How to Create a Culture of Wellness - Part Two

How do you create a culture of wellness when you are the only employee or have just a few people working for you?

Anytime you are working on “you” and not on your business, do you fear you are getting behind? “Yes” is a common answer, but the truth is different.

When you work on you — including your health — you will grow your business. This is not pleasant to think about, but you are not your most effective working from a hospital bed that you could have avoided.

The flip of that? In this video I share how I helped a business owner move from scared he wouldn’t have enough money on a monthly basis — to stable and growing because he changed ONE thing: how he took care of his health.

You can do it, too!


Makeover Your Pantry This Weekend Part One

This seems to be the time of year for deep-organizing house projects. It is too cold or rainy to be outside, or even open the windows, so everyone is cleaning out closets and junk drawers. I challenge you to makeover your pantry this weekend - it is one adventure that will help you eat healthier the rest of the year.

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To really deep-organize your pantry for healthy meals, I teach a simple six step process. You’ll need parts of two weekends, so I’ll walk you through this in a two-part series.

This weekend focus on Steps One - Five. Next weekend is Step Six.

Step One: Review your menus for a Powerful Plate. Do you have enough combinations of vegetable, protein, fats, and complex carbohydrates? What ingredients do you need to stock up on?

Step Two: Purchase the foods you need for a Powerful Plate and order any specialty items so they will arrive by next weekend.

Step Three: Look through the food in your pantry. Begin to organize it in your mind. What goes with what? For example, “protein powder” for me could go with protein snacks (since I use it as a shake) or with breakfast/oatmeal (since I use protein powder in my oatmeal every morning).

Step Four: Take measurements. Both of the shelf space and of any items that you are going to group and crate together. For example, if you usually keep 20 cans of fruit, vegetables, and tomato sauce in stock, measure how wide a bin you will need to store them.

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Step Five: Decide on the supplies you need and then go shop. Shelf liner? Plastic bins? Wood crates? Glass jars? Shelving unit pull-out for a deep pantry?

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Step Six - next weekend is clean out and organize.

Eliminating the hassle of expired ingredients - or simply not having healthy options on hand - will make these two weekends worth your effort. Turn on some music, get the family involved … whatever it takes to make it fun and make it happen.

6 Reasons Why You Need to Learn to Thrive

While growing up I suspected I had developed an unhealthy relationship with food – and sometimes even exercise.  But it was years later at a work potluck Christmas party that I knew I absolutely had a problem and had to change.

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Everyone else was at the buffet ooh-ing and ah-ing over different dishes colleagues brought. 

I was in the bathroom terrified. 

“If I eat that _____ I’ll have to workout extra tomorrow. Who knows how many grams of ____ it has.”

“I want to try ____ but if I do I’ll probably not be able to stop eating it. I’ll lose control.”

“I’ll be good and just have the veggies I brought.  If I break my diet I’ll be bad.”

I realized I was the only one, apparently, who did not feel she could enjoy the food, the people, or the party and I stayed as far away from the table as possible.  Why?  I thought something was inherently wrong with me. 

Truth? By that party I had spent almost 20 years fine-tuning my “diet mentality,” through the various diet and exercise rules I “learned.”

And I wanted freedom.  Desperately.

I wanted to exercise just because it felt amazing and made me strong and healthy. Not because it burned calories I’d eaten the day before.

I wanted to eat a balanced meal because it was satisfying.

I wanted to enjoy a cookie without fear of eating five.

I wanted to go to a party and enjoy it all.

Scratch that.

I didn’t even know that was possible.  All I could fathom was maybe not being consumed with worrying about every morsel, gram, or repercussion after a party.

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Thankfully, that part of me is a distant memory, because …

I found my path to THRIVE.

Did you see?

I released a brand new course where I’m going to share with you the mindset, principles, techniques, tools and skills practiced by people who find – and follow – their unique path to health, wellness, and a Thriving Life.

It’s called …

THRIVE LIFE (Go here to learn more; we get started in just a few days.)

While there are so many health benefits to this way of life, the most surprising benefit has nothing to do typical health-parameters.

