Intentions

Everyday I’m open to learning new lessons.  Yesterday was no different.  JC and I were having one of our usual business calls where we like to brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other.  I broached JC with the reminder that we needed to write down our business goals for the coming year.  I always get a little resistance when I ask JC for her goals.  Surprising, right?  Here is a mother of 4, business owner, PTA mom, wife, accomplished physique competitor, and a community volunteer hesitant to write down goals.  JC went on to explain to me that for her goals were sometimes limiting.  I had a bit of a huh, when she said that. JC gently reminded me, at the beginning of 2012, we both knew that we wanted our own gym.  Fast forward, less than 1 year later, we’re not only gym owners, but there are more gyms currently on the horizon and multiple physique competitions we are the promoters of in the planning stages.  JC explained that it wasn’t our goals we wrote down, it was our intention of spreading wellness to as many people as possible that got us to this point. Did I hear her, yes I did, unfortunately my rebuttal was “yeah, but we still need goals!”

For those of you that know me, I tend to sit and ponder conversations I have with people.  Sometimes I’ll come back to you a week after we spoke and talk with you about my lessons learned from the conversation between us!!  So JC’s conversation ran through my head all day.  What was the lesson I needed to learn? And then it hit me.  We practice what we preach and I was forgetting that.  I was hell bent on writing down our goals when honestly JC and I let our intentions guide us.  Our intention was to own our own gym and on a daily basis took steps towards living our intention and sure enough, our intention guided us towards owning a gym.  Our intention is also to live positively and honestly every day.  It is this that guides us towards our achievements with love and an open heart.

See for us, goals are wonderful and yes, we should all have goals.  But a goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; and an intention is a course of action that one intends to follow. What if we all had intentions?  Could our intentions be limitless?  We believe so.  Not only do our intentions have no limits but if we fundamentally live with the intention of positivity and honesty then aren’t we making the world a better place? That’s some goal!!!!!!

For 2013, JC and I intend to help spread the knowledge of healthy living in the most loving and positive way!!

December — Holiday Nutrition Strategies

It’s that time of the year!!!!  Let the celebrating begin!!!  Parties, alcohol, Aunt Marge’s sweet potato pie-so many choices; soooooo many goodies!!!  JENerationFIT would like to give you some suggestions for getting through the holiday celebrations without gaining those holiday pounds.

Plan ahead

You’ve heard it before, “Fail to plan, plan to fail!!” it really is that simple.  It is imperative to plan your holiday healthy eating similar to how you plan to get your holiday shopping done. Just like you have set time aside to figure out when you’ll be hitting the stores, I want you to plan your next 30 days of eating the same way. You know which parties you’ll be going to, you know about the office goodies and you know about Aunt Mary’s fruit cake!  These are no surprises!!!!! Let’s talk about mapping out your plan.

First step is to keep the plan realistic. Make weight maintenance the goal or a weight gain of no more than 2-3 pounds.

Next, sit down and map out your current workout schedule. Some of us have a strict stick to it regime and others have a fly by the seat of your pants philosophy.  Either method, it’s important to see on paper what you are currently doing in order to know what you need to do to meet your weight goals.

Next, keep a food journal for 2 week days and 1 weekend day.  Again, you’ll need to know what you’re currently eating so you’ll know where room can be made for those holiday indulgences.

Next, fill in your calendar, day planner or blackberry whatever it is you live and die by, with all of your holiday meal invites.

Next, fill in your calendar with your planned workouts.  First though look at your current workout schedule you mapped out.  Remember the following:

Adherence to your current workout schedule + current eating style + holiday indulgences = weight gain

Current workout schedule + added workout time+ modified eating style + holiday indulgences = weight maintenance

Add a time frame for each day dedicated to your workout and I want you to add 15 minutes to each workout. You must pick an actual time slot in your calendar, not just the day.  So if it is normal for you to workout at 5 am, then block off 5 until whenever for your workout.  If you are new to working out or you are one of our angels who plan their workouts by the seat of their pants (you know who you are ;) ) then you must pick a time slot that you will make a commit to.

Next, I want you to review your calendar for the upcoming parties and events that are planned.  I want you to give some real thought and consideration to the food that will be served at the events.

