What’s Your Why??

One thing I’ve noticed when talking to people about their health goals is that their goals are usually based on an experience. Either something happened that made them realize they need to make a change, or something IS going to happen that makes them think about change. These are two completely different experiences, one often comes out of fear or discomfort, and the other comes from anticipation and sometimes excitement. Both require lifestyle change, motivation, and a plan, but more importantly, they require a WHY that is often a part of a much bigger picture. My first goal when speaking to them is finding that WHY.

The first experience, the one that comes from discomfort or fear, can come from things as trivial as not fitting into clothes, seeing numbers on a scale, or realizing that stress is keeping them awake at night. These are all things that cause a sense of discomfort in our lives.  The “fear” based experience often comes from a health scare; bad medical results, illness, or having a medical professional tell you that changes need to be made often set off fear to make changes. These changes need to be permanent and lifelong.

The second experience is one of anticipation and usually excitement. This experience is about something that will be happening in our future-a wedding, a vacation, a reunion. We want to look and feel our best for this occasion, and we use that to spark our motivation and inspiration. Usually, this type of change is short term and short lived.

No matter what your health and wellness goals might be, it’s important to go beyond the fear, discomfort, or anticipation, and find the deepest reasons of WHY. These reasons will be the foundation to finding lasting success!

In my early years of working within the weight loss industry, I had many clients that came from both sides of the “ experience motivated” spectrum. High blood pressure, or borderline diabetic clients would come to me at their doctors orders and begrudgingly follow my food and exercise plans until their numbers improved, but often, when they impressed their doctor, they never came back to continue the focus on their health-until they were told to, which happened a lot.

On the other side of that, was the many bride to be’s, the “high school reunion is coming up”, and the “going on vacation and want to wear…” crowd. These people had a specific date in mind that they felt they could stay focused on, and they were usually really successful. But, most of this was short term as well. The claims of “I love working out now”, and “I can’t believe I feel this good!” seemed to vanish after the event they looked forward to, and their old lifestyle became new lifestyle quickly.

I once had a bride hide from me in a mall. She had dropped 60 pounds in 4 months for her wedding, had made the gym the center of her day, and constantly prided herself on her completely surprising lifestyle change that would definitely be everlasting.  After she invited me to her beautiful wedding, I never heard from her again, until she spotted me and ran from me at the local mall. I let it go, of course, but before I left the mall that day, she approached me, spoke of “letting it all go”, and promised to set up an appointment to get back on track soon. “I never felt or looked so good in my entire life…” were the last words she said to me. Her WHY was about her wedding day, and it didn’t carry her beyond that day.

We are all just mere humans, and change is hard. Change requires plans, motivation, support, inspiration, and very deep-rooted WHY’s.  These WHY’s are bigger than a positive health report, positive feedback from our doctor, a number on a scale, or a size on an outfit we want to wear for a special occasion. Those factors can motivate us short term, but the FOUNDATION of deep WHY’s keeps us moving forward, keeps our focus sharper, and keeps us inspired for the absolute duration of life.

So, you ask, what are these WHY’s, and how do I get them into my life so that I can make the permanent lifestyle changes I desire???

These deep WHY’s are based on our life and surrounding as we live it, day-to-day, year-to-year. I find that for many, it’s their family that inspires their ultimate WHY. Realizing that they want to be able to be “there” for the people they love, to be present and active in the lives of everyone around them. To have the energy to run and play with children or grandchildren, to spend family time having adventures or being very active, instead of being a spectator. For some, it’s the sudden concern of illness or poor health taking them from the family that needs them, that becomes the focus. For others, it’s about reaching and keeping peak performance for the activities that they enjoy in life, even as they get older. Some find that their why is in the reflection of the lives of older family member that suffered illness, and a desire to change that pattern. WHY’s vary, and are deeply personal, but they give a solid, lasting, foundation to hold us up even on our least inspired days, week after week, year after year.

For me, currently, I find my WHY being about being at my healthiest so that I can enjoy all of the activities and adventures that await me on my island. After decades of raising a family and always putting their activities and lives first, I want to be sure that I am healthy and strong to be able to focus on MY activities and life: kayaking, hiking, yoga, and lots of time spent with family and friends.

When thinking about your WHY, consider a few questions:

When you look into your future, how do you want to be living your life? What do you see being the most important aspects of that life? Who will be sharing that life with you? And, how do you want to be present in that life? Seeing yourself happy, healthy and vibrant in the future will lead you to your WHY. That is where you will find the ultimate foundation to motivate you to your goals.

Setting goals for your health and wellness involves many aspects of life. When planning your goals, be sure to consider ALL of those aspects, because they all interact and work together holistically. Here is a list of the 8 factors in the wheel of wellness, some with links to blog posts for a more in depth look.

Nutrition

Movement

Emotional

Hobbies

Intellectual

Relationships

Spiritual

Sleep

As always, if you’d like guidance, knowledge, and motivation in putting together and implementing your personal health and wellness plan and goals, I’d love to talk to you! Feel free to contact me! If you’re curious as to what, exactly, a health and wellness coach DOES, read here!

visit my business site Beewell.com

A Few Non-Food Tips for Losing Weight

It’s brand new year, and a lot of us are thinking about making some changes for the better. Many of us spent the last year binging Netflix, wearing comfy sweats, and perhaps munching a bit too much on our favorite comfort foods, and why not? After all, we spent a ton of time at home, rarely had to be at anything social, and well….2020. So, now that we are looking at a brand new year, and hopefully a little bit more normalcy in our lives soon, it’s only natural to think about getting our diets cleaned up and hopefully drop a few of those pandemic pounds!

