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Daring to Suck!

In my quest for living a bigger, more purpose-driven life, my theme for 2013 is “Dare to SUCK!” which was a phrase I took away from one of my weekend coach training sessions challenging us to swing wide with our clients and take risks. So this approach is going to be perfect for me this year, where I plan to put myself in situations where I don’t have all the answers and seek to try new things. To expose myself to new experiences, new people and to do it all being unattached to the outcome – meaning I could completely fall flat on my face, in front of a LOT of people… and it not MEAN anything, other than I gave it a go and (hopefully) learned something. The more I think about this, the more I wonder “What the hell are you thinking??!! You know the Universe is listening, right?” That being said, I developed the following strategy to help keep me moving forward when I get stuck and want to retreat (anybody who’s read Scaredy Squirrel to your kids might recognize the approach): Step 1: PANIC! (aka Let Go and Feel it all) – Surrender to the discomfort, messy, ugly cry, frustration of being stuck and say all the irrational crap out loud that I am telling myself. Leave no stone unturned. Exorcise that shit in a big way and clear the way for what lies underneath, which is hopefully, rational thinking and my true inner voice of reason and wisdom that wants more for me. Step 2: Take a deep breath, figure out what I need and (ahem..) ASK FOR HELP! I choose to draw on the richness of experience and wisdom from others around me (friends, colleagues, family) and if it’s not there then I commit to seek it out – research, expanding my network, reading, classes. I choose to be an empowered participant, for the sake of walking into awesome! This step is a toughie hard, especially because I really want to look good, do things perfect the first time and appear to have my shit together, but it’s amazing what happens when I don’t rely on others to read my mind, or better yet, test them to see how well they know me – because they SHOULD know, right? Been there, done that and it’s a dangerous game I no longer want to play. Step 3: TAKE THE HELP, I asked for it! Shut off the voices of resistance/pride/ego in my head, say “Thank You” and open up my mind, ears and take in what I don’t know. I need to remember that NOBODY ever did anything worthwhile or impactful ALONE. Nobody. I will find comfort in this fact and consider tattooing it somewhere I can see it anytime I need to. Step 4: TRUST AND LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN! Whatever it is I want to do or try, I will take what I know, suck up some fierce courage and TRUST that no matter what happens, trying and failing miserably (worse case scenario) is truly better than not trying at all. And who knows, I might not only inspire others to do the same but inspire MYSELF to keep going! I can also sense some hilarious stories to come from this place and I love me a good story to share J This thought is almost exciting… where I can practically feel...

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E.A.T Finale: When we know better, we do better!

The first step I took to grabbing the reins of my life was to take responsibility for my body and how I care for it. In the beginning of September I met with Lisa Carpenter, founder of the 10 week E.A.T. Program, which I wrote about in one of my first blog posts “My Starting Point”. Ten sessions have since passed and last night was the big reveal and  I was blown away, not just by me losing 27 lbs, 23 inches and over 7% in body fat – but the PICTURES!! I am not ready to show you all of them because honestly, they are “too raw” if that makes sense. It feels like yesterday I was there – in a year I might but not tonight. The best I will do is give you the back fat shot – dramatic to say the least. You can only imagine (if you really want to..) what the front looked like..haha. Enjoy…. uuggh. I did this by following the structure that Lisa puts forth – eating 5 meals EVERY day that were rich in lean protein, smart carbohydrates (including bread AND potatoes!), lots of leafy greens, healthy fats (Omega 3, 6 & 9s) and mountains of fresh vegetables and fruit. In comparison to previous attempts, it was refreshing to see no quick fixes, no magic powders or shakes to drink, shots or blood work to take and NO deprivation. I honestly didn’t expect it to work! LOL! And get this, I even did this with a few nights of wine and junky food – difference was I enjoyed the hell out of it and just picked up where I left off the next day. No more sabotage. Eureka! When people ask me what I’m doing to lose the weight and I tell them about the course, I sometimes get resistance with only answering the question by saying “I took a course on eating for weight loss and optimal health”. Like today, when a woman (I don’t know) asked me, she immediately said “Sounds like hard work.. (grimace face)” and then she asked me to tell her more so I did but she quickly cut me off saying “Oh I do all that already” and “I eat healthy but it doesn’t work” And although I REALLY wanted to engage because I’m super passionate about what I learned and love how it’s going to serve me for the rest of my life!!!…. I stop myself because I’m not here to convince anyone of anything. I’m just glad I found my way to it and also remember being in the same place. I wouldn’t have wanted to hear it either..haha. The difference for me this time is that I was ready to admit whatever I was doing wasn’t working and think a lot of the success that happens in this course is when people show up, do the hard work and open themselves up to shifting their position or attitude – whatever it is. This is hard to do if you are hell-bent on believing you NEED cheese to live (believe me, I tried!!). I surrendered and let go of what I thought I knew. This was the hardest part of the course for me and if you are ready to do this and want the change bad enough –you can make BIG changes and it is WAY EASIER than you think. There...