At home parties:  Maybe you’ve waited all year for Grandma’s pumpkin pie or your sister’s famous stuffing, so make an effort to pick and choose your indulgences wisely.  If you’ve waited all year for your sister’s stuffing why fill up on store bought cookies?  Before you’re confronted with holiday eats, determine your favorite holiday foods and enjoy them modestly, forgoing the holiday eats that aren’t that appealing. Figure out your favorites, and which holiday indulgences don’t do much for you.  This is also a wise strategy to use when holiday celebrations are held over multiple days.  Pick and choose your favorites through the foods that will be served.  Love your sister’s stuffing, have it on Monday’s celebration.  Maybe you are not crazy about your aunt’s stuffing but love her mashed potatoes.  Ok-have her mashed potatoes at her event but forgo the stuffing.  But do not have stuffing and mashed potatoes at both events.  This also goes for alcoholic beverages – watch your intake or skip drinking altogether and spend the calories on once-a-year holiday foods.

Restaurant celebrations:  Go online for the menu or call ahead and ask what will be served for the specific party you’ll be attending.  This way you can put some thought into your choices and be prepared for when you get to the event. Also, never go to the event hungry.  Eating a small snack will save you hundreds of calories by eliminating bad choices and overeating due to being overly hungry. When perusing the menu put some thought into the food being served.  Is it the best Italian restaurant around?  Then think about a meal that you wouldn’t normally be able to have.  Is it the best seafood restaurant? Again, order and indulge in something that you may not get again for awhile.

Finally, I want you to make dietary adjustments on the days that the celebrations take place or on the days when you’ll be indulging in the baskets of holiday joy!!! You know what you normally eat based on the food journal I asked you to keep for the 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day, so you’ll now have a road map on what to adjust.  If you realize that you pick up a box of generally healthy cereal, pour it into a bowl and throw some milk in it then try this: Measure out an actual serving; use skim milk if you aren’t already doing so and add fresh fruit.  When it comes to lunch time simply eat less than you normally would and maybe add a piece of fruit two hours later just to curb any hunger pangs.  Simple adjustments like these add up big time!!!

General Tips:

Maintain healthy habits

Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with wholesome choices. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products should make up the basis of your regular diet. Fill up on these healthy choices so that you’ll be less likely to stuff yourself with the unhealthy foods at the events you’ll attend.

Enjoy your food

September — Creating the Life You Want

I know I tend to get off on tangents from nutrition from time to time but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creating the life I want so I couldn’t help but write about it for this week’s article.  I believe too that creating the life you want easily translates to creating the health you want or creating the job you want, really you name it.  The steps are the same; it’s the goal that changes.

I’m very much a non-fiction reader.  I love anything related to nutrition, diet or medicine and any self help book out there-I’ve read it.  I feel like we always have something to learn so I’m interested in hearing what people have to say.  Over the last several weeks I’ve been engrossed in reading any book related to creating the life we want, positive thinking and manifesting our greatest desires.  So what have I learned?  This is what I’ve learned!!

1.  Know where you want to go but be grateful for where you’ve been.  

I hear many times about how much weight someone has lost only to regain the same weight if not more.  They talk about the disappointment they have with themselves.  We can’t change yesterday, however we can focus on where we want to go and learn from where we’ve been.  If you are in a position where you’ve lost weight only to regain it or maybe regain more, than we know two things.  We know what worked for the weight loss and we know that something caused us to regain it.  What we need to do is look at both situations and find the wrongs and rights rather than beat ourselves up.  Beating ourselves up does nothing but break down our self esteem and the value we place on ourselves.  Instead, I want you to think about what worked to help you lose the weight in the first place and then think about why you started down the path on regaining the weight.  Are you an emotional eater?  If so, start tackling the emotions.  Journal rather than eat; exercise rather than put food in your mouth; think about alternatives besides food that will help you cope with your emotions. Lift yourself up by changing your behavior!

2.  Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more.
If we continue to focus on what we don’t have, we’ll never have enough.

When you focus on what you have and appreciate it or focus on what you want, you’ll start to see that many of those desires will appear in your reality.  By being thankful and making appreciating a regular habit you can quickly change a negative situation or thought into a positive one.  One of the rituals I have is a gratitude blessing I do when I wake and when my head hits the pillow.  I take a few minutes before my feet hit the ground and before my eyes close for the evening to say a list of things and people I am grateful for.  It’s a very fulfilling event!!!