It has to do with relationships and accomplishing other goals.

Huh?

Let me explain.  Envision that same work party where I locked myself away in the bathroom.  If my mind had been free from food-fear, I would have been mingling with colleagues and enjoying getting to know their families, enriching my relationships.

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And when my mental and emotional space is not cluttered with how many calories I eat or burn or how much I do this or that, my mind is free to be creative and pursue dreams.  Plus, there is way less stress.

Here are six reasons why you need to learn your path to THRIVE.

#1 – You stop outsourcing your emotional health to food or over-exercise

You can learn the difference between physical and emotional hunger.

Food was created to bring you pleasure, but it is not what heals hurts or brings peace.

Exercise has many ways that it lifts your mood, but there is a point of using exercise to escape struggles vs. helping you overcome them.

When you sit with discomfort and find what actually fills you emotionally, your strength of self grows.  Your confidence to live and handle difficult situations increases.

#2 – You have mental space to pursue your dreams

This one is huge.

When your mind is cluttered with searching for the next diet or exercise program, or finding recipes that fit the new fad, or shopping for the latest exercise gear you cannot focus on what really matters most to you in life.

It may even go deeper.  If you are staying focused on analyzing food / exercise to avoid dealing with something else, it is time to move forward. 

If you are hiding your best self behind counting this or that, trying to control every bite or workout, it is time to open the curtain and step out on your stage.

#3 – You have increased physical energy

You sleep well, you wake up with energy, and it stays consistent throughout the day so you can accomplish your goals and still enjoy family and friends at the end of the day.

#4 – Your ability to enforce boundaries, with yourself and others, improves

Food police?  Exercise drill sergeant? No more.  Either from others or yourself.

You confidently handle critics.

You also are able to tell yourself “no” when a choice does not value you.

#5 – You have more fun and are more fun to be around

When your excitement comes from discussing the latest fad exercise or diet, it is a boring life.

However, when you have recent adventures or a book you read or a funny family gathering or ____ to talk about, conversations have life in them.

You meet up with people, confident as you accept yourself and others, with less judgement.

Social situations around food are no longer stressful.

You have the physical fitness to enjoy the adventures you want.

#6 – You feel successful, because you are successful

When you learn what works for your body and your lifestyle, and you have the tools and techniques to stick with it, you reach your goals.

You feel successful along the journey because you are living what you value.

#7 – This is a bonus reason because I just had, an hour ago, a conversation with a client and this reason came up – so I added it: 

You become a leader and influencer for good in those around you.

This client was waiting on the inspiration to make changes to come from his circle of family and friends.  I challenged him “Think about who you want to be.  Do you want to be the person who waits to be led or do you want to lead?  Do you want to be influenced or do you want to influence?”  I challenge you, too.  When you find your path to Thrive, you will inspire others to do the same.

This is what finding your path to THRIVE brings you.  It is one of the most amazing adventures you’ll ever go on.

Go here to check out my newest course, so you can THRIVE in your LIFE.  (We start in a few days.)

The #1 Way to Wreck Your Path and Six Signs You May Be Wrecking Yours

Here’s a question that I consistently hear: “I’m tired of doing what doesn’t work.  How do I get results?”

You buy the latest diet book every friend swears by – but then they swore by a different one 3 months ago.

You join a different gym or buy another late-night-TV fitness gadget, because this one has (fill in the blank) that the others didn’t have, so you know you’ll use it – next week.

You download another meditation or time-tracker or motivation app, but somehow it doesn’t help.

How do you get results?

Before I share how, I want you to understand that the answer goes against what main stream media and well-meaning fitness gurus will tell you.  It even goes against what my mom taught me (and it took me a while to accept that).

Here’s the answer: Find your path.

A path that is yours, that embraces your lifestyle and values, that enhances your life without consuming it. Why?  Because if it does not focus on you, no program, book, gadget or method will work for you.

Finding your path paves the way to

  • greater energy

  • freedom from worrying about lifestyle diseases

  • peace in your mind and with yourself

  • an increased enjoyment of life – whether big adventures or time with family

  • thriving in every area of your life

Go here to enroll in my newest course … