Life

Hamster Wheel

Hamster wheelDo you feel like you work hard to reach your goals but don’t get anywhere? Do you feel like maybe you’re on the ’down’ escalator walking ’up’? There are a few helpful tips that I’d like to share with you.

Everyone’s metabolism is different and everyone has different reactions to foods.  A “diet’ that might be working for your friend might not work for you. The same goes for exercise routines and food & lifestyle choices.

Treat your body as it is – unique. Find what works for you.
Make your mind up. When you truly make your mind up that you are going to do something, it makes it less of a chore and more of a journey; you can then have fun along your personal path that leads to your ultimate goal.

Simplify. There’s so much information out there and hundreds of different diets that all have the same claim. Stop the head-spinning rollercoaster and make a reasonable plan that will work for you.

Quality and quantity count. The kinds of food you choose to eat matters as much as how much you eat. Stick diligently to proper portion sizes and choose fresh whole foods over prepared foods including frozen items and take-out.

Be honest. You can tell everyone anything you want but the very bottom line is that you know the real truth; be honest with yourself. You don’t have to justify anything to anyone except yourself. Be personal for a while, let your guard down by not confessing the bumps in your journey to others, and make it yours for a while. When you reach your goal, share it if you wish, it’s yours, you did it!

Be proud. When you make small goals and improvements, they all count. Be proud of your accomplishments even if they seem too small – If it’s a step forward it’s never “too small”.

Life

What HOME Means to Me

Home can mean different things to each of us depending on our circumstances, our childhood and where our heart feels at ease. For me home is felt in two places and appreciated equally.

While I don’t own a beach cottage, yet, my heart and soul feels most at home when I am close to the ocean. I love the salty air, the seagull’s cry, the splash and crash of the waves, the feel of sand under my feet both summer and winter.

Home in everyday ‘real life’ isn’t by the ocean, yet 😉 but it IS my sanctuary. I have recently learned just how much my home means to me. 

Home is my place to enjoy the company of friends and relatives no matter how small or silly the celebration of getting together may be. Home is also my space. It’s a place to unwind and take comfort in the material things we all own in life which make us who we are as unique individuals. Home is my place to create, work, play, sing, exhale, BE. Home is my expression of individuality, Home is where he and I return to at the end of each work day to be together. Home is peace, comfort, safe and kindness. 

What is your home to you? What do you do to make it your sacred space? 

Breathe, exhale, be. 

Dawn

Life

Willpower-Self-Control-Self-Discipline

IMG_3034

At least once daily I hear someone say that they don’t have willpower; it is usually referenced to their eating habits and lack of ability to lose weight.

What is will power? Is it an emotional thing? Is it a behavioral thing? Is it somehow related to our self-confidence, self-worth, or self-esteem? Do we say that we don’t have self-control so that others won’t think we failed or so that we personally won’t feel like failures? What is it?

Only you know how you feel about willpower, self-control and self-discipline. Only you will know why it has a strong hold on you. It might take deep self-evaluation but you can begin to understand the hold it has on you personally. Understanding might help you move to the next level, the level above lack of willpower.

In order to begin figuring out your personal relationship with willpower it’s necessary to understand what willpower means, so here goes. Willpower as defined in the dictionary means; (1) the strength of will to carry out one’s decisions, wishes or plans, (2) the ability to control oneself and to determine one’s actions, (3) firmness of will; control of one’s impulses and actions; determination; self-control.

So then, what is self-control? (1) Control of one’s emotions, desires, or actions by one’s own will (2) the ability to exercise restraint or control over one’s feelings, emotions, reactions or actions, etc.

And self-discipline: (1) training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement.

How can we put all those definitions to use? There are a few key words in each definition that will be helpful. Strength, ability, firmness, determination, control, own will, exercise, and training. These words are the actions, the reminders of what we will use and build up in order to improve our willpower.

Our minds have incredible strength, so much strength that it allows us to give up with what we think is a logical excuse. We end it there; we forget about our true abilities, firmness, determination, and own will. It is our own will to stop at one plate of food with reasonable portions or to get that second plate because you may have trained yourself to think you are weak. But you’re wrong, you’re not weak, you are worth it, you are deserving of all the good things life offers you

So, what now?

It’s time to get some willpower exercise and training-key words again. The way we can get willpower exercise is by working on it one day at a time; one hour at a time-do whatever it takes. Six points you can work on are

-Preparation – bring a lunch or a snack with you when you’re going to be out for an extended period of time so that you can avoid the drive through or the convenience stores. OJ, carry a small carton of orange juice with you and drink it when you’re feeling that stress time coming on, that’s the time when you are most likely to binge on anything and everything. Our brains run on glucose and when glucose is low our willpower is low; orange juice helps to feed the brain.

-Mood lifting – when we are stressed out from the day our willpower is at its lowest, choose to do something every day preferably after your stressful day, that makes you happy, a walk, the gym, playing with your pet, your kids, meditation, reminding yourself that the work day is over and the rest is yours, watch a local baseball/softball team, whatever it is that lifts your spirits…don’t include alcohol since that alters your mood.