3.  Change your view of failure.

One of the big things holding us back from getting what we want is the fear of failure. Failure is actually a very helpful learning experience.  Think about my weight loss example above.  Failing at something teaches us what does and doesn’t work; it allows us the opportunity to re-evaluate a situation and see how we can do it differently next time.  So, instead of seeing failure as something big and scary, redefine it in your mind as a learning experience

4.  Give your power to your success rather than to your fears. 

When you feel fear, just acknowledge it and accept it.  Don’t fight it.  When I feel fear-really what .I’m saying is “I’m scared”.  I sit with it so I can feel what it feels like in my body. .  My breath usually gets faster, and my body feels shaky. I even named my feeling of fear.  I call him Benny.  When Benny appears, I take it in, breathe into it and the feeling usually subsides within minutes if not seconds.  Once my breathing has normalized I immediately think about what I’m grateful for.  Grateful thoughts cannot help but bring you joy and peace and therefore takes me away from the feeling of being scared.

5.  You get what you give.

What’s that saying “you get more with sugar than salt” or “you get more with sugar than vinegar”?  I live by this every day.  If you give sugar you usually get more sugar, and of course the same works for the vinegar you dish out too! I truly believe that the more negativity you throw out into this life the more you get in return.  Who does this benefit?  No one.  It actually takes a toll on our health.  The more negativity you dish out, the worse you tend to feel in your everyday life. The more problems you’ll find start popping up in your everyday reality.

6.  We are the ones responsible for creating our life! 

Everything we are is a direct result of something we do or something we don’t do.  We are in the driver’s seat of our own life!!! Rather than using your energy to complain about what has happened; or what you don’t have; or how lousy you feel, take that energy and do something about it.  No one else will and no one else can do anything about your life!! Visualize the body you want; visualize the life you want; visualize the job you want and go after it!!! Take responsibility and know that you have the power to create the life you want!!

Stay tuned for my continued journey on creating the life I want!!!!!
Thanks for always listening!!!

August — Change

Hearing this word can sometimes cause the hair on our arms to stand up and even drum up anxiety from our insides out. It’s interesting, because I’ve always been a person who loved change. Even as a kid I can remember looking forward to the end of the school year because it meant that in the Fall, I’d get to meet a brand new teacher and a whole new slew of classmates that had the potential to become my closest friends. Kids would move and I would sit and daydream about their upcoming adventures they would get to experience in their new home. Don’t get me wrong, change, big or small definitely would heighten my sense of security and safety, because really, it’s the unknown that the change causes that we are afraid of but we can turn it into our own adventure!

I’ve been calling 2012 the year of change for me! I’ve been experiencing huge changes in both my personal life and in my business. I hate to be so cliché and say when one door closes another opens, but truth be told, it’s true. In my experience with all that has been happening in my life, my choice was to surrender to the idea of when one door closes another opens, because it allowed me to see the open doors. Again, I’m certainly not saying that it wasn’t without some fears, tears and anxiety. Rather than letting any apprehensions control me, I chose to acknowledge my fears and anxiety about the changes that were happening, which meant sitting in some very uncomfortable feelings, but I definitely did not let these feelings stop me or hold me back.

What is change anyway? It’s transition from one “thing” to another-right? So how did I deal with all these transitions so as to make change a little less frightening?


I prayed. I’m happy to share with you that I have many gods, angels, spirits and the like that guide me through this crazy thing we call life!! Probably the scariest thing about change as I said above, is the unknown. We know what we know and because of that we have comfort. We don’t know where change or transition will take us. Will it be ok? Will it be safe? Will I like it there? These are just a few of the questions that would pop into my head minute to minute throughout the day. I felt comfortable turning my concerns over to something bigger that’s out there. Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t take an active and participating role in my life, if you know me, you’ll know just how controlling I can be-lol!!! But, for me it meant that I trusted everything was going to work out. Turning these concerns over to something bigger allowed me to see the open doors when they opened!


I acknowledged my emotions. I have to give credit to this to my good friend and healer, Cathy Anesi of the Lighthouse Retreat and Wellness Center. Cathy has taught me to acknowledge and sit with my emotions, even the most uncomfortable ones. By doing this I learned not to be afraid of them. See, when I sat with them, I cried, sometimes I yelled, sometimes I felt really really bad, but I didn’t die. They didn’t kill me. I learned I’m way stronger than any emotion. I also learned that it was ok to feel sad and angry and honestly, displeased with some of the changes that were happening. Feeling all of these emotions allowed me to move forward. To move through the transitions that were taking place, and once again, see the doors that were opening.

I created a ritual. Every morning before my feet hit the floor I give thanks and gratitude for everything and everyone in my life. No, I don’t name you all individually-lol!!!, but whether good or bad, circumstances and people are brought in and out of our lives for a reason. I give thanks for that every morning. Every night before I go to sleep I again give thanks and gratitude and I ask for help. This time I ask for my gods, my angels and my spirits to help me navigate through another day the best way that I can. I ask that I hear what I need to hear and I ask that I see what I need to see. These are two of my most important rituals I do every day. They calm me; they help balance me; they heal me; they also provide me with a sense of control. By making a choice twice a day to share my thankfulness and gratitude and to ask for help and guidance, I am choosing to take a proactive role in what happens in my life. Taking a proactive role in your daily life is very powerful!

Support. I am so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family that in the best way I can state it-have my back! Having a support system is crucial in getting through transition. Something interesting though I’d like to mention about my support team. My support system may not always have understood what I was experiencing or liked the choices and decisions I was making- but that’s ok. I think sometimes we think that everyone who supports us has to know what we’re going through or maybe they should have experienced something similar. It is important to have support from people who have had similar experiences, but please don’t discount your loved ones who haven’t. Sometimes the listening ear, or the hug is really what we need!!

Physical Activity and Healthy Food. You know who I am-how can this not be part of healing-right?!!! What I will tell you about healthy food choices is that throughout significant and even less than significant change, food to balance our bodies, feed our bodies, heal our bodies is critical to how we navigate through transition. By keeping my sugar levels stable, my energy constant and my overall health in great condition, it allowed me to experience transition in the best way and honestly, the fastest way possible. Change is tough on the body!! There is a huge difference feeding our bodies whole grains and lean proteins while experiencing stress than feeding it sugar and alcohol. Physical activity too. My constant through all the bumps was my food and my exercise. It allowed me to release my stress, deal with problems, deal with various situations and most important it gave me control. I was in control of my physical well being which in turn allowed me to allow for stability in my emotional well being. I cannot say enough about the importance of self care through food and exercise when it comes to changes in your life.

So there it is! As our followers, we’re blessed in the interest you take in Jen’s life and mine and I’m looking forward to outwardly sharing with you all the changes which have been taking place behind the scenes in my personal life and the changes to our business! So many doors have opened and so many more are opening-it’s been pretty amazing!!!!!

All My Love,

Mini

June — The Magic Pill!!!

When it comes to losing weight, we’ve all asked for the magic pill-right?  In my opinion, intuitive eating * is the closest we’ll get to it-and I have to say, it is pretty amazing!!!!  Intuitive eating is when we have a healthy relationship with our food, our mind and our body.  Intuitive eating is being able to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger.  It’s about making peace with food; turning off the food noise and tuning into your food voice.  It’s about knowing that you aren’t “bad” because you ate a “bad” food or that you’re “good” because you always pick the best choice for your meals.  Intuitive eating is about listening to your body by eating when you are physically hungry and stopping when you’re comfortably full.

Years of dieting causes us to lose our natural intuition about our hunger and satiety signals.  For a true insight to our natural signals just watch a baby or a toddler.  How many times have they stopped half way through the bottle or half way through their apple sauce and given you the all done signal.  When they are hungry they are quick to let us know and when they’ve had enough, they are equally as vocal.

I want to share with you some principles of intuitive eating.  These were created by two dieticians and can be found in an amazing book called Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elye Resch.  I truly recommend this as crucial read.  I am proud to use these principles in our practice and have learned greatly from these two registered dieticians.

Intuitive Eating Principles

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality. Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
  2. Honor Your Hunger. Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.
  3. Make Peace with Food. Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.
  4. Challenge the Food Police. Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating under 1000 calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
  5. Respect Your Fullness. Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.
  7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food. Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.
  8. Respect Your Body. Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
  9. Exercise–Feel the Difference. Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.
  10. Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition. Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.

*A term first coined by Evelyn Tribole and Elye Resch

May — A Day in the Life…

Hello everyone!  One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “How do you do it?  You are the mother of four active children, the co-owner of a thriving personal training business, a top level fitness competitor and heavily involved in school activities.”  Well, I am starting a blog on our website (jenerationfit.com) to show you how it all gets done.  Every few weeks, I will fill you in on my latest adventure, and open a window into my world to see how I make it all work while keeping my sense of humor!

If I were to title my life story in one word, it would be BALANCE.  What does that mean?  I carve up my time so that I include everything that is important to me and my family.  I make sure that it all happens, because EVERYTHING has equal importance.  Yes folks, that includes ME.  For example, my workouts are scheduled for 5am most mornings so this way, I am home before the kids get up and ready to juggle the day ahead.  Daytime is for my clients when you can find me creating workouts, training clients, answering questions and   usually throwing in some errands in between.  After 3:00 then it’s time for the kids.  I run them around to all of their practices and various activities; I sit down with them to help with homework and honestly, just spending time with them sometimes doing nothing!  With four children, they all need a little one on one time.  Then there is my husband, Tom.  We always spend quiet time catching up in the evenings.  I have mastered the art of multi-tasking, and have been known to cook my meals for the next day while making dinner or sometimes you can find me folding laundry while listening to one of the kids read.  What I do NOT do, is let any one aspect of my life take over.    Allowing one of these facets to overwhelm would throw everything  out of balance.  Now, this is not to say that I’m not flexible – you have to be in my world.  But, if we spend an entire weekend at ballet recitals, the kids know that mommy will take the evening to catch up on whatever it may be even if it means some mommy quiet time.

When my world goes out of balance, everyone suffers.  It’s not a happy place to be.  We all know that something is wrong.  Mommy is cranky because she isn’t getting her workouts in or I am up extremely late working on the business.  It just takes a little planning and thought to strike a new balance how to get everything done.  The key is to remember that you are just as important as every member of your family.  The kids come first sometimes, so does your husband, but there are times of the day that YOU come first.  That means giving the things you need a voice and scheduling them into the week.  The old saying holds true……

“If Mama isn’t happy, no one is happy!”

April — LIFE

I was talking with someone the other day and they were explaining to me how stressed  and upset they were because no matter how hard they try they can’t seem to get a healthy eating and exercise plan under way with any sort of consistency.  Of course my question to them was what do you think gets in the way?  My friends response was life!!!!

Hmmmm-life.  Is life that “thing” that gets in the way of us accomplishing our goals?  ”Yes!”, she said with a huge grin.  She clearly was enthused that I understood her dilemma.

But isn’t the kids getting sick, hot water heaters exploding, workouts, dinner, parties, shows, vacations, exercise, car maintenance, blah blah blah blah blah- isn’t this life?  Pick and choose what you swap these events for.  This week it is the hot water heater next week it will be the furnace.  This week the kids just have 2 nights of practice and next week the Coach will call for 3 nights.  Do you see what I’m trying to say?  All these events are what make up our wonderful lives!!!  So it’s not about life stopping so you can commit to eating good things for you or getting more exercise, it’s about making eating healthy and exercising part of your life!

Here are some easy ways to do this:

Think of your diet as color, variety and freshness.  Make it about incorporating more foods that come directly from the earth rather than a bag or box.

Think smaller meals but more of them throughout the day.  Pack a small soft cooler if you are going to be out all day.  You can pack individual yogurts; whole grain crackers; low fat cheese; cut up vegetables; trail mix or nuts.

Replace whole fat items in your meals with lower fat versions.  Making lasagna for the family then substitute while wheat pasta noodles and low fat cheeses.  Consider making your own sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil.  Many store bought sauces are made with high amounts of sugar.

Eat a whole foods breakfast.  In order to get our metabolism running for the day we need to eat breakfast.  Think yogurt and whole grain toast; cereal with 5 grams or less of sugar served with skim milk or better yet a bowl of oatmea with some nuts and fruit mixed in.

Buy an exercise DVD and set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to fit it in.  You don’t need to do this everyday- 3 times a week would be a great start.

Make the weekends about taking a family walk or bike ride.  Not only will you get in some exercise but it will be a great way to spend some family time!