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Shit Just Got Real People

On the first night of E.A.T!, there was a quote written on the wall that resonated with me… “Are you ready to be your own coach, rather than your critic?” I loved this because I am in life coach training so … YES, I am ready. Therefore today’s blog is about the difference in knowing something vs being it. At last Wednesday’s E.A.T class,  I walked in standing tall, full of energy and feeling positive knowing how well I had incorporated each weeks learning topic so far and I was losing weight like a champ. I was eating five smaller means a day with the recommended portions of lean protein, good fats, green leafy veg, no processed foods etc (minus one birthday party with pizza & cupcakes). As much as I’ve embraced all that I am learning, I am also realistic so eating non-stellar food once in a while is fine with me as long as I don’t let those side steps shut down the entire process. Looking back, I know I went into class feeling sure I had lost two or three pounds because  (if you didn’t get the memo from my troll / ego) “I am THE best loser-weighter that ever lived!” This makes me laugh now but it was pretty humiliating in the moments that followed. I stepped on the scale to do the weekly numbers / measurements and I was looking forward to it, when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw the same number from the week before and panic took over my body. What? WHAT?!!! NO. I’m sure it was just the scale adjusting itself… This was all I could hear in my head. My heart sunk and then I could literally feel all that kick ass, positive energy and self-support quickly drain out of my body… Faaaaaack! As Lisa wrote down the number I decided to actually look down at it and the number was the same as last week… no, correction. I had gained 0.2 of a lb. At the time, this 0.2 lbs may as well have been twenty. Lisa could see by the look on my face exactly where I was… I guess I started babbling my thoughts and I am pretty sure she said “Shut Up” and quickly turned me around and began to wrap the measuring tape around me. As she measured me (attempting to speak through the screaming in my head) she said something like ‘try not to focus on the scale… different for everyone.. expectations…own worst critic… look what you DID achieve.” And I’m SURE there was good stuff in there for me to hear but there was no chance for it at this point. Then she showed me that I had actually lost over three inches. Nope. Don’t care. Still back at the scale. As to not completely expose my humiliation, I gave a half-assed nod and may have even fake smiled (to stop the crying of course). I slunk back to my seat feeling completely deflated. It’s in these moments when I hardly recognize myself. And that’s when I knew I was in the midst of the troll storming around in my head. He was clearly in no mood to let me turn it around. As I sat there waiting for Lisa to begin, more thoughts came but they weren’t so much angry as they were defeated and deceptively...

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Protein, Fats and Food Logs… OH MY!