As we look to change our habits, keep in mind-it takes 21 days to FORM a habit, but usually around 60 days for it to become routine in our lives. Small steps, when done routinely, can add up to huge changes over a period of time, so-think of small attainable goals that will eventually add up to big goals. This will keep you focused and happy with your progress.

Today I’d like to give you some small steps to start now that will add up to those big changes that you want to see later. Pick one or two a week, or a month, and build them into habits, then into routine, as you slowly add in more. Several small goals add up to a much bigger picture in the end!

Find Your Why!

Just claiming that you want to drop 15 pounds/eat cleaner/work out is not enough to motivate you to do the things you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. The clearest way to get your motivation in gear is to declare your WHY. Why do you want to drop those pounds? Why do you want to eat cleaner? Why do you want to workout? What are the things you envision in your life when you DO accomplish these things? Take a few minutes and really think about what you will “gain” by hitting the goal you want to hit. Make a list of those things. Perhaps you want to wear certain clothes, or feel more youthful and fit, or maybe it’s because you want the energy to lay with your kids or grandkids. Maybe you want to walk your dog without being out of breath, or maybe you’re hoping to take up an activity this spring that needs you to be more in shape. Perhaps you want to get off of medications, or see your blood pressure drop to a normal level. Write these things down, envision your life as it will be at that point, and consider how you will feel about accomplishing that. That, my friend, is your WHY.

Focus on ADDING things, not SUBTRACTING things!

Often, when we make changes in our lives to be healthier, we find that we feel restricted, or that we are losing out on things. Change your mindset! Instead of saying “I can’t eat cookies”, say to yourself, “look at all these amazing fruits I get to eat from the local farmers market”. Instead of thinking, “I have to get up and exercise”, think, “Wow, I get to go for a long walk/jog and really enjoy feeling healthy in my soul!” or, “It feels so good to have a few minutes of quiet time to just enjoy how it feels to work my body.” In addition, ADD new foods to your diet, add new recipes! The addition of these things is far more important and lasting than subtracting things from your goals! Try looking at what you GET to do, instead of what you cannot do. Change your mindset.

Lose the Idea of Perfection!

This is a big one! How many times have you started a healthy eating plan only to give up on it after eating the “wrong” foods? This is, after all, why people are always “starting” diets. Think of it this way-instead of beating yourself up for not finishing a workout, praise yourself for trying. Instead of giving up on your healthy eating plan because you had a few cookies, congratulate yourself for only having a few. Again, it’s the mindset that changes your patterns. Attempting perfection only sets you up for failure, because, hey! Who’s perfect anyway? Nothing is ever going to be perfect, accept the imperfections and find the small accomplishments that have been made. Give yourself a break. It’s all part of the process!

Get some Sleep; Rest your Mind, Find Moments of Peace

Lack of quality sleep affects SO much of your health journey. Lack of sleep creates stress, and stress releases hormones that affect your metabolism negatively. Lack of sleep keeps your body from achieving recovery mode, which results in exhaustion, poor muscle strength, the possibility of making poor choices, and increased appetite. Make your sleep a priority-set bedtime and wake time routines, turn off electronics, reduce blue light time in the evening, cool the temperature of your bedroom, and make your bed a comfortable and peaceful place. To aid in proper sleep, but sure to get adequate sunlight into your life during the daytime hours, and try to not indulge in alcohol or heavy meals before bedtime.

Make You and Your Health a Priority SELF LOVE

Honor your body, honor your goals, and honor your meals. Practice honor in all aspects of your journey and the respect you give will pay you back. Nutrition is the best medicine you can give your body. What you put into your body is what you get in return. Show your body love in all that you do, and beyond that-show yourself LOVE. Spend time doing the things that bring you joy, take up a new hobby or rediscover something that you have long given up. By bringing yourself joy, you remove stress and create a whole new peace and calm in which to live. Meditate, practice gratitude, spend time focusing on your breath. Love yourself enough to put yourself first, and the rewards of good health with come to you.

Find New Ways to Measure Success

I hate when I see images of scales on posts about dieting or healthy eating! The scale is a truly poor measurement of diet success! There’s an image that gets passed around on the internet often depicting several women, all the same weight, each with a completely different body. Personally, when I gave up on the number I saw on the scale, I quickly realized that “volume” or “weight” simply did not give a full picture of my body. Look at it this way-a tall skinny 5 pound box weighs the same as a small circular sphere that weighs 5 pounds. They are completely different though! So many factors play into weight on a scale-muscle build, bone density, how much water you drank, whether you’ve used the restroom, even having long hair! Many people find that when they are in their ideal fit shape, their weight is actually HIGHER than the goal weight they hoped for. Learn to measure your success in other ways: how do your clothes fit? How do you look in the mirror? Are you feeling lighter? Is there a spring in your step? Are you getting through workouts without breathing as heavy? Are people remarking on your success? Learn to look at how you feel and what you see instead of those numbers on that scale!

Find a Fellow Motivator!

How about a bestie that encourages you to succeed? Someone you admire that cheers you on and adds positive motivation and support to your daily life? Surround yourself with the people who have the same goals as you, people that have accomplished those goals and live them every day. These are the people that will inspire you and excite you. Find your tribe of fellow goal seekers, fellow health seekers, and follow the journey together. You can, of course, also find yourself a Health and Wellness Coach that will guide you, motivate you, cheerlead you, and help you set those goals, break them down into small steps, and reach them. You know where to find me;)

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