March — Wanting More for Yourself

Would it surprise you to hear that there are days when it’s hard for us to stay motivated? Well, it is. Sometimes when we think about what we need to accomplish from the start of the day until the end (I can’t speak for Jen C) but I want to retreat back into bed and pull the covers over my head!!! I never do, and I know Jen C doesn’t either, so you might wonder what keeps us going? What keeps our motivation thriving? We always want more!!!!!

Some might think this sounds greedy or selfish. The words greedy and selfish are negative words and I choose to use positive words in my day. Wanting more means motivating myself to accomplish my goals, reach my dreams and live my day to the fullest!!!
So how do I stay motivated? I nurture my motivation by quieting my negative thoughts with positive ones and keeping focus on my goals which in turn helps me come out of any slumps before those slumps gain momentum.

Why do we lose motivation in the first place? It’s a lack of confidence; lack of focus and lack of direction. If we don’t truly believe we can succeed at something, what is the point in trying? If we don’t know what we want, how do we know what to go after? And when we do know what we want but don’t know how to get it, sometimes we lose the motivation to go for it.

How do I find my confidence? I think about all I can do. I think about my strengths rather than focusing on my weaknesses. I start my morning (before I even put one foot on the floor) stating what I am grateful for. This immediately turns my mindset into a positive one for the day. I also think about my past successes. I make a mental list of my achievements and I remember how good they felt. Try this-immediately you will feel your spirit lift and feel a real confidence boost!!

Lack of focus!! How often do you focus on what you don’t want, rather than on a concrete goal? Here are a few examples I don’t want to weight this…. ; I don’t want to be unhealthy; I don’t want to eat that anymore; I don’t want to drink that anymore; I don’t want do this job; I don’t want to do this; I don’t want to do that- sound familiar? We normally think in terms of fear. I’m afraid of being unhealthy; I’m afraid of losing my job; I’m afraid! Fear is an emotion, not an action, so it drains our motivation and prevents us from moving forward.
Rather than focus on what you don’t want to happen, turn what you want to happen into a goal. I don’t want to be unhealthy becomes I want to lower my cholesterol. Now all of the sudden your goal becomes a game plan. The next logical question is how do I lower my cholesterol? Then the next step begins to formulate itself and the next and the next. Within minutes of turning your fear into a goal (turning a negative thought into a positive one) you have an action plan!!!

Ahhh direction! If focus means having a goal, then direction is having a day-to-day strategy to achieve it. Without a next step we tend to procrastinate reaching our ultimate goal. So what do I do? I write a daily list of actions that naturally came about when I turned my fear into a goal. Let’s use our example goal of “I want to lower my cholesterol.” We already know that after we identified our goal, the question was how do I do it? Well, I know that my doctor or a nutritionist can help guide me and give me the necessary information I need to lower my cholesterol. On my daily action plan I list out: call doctor or find a nutritionist. Either one of these activities will help me reach my goal and in turn reach success. This action plan will direct your energy towards reaching your ultimate goal and more importantly will keep you motivation thriving!!!

February — Ah, Love!!!

Welcome February! February is the month of love. Valentine’s Day is here and everyone is making plans to be with that special person, family or special friends to celebrate those who fill your heart with joy. It is a wonderful holiday!

But, what about self love? What about also celebrating the things you love about yourself? How about showing your body how much you appreciate it?

We all have qualities that stand out. Are you funny? Does your smile light up a room? Call to mind yours and think about them for a moment. These are some of the things that make you so amazing! Now, think of those things we may not like so much about ourselves. Do you dislike the size of your hips? Are you extremely shy? Do you beat yourself up every time you think of these things? I invite you to take a different approach. Why don’t you try to show these qualities a little LOVE. Love and attention to these areas will project positive energy to these areas and change your way of thinking. Love those hips that helped you give birth to your children. They are part of who you are! Love the shyness that you have always had. It might be a very warm and endearing quality!

By always speaking positively about ourselves, we develop and nurture self-confidence. Self-confidence comes from self love, and there is nothing more beautiful than self-confidence.

Another way to develop and nurture self-love is by taking a moment to reflect on everything you accomplished that day. Was your day hectic and busy? Did you have a sick child home? Did you plan and prepare all of your meals? Look at what you achieved! You are truly amazing!! You should be giving yourself a high-five for all you did! Now, how can you make tomorrow even better??? This is self-love at its finest!