So last week was a BIG milestone for me in this whole ‘clean eating’ gig. I dropped my first TEN POUNDS! WOO HOO! And I honestly have to say it has been WAY easier than I thought. Since I began the attending Lisa Carpenter’s E.A.T! Class, a local nutrition program geared toward women who want to lose weight and eat for optimal health, I look at food completely different. I am gaining a greater knowledge and respect for what I should put into my body and how it works to keep me fueled. When I think back to how I used to eat, I had taken my hands off the wheel completely. And I wasn’t binge eating or anything drastic. But really, I was simply NOT in control and here is the simplest reason – there was no thought behind what I ate and whether it was a good choice for me or not. I just flew by the seat of my pants and tried to make the decision as I opened the kitchen cupboards, the fridge door or was out with the kids I would think ‘What do I FEEL like eating?..” Now I think, what does FEELING have to do what I eat??! But it was ingrained in me as a subconscious pattern. Now it seems crazy to even ask the question. I was indulging myself in a useless conversation knowing full well that I had a fairly limited wheel house of options I would go for – bread, cheese, pasta, with some veggies and fruit. I hated thinking about eating because I hated having to decide and argue with myself, knowing I had NO connection to whether the food I was choosing was a good for me or not. If it wasn’t good for me, I’d easily pass it off as ‘just one meal’ what’s the big deal. But those add up. Bottom line – I was not eating responsibly. I didn’t eat a lot of food or have junk in my house but on those rare occasions when we did, as soon as my taste buds got wind, it didn’t last for long. I was out of balance and I knew it but didn’t know how to stop it. The thought of going on another round of the SureSlim plan to quickly lose the weight (as it was my go-to solution) annoyed me as I was sick of just doing these things knowing I’d inevitably hit the ‘get cocky’ phase and throw the good eating out the window. I just want to know what I’m doing… What I love about the E.A.T! is that each week we learn ONE topic related to food and how it functions in our body and why effects body composition. Hmmm… eating with knowledge. Novel concept. Week 1: We measured, weighed and assessed where we all were, discussed expectations and learned how to food log and pay attention to the food we are eating. We also prepared our kitchens for cleaner eating. Done. Week 2: Protein! Biggest take away was that it is thermogenic, meaning it requires more energy for your body to break it down = more calories burned. Who knew? But being a fair weather vegetarian (that occasionally orders a veggie sandwich… with bacon) I decided to bring back some animal protein knowing this would help me drop the weight quicker. My previous diet, I learned, was so...

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Did I just do that?

So one of the things I’m practicing in my journey to a bigger life is telling that shitty voice in my head who lists all the reasons why I shouldn’t or couldn’t do something … to shut the hell up. So, after my original post talking about getting back into fighting shape, a friend on Facebook suggested I join her for the 6:15 class at the new spinning gym, Spinergy Fitness in Steveston Village on Wednesday. “Haha..(said the voice in my head), You? Spin? Nope, that’s for the fit mom’s with high ponytails and tight butts. Not you. You’ll hurt yourself for sure.” So, to spite the little bugger, I quickly wrote her back “Count me in!” The more I thought about it, the more I truly worried that I might actually hurt myself – and this wasn’t anyone’s voice but my own talking now. People… I am REALLY out of shape. And I’m not a person with low self-esteem. I like myself… aloh! So much that I really didn’t want to hurt my awesome self. I am a realist. Last time I even semi-regularly worked out was  five years ago and even then it was a burst of 6 months and then I was done with it.And FYI, during one of those boot camp-type sessions I put my back out so bad that I was laid up for a week! Then I said to myself “Just shut up and let’s do this.” (hence the title on this blog – I say this a lot now) I called up Spinergy and spoke with one of their people who assured me I would NOT hurt myself. That I was in control of how hard I pushed myself and the tension on the bike. They were very understanding of my newbie concerns and encouraged me to give it a try. OK. Due diligence complete. To make this happen I had to wake up at 5AM to pump so hubby could feed Beau, our four month old, if he woke up before I got back. Once I was up and moving it really wasn’t that bad. Next thing I know I was ready and heading out the door. When I arrived, said friend pulled right up after and I was officially doing this. After signing the standard ‘Please don’t sue us if you die whilst spinning’  forms, I met one of the owners and primary instructor, Shannon Marshall and her trusty sidekick, Matt, who was working the computer behind the sign in desk – both VERY nice and super welcoming. I began to feel at ease. How do I explain what happened over the following 50 mins? Well first, it’s true that the seats hurt your butt and although at times mine was screaming for mercy, there were good chunks of time where I was so focused on what I was being asked to do by Shannon  (over some of the most motivating ass-kicking tracks, ever) that the discomfort faded away and wasn’t an issue – I was actually doing it. I was spinning for crack’s sake! And although I was somewhat distracted by the excess bits of my body giggling and shaking with every pedal, instead of feeling defeated at this shitty reminder of how big my body has become or self-conscious, I heard myself shouting at it from a very powerful place, saying “Get. The. Feck. OFF! Get off! Get...

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