or muscle relief cream which is great for those who workout or suffer from joint pain.   

Why I chose to align myself with Soul CBD:

Let's be honest... I'm a girl and love pretty things so the packaging really drew me into the line, but more importantly the creators behind the line were a huge factor.  Soul was created by a world class athlete and a fellow holistic health coach.  Plus, their entire line is THC free!  

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BULLET JOURNAL FITNESS TRACKER

When I first learned about bullet journaling in 2016 I fell in love due to my slight obsession with stationary, all things office supplies, and being a creative. Over the past few years I've created several bullet journals, but finally decided to create one specific to my health and wellness journey.

I love being an old school planner with pen and paper. It's the only way I can be consistent and keep myself accountable. I love the scrapbook / diary feel and freedom that a bullet journal creates. Plus, it's my creative outlet. I spent countless hours on Pinterest looking at various layouts and settled on the one below. There are a few tweaks to be made for next week, but overall - the layout is simple, minimal, and does the job.

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On the left page: I have included the June calendar and highlighted the current week along with four weekly goals that are specific to wellness. Followed by a section for each day of the week that lists my workout for the day and the exercises. I include the rep range, number of sets, and the # of weight used. I've also added a box "WINS FOR THE WEEK" to track non-scale victories!

At the time of the photo, I had not finalized the rest of my workouts for the week. This will be completed based on my schedule and will make those adjustments on the fly. I am aiming for daily cardio in the form of spinning and/or training for a 5k. Additionally, I want to add a day of yoga/stretching. Sunday will be a reset (diet) and rest day before kicking off the week again on Monday.

On the right-hand side I've included a quote at the top of the page and running down the left column is my meal plan along with a grocery list and water tracker.

 

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Original Layout Credit: sourced on Pinterest