January — Here’s to Intentions!

When setting a new goal, I believe in stating my intentions rather than making a resolution.  By stating my intention, and repeating it over and over, my behavior will actually begin to change in a way that supports my intention.  For instance try this:  My NY’s resolution is to lose 10 pounds by March.  In your mind, what does that conjure up?  Maybe you envision, hours of gym time or maybe plain tasteless food? Do you think about all the treats you can’t have? Now try this:  I intend on eating healthier in 2012.  How do these words make you feel?  Better, I bet!!!

I also don’t like resolutions because they set us up for failure.  By setting specific intentions you are setting your focus on your goal-which is your intention!  By “resolving” to lose 10 pounds we set ourselves up for disappointment.  What happens when the first party of 2012 happens and you go bust at the first event.  We usually “resolve” to start again tomorrow because we feel as if we failed.  This cycle happens over and over and then by March of the New Year you feel like you’ve failed, you throw in the towel and “resolve” to get healthy when next year comes.  By stating “I intend to make better choices at the party than I usually do”  and when the party arrives and you make better choices than you normally would have in the past guess what-SUCCESS!  Success breeds more success!  Slowly but surely you will build on one success after another-that’s how intentions work!!!  Try these intentions to bring health into your New Year!!

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Try incorporating an apple into the middle of your day.  Just throw it in your bag or briefcase before you leave the house.  Practice the 50% rule:  fill up 50% of your dinner plate with vegetables or salad.

Limit liquid calories.  Soda is basically sugar, water and chemicals.  Diet soda is water and more chemicals.  Try replacing 1 or 2 beverages a day with water or try sparkling water with some lime or lemon squeezed in.

Eliminate processed foods.  Think middle aisles of a grocery store.  Boxed food is laden with additives, preservatives and various chemicals.  These chemicals wreak havoc on our immune system.  Giving up processed foods may not only mean less of a waistline, but it may also mean fewer trips to the doctor for you and your children.

Eat breakfast.  And I don’t mean muffins and sugary cereal.  Try a hot bowl of oatmeal mixed with fruit; or toast spread with nut butter or a yogurt smoothie.  Eating breakfast “breaks the fast”- it gets our metabolism going and gives our bodies the energy it needs to get on with our day.  It will also help eliminate mindless munching throughout the day.

Eat snacks.  Eating smaller meals every 2 to 3 hours keeps our blood sugar stable (which eliminates those highs and lows) and keeps our metabolism going.  When you don’t feed your body for hours at a time, it makes a mental note.  It says “body-tomorrow when this guy eats breakfast, hold onto it, because he’s not feeding us until dinner”.  That’s how we store fat.  It’s our body’s way of protecting itself from us not feeding it.

Add smoothies to your life.  Too busy to cook.  Easy-make a smoothie.  Yogurt, milk, water or protein powder can serve as your base. Then add fruit and some spices and you are good to go!!

Keep indulgences to social engagements.  I would never tell you not to indulge.  In fact, I work it into all of my client’s plans.  But why indulge in a bag of potato chips while standing next to the pantry door when in three days you are going out to dinner with friends and know there will be a phenomenal dessert you’ll want to order?  We get invited to enough social events where amazing meals and killer desserts are being served all the time.  Save your indulgences for then!

Happy New Year!!!

December – That’s a Wrap!!!

Isn’t that how we feel about December?  It’s the last month of the year and we are wrapping everything up.  I’m not only referring to presents.  December marks the end of a year and the end of a bad habit, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, disorganization….you name it.   We know what we want to change, and we will make that resolution to change it on January 1st.  Until then, we coast during the next 4 weeks and talk about how things will be different on January 1.  Well…..why can’t things be different on December 1?  Or tomorrow?  Or today?

We are constantly looking for the beginning of the week or month or year to make a fresh start.  A fresh start can happen tomorrow or at 2:00 this afternoon!  When we say we’ll start Monday or January 1st, we give ourselves permission to continue our life as we are, and procrastinate that uncomfortable change.  Sometimes we take advantage of the “time we have left” and binge on whatever we plan to change.  Smokers will smoke double the amount of cigarettes they smoke, because they know soon they will not allow themselves to smoke at all.  This usually ends in failure.  We eventually give up the internal struggle and make the same resolution to change the very same thing next year.