-Set goals/intentions at the beginning of each day, set realistic ones and use post-it notes for reminders but get creative with them with different words-even words that only you know what they’re for

-Eliminate unhealthy foods from your kitchen, out of sight, out of mind, it works! Stock healthy choices.

-Imagine your future self; describe him/her on post-it notes as well

-Cheat. Yes! It’s okay to indulge at least once a week. By indulge I mean in a controlled manner. Have a treat, don’t deprive yourself, use that ‘cheat’ as a reminder of the reward you can have at the end of your week of successful self-discipline.

Bonus tip: Support yourself as you would support others. Listen to how you react to friends who tell you that they didn’t follow through on ‘xyz’, or how they did ABC and give yourself the same love and encouragement you typically lend to others because you deserve the best!

Life

Step Away

2015-08-13 22.13.51Sometimes you need to step away from a situation in order to see it clearly or to find clarity. If you’re feeling lost, in doubt, at a road block or a fork in your road of life and you’re not sure which way to go, the best thing to do is to step back and take time to breathe and view it from another angle.

When you keep doing the same thing over and over and get the same results or worse, get nowhere, it’s a message that you need to let something shift in your life. It’s time to stop, step back and open your heart and mind allowing thoughts to come and go; when one thought comes and never leaves, perhaps it’s the thing you should put your energy into.

Renewal of mind, body and spirit is a natural part of life and when you fight it, you become lost, frustrated and feel defeated. Take time each day to check in with yourself. Sit or lay quietly in your personal space and allow freedom of thoughts to enter; let go of forcing and controlling your thoughts.

Find the answers to your particular situations within. Allow the light to enter your spirit.

Life

Feeling Over-committed and Overwhelmed

20160928_151540

Do you feel like you’re over-committed? Have you lost focus of who you are, how you want your life to be; have you lost focus of your personal goals? If so, what one or two things can you change to get your focus back?

When we lose focus of our dreams, desires or goals we feel lost, frustrated and even stressed and sometimes we can’t actually pinpoint how we feel about it and we often can’t find that first step toward recovering our focus.

These are the times that we most need to step back, take a break and maybe seek the help of a friend or personal health and lifestyle coach. Gaining control back doesn’t have to take a long time and it might be just what you need. When you take care of yourself, you’re more available to meet the needs of others without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I will be happy to guide you on your path.

Let’s talk; let’s explore how you can feel renewed and in control again.

 

Life

Why Material Things Don’t Matter

We all want something and it pretty much is an ongoing desire which we too often mistake as a need. I would guess that every one of us has at one time or another said, or thought to ourselves, “if I only had ____, I wouldn’t want anything else, or things would be so much better…etc”, only to find ourselves wanting more after we got that last thing. You know how it goes, on and on and on. I myself am guilty of the very same behavior (especially with Polish Pottery!).

If you step back and look at your big picture you might see things from a new angle. You might realize what is true and what is simply filling the empty spaces in your spirit. When was the last time you were truly in the moment, feeling what is now, seeing what is happening right now without thinking about yesterday or your next activity ahead? Being in the moment is health, deciding to change your eating habits right now, not tomorrow, not after this next outing and not for just a short period of time is health, health is what matters most. If you don’t have your health, material things don’t matter. Material things are temporary joys, material things hold no happiness if you cannot enjoy them in good health. Your health is worth every moment, dollar and joy that you spend wanting material items.

I know that I continually want for things and I have stepped back a few times to get a good look at how these material things are filling my life with pleasure, hope, inspiration and need; and the thing I always realize is, they’re not. Have you taken a step back to weighed the balance between your collection of things with the joy they bring? What have you learned about yourself when you do that? Have you ever cleaned out the items you no longer use? How did that make you feel? Have you taken the time, money or effort from something you wanted and used it toward helping someone else instead? Try it out.

Choose to be healthy before you choose items to satisfy your empty spot. Choose you instead of that great pair of shoes or that latest greatest electronic gadget. If you don’t choose you, who will? If you don’t have your health, nothing else quite matters.

Life

Food & Physicals

I had my annual physical today which isn’t something that is at the top of many people’s list of things to do, but it is necessary.

My appointment went well as it usually does – routine Q’s & A’s and done!

I’m a health coach, I teach people how to eat healthy, I help them overcome cravings, poor habits, lose weight as well as helping reduce blood sugar, blood pressure, bloated feelings, and more.

Of all those things, weight is the #1 concern individually – everyone wants to lose a few pounds. Many of us could benefit to drop 5-25 pounds or more, but from my experience in coaching, your vital signs and blood work results need to be healthy first and foremost. You can be overweight with healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure, blood oxygen, breathing, cholesterol levels, heart rate…etc. When you get your vitals and blood work under control, your weight loss will follow.