If we look at it from a positive perspective instead, we look forward to making the change as soon as possible.  For example, you may want to lose weight and exercise more regularly.  Why wait 4 weeks for a specific date to begin this new lease on life?  Why not start right now?  In the 4 weeks we would have waited, we will already be reaping the benefits of our new lifestyle.  We may have lost 10 pounds over the month of December, instead of gaining an additional 10 lbs. preparing for January 1st and our new diet.  We are 20 lbs. ahead of the game!  Just looking at the change we wish to make from a positive perspective, will excite you to begin immediately!  We also have a much better chance of maintaining our new lifestyle and being successful in obtaining our goal!

Change is never easy, but it makes us better people.  You never know what you are capable of unless you try something new.  Changing your perception of these improvements you want to make will ensure that you are successful in accomplishing them.  Embrace this change with excitement and enthusiasm!  You may find yourself making the decision to improve your life right now.

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

November 2011

In anticipation of the start of the holiday season gatherings which are full of good times and good food, we invite you this month to be more mindful. What does this mean? The definition of mindful is to be conscience or aware of something. Aware of what you may ask? Well this month, we wish for you to take the opportunity to make the what-you. We would like you to be more mindful of how you treat yourself. Do you say kind things to yourself about yourself? When someone pays you a compliment do you smile, say thank you and then walk away standing taller and prouder, or do you shy away and list five things you wish you could change about yourself? When you gather together over the holidays, be more mindful about spending time with the aunt who you may only see this time of the year rather than paying attention to the bread pudding she brought. Be mindful about the quantities of food and the quality of foods you are putting in your body. Is there a dessert that you labored over, made from scratch, bought all high quality ingredients for, only to overindulge in a mass produced store bought cookie? Sometimes we never even try our incredible masterpieces because we are so stuffed on those cardboard treats. Be mindful of your behaviors. Do you eat and drink past fullness? Be more mindful of where your stop meter is. If you’re comfortable with your fullness, stop and pay attention to that feeling. You can always go back for more. Being mindful about how you treat yourself will lead you to being kinder and gentler to yourself.

October 2011

October is here!  The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are falling and everything is so colorful!  October is the time to stop and admire the beauty of nature.  I recently heard someone complaining about how autumn is the “beginning of the end.”  He felt that the leaves changing colors and falling was a sign of the bleak and frigid winter looming ahead.  How depressing to look at such beauty in a negative way!

How we look at situations affects your mood, your energy level, your relationships, your physical health…..just about every aspect of your life!  When you look at the negative side to situations first, you become sad, lethargic, depressed and not a lot of fun to be around.  The negative energy weighs you down and attracts more negative energy.  The Law of Attraction comes into play and you are met with one problem after another.  Life becomes a chore and you end up feeling like you can never climb out of that hole.  I get tired just thinking about it!  Many people think they are positive people, but are still surrounded by problems.  This should cause you to take an honest look at your perception of being positive.  I’ll bet you can find some ways to improve your outlook.

When you choose to look at the positive, you can’t help but walk around with a smile on your face.  Looking at the bright side of life makes each day an enjoyable experience.  You become a more attractive individual and people gravitate toward you.  People naturally want to be around a happy person, rather than a sour puss.  Start first thing in the morning.  When I wake up each morning, my first thought is how blessed I am to have such a loving family, amazing friends and the strength and knowledge support them.  I immediately smile and look forward to the surprises that day will have in store for me.  Undoubtedly there will be challenges, but my outlook helps me to be more creative and efficient with any challenges that come my way.  Be grateful for the blessings in your life and recognize them.  Maybe you do not like your job.  Instead of focusing on the work, focus on the fact that you have a job in these hard economic times.  Set up a strategy to move to a career that appeals to you.  When you begin to focus that energy on changing your situation and how great it will be, your mood begins to change.  You will find yourself slowly moving toward that new job and overcoming that challenge in your life.

Try it!  Begin each day by calling to mind all of the blessings in your life and be grateful for them.  As situations in your day arise, focus on the positive aspects of each challenge.  Strategize ways to improve a situation that may bring you down.  Take time to step outside, take a deep breath and marvel at the beauty of autumn. Your day will begin to look a whole lot brighter and your spirit will thank you!