You’ll be amazed at how great you can feel after changing your diet to fit your needs even if you’re not at your ideal weight! You’ll also be at ease  and relaxed about going to the doctor when you know you’ve been eating better.

If you’re ready for a change, ready to take positive steps toward your health and you would like your own personal health coach, let’s talk! Having me on your side, guiding you along the way at your pace is fun, very easy to transition yourself, informative and very affordable.

Want to talk to see how your own coach can help? Contact me at Dawn@initiatewellness.com and let’s make a connection!

Your Health Coach,
Dawn

Life

Key Notches & Success

20160106_153349-1When you open a lock with a key you must put the key all the way into the keyway in order to successfully open the door, drawer or whatever it is you are attempting to open. In the same way, you must commit fully to a goal that you plan to reach.

When you map out and attempt to reach a goal you will only meet success if you are fully engaged in accomplishing it.

Write down your goals. Map out your path to reach success. Get help if you don’t know where to begin or to help keep you on track and accountable, take yourself seriously – while still having fun of course!

Find or buy yourself an interestingly different key and keep it with you as a reminder to go all the way in your commitment and endeavor.

The key to success is yourself!

Life

Gearing Up for Back to School and a Full Schedule

Books (640x383)As your schedule gets busier it’s important to eat healthy while on the run. It’s not always necessary to pick up take-out or heat frozen processed foods in the oven to feed yourself and your family. Cooking fresh ingredients can be done as quickly as tossing things into a pan and tossing the pan in the oven or stove top and they taste a whole lot better, have less calories and less sodium!

Keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with a few quick essentials such as brown rice, barley, whole grain couscous, quinoa and whole grain pastas. Have a few different kinds of good quality beans on hand such as black beans, garbanzo/chick peas, white beans and kidney beans. Keep your refrigerator stocked weekly with fresh green vegetables, red and green peppers, squashes, cucumbers, leafy greens such as kale, bok choy, spinach and lettuces. Look for the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Visit your local farm or farmers market while you still can!

Keep chicken, pork, beef and fish on hand. Perhaps when you purchase them, separate into serving sizes, either singles or family portions, you can even preseason them with your own concoction of spices and freeze each portion for future dinners. To use: defrost what you will use in the refrigerator the night before. When you get home it’s simple to simmer rice or other grains while you bake, grill or saute the meat portion of your meal and vegetables can be quickly steamed.

Get creative, save time and pans and make a stir fry by quickly browning the meat, add olive oil or your favorite nut oil/coconut oil and toss in the veggies and stir fry until the veggies get bright in color, eat as is or serve over your whole grain of choice. You can have an entire meal in 20-40 minutes and you can feel good in knowing that you have complete control over what is in your food.

To keep your lunch and your children’s lunches healthy make sure you add healthy raw ingredients such as carrots, cucumber bites, apple, pear and peach slices(dipped in lemon juice to keep their color), red pepper slices, nuts, seeds, and leftover chicken or other meats cut into strips with hummus, apple sauce or nut butters to dip them in. This will make a filling meal for adults and kids alike. Use dinner leftovers as often as possible for lunches as they’re healthier than processed deli meats.

Life

On Being Disconnected

I recently watched a short video-poem about turning off the devices and social media to truly live life in person. I thought, ‘yes, this man has a great point’! I think I’ll try it sometime but not today, I need my smart phone, I need to stay connected.

Less than 24 hours my smartphone crashed due to a software update. After trying every suggested fix I resorted to a visit to my wireless carrier whom could not fix it either. Only possible solution; a new replacement phone…in 3 days. THREE days without a cell phone! NO! How can I survive?! I use my phone for work as well as play. What will I do in my spare time?

Day 2 – I had to have my car inspected, while waiting in the appropriate area I found myself fidgeting, I didn’t know what to do. As I look around I see a table with magazines and a local weekly newspaper, read one? Nah, too outdated – it’s a week old! There are two other people there waiting, quietly ignoring each other. I look at my nails, I look at my old registration as if something new will catch my interest, I memorize the maintenance services menu; ugh, how can time pass so slowly? I wonder what is happening in virtual land?

An elderly woman walked in sharing her ‘dilemma’ about someone stealing her car and scraping off her sticker and putting last year’s sticker on in its place. She asked if they could print a copy of her 2014 sticker since she had the paperwork of her most recent inspection. Once the woman behind the desk got her situated and convinced that they can’t print copies she sat beside me and we began talking about refrigerators on the B H & G magazine she was flipping through. We talked, she released her stresses and lo and behold, my time was up! I made it through without a social media distraction and I was social in real life and it felt good!

I’m still without a phone, I have 24 hours to go and I know now that I can do this! I will make it a point to put down the electronic devices at least once a week from here on…for as long as I can stand it anyways; I’m setting intentions but I won’t make any promises.

Challenge yourself to this even if you do it for an hour a day or from 7:00pm on each night.

Try being disconnected from virtual land and reconnect with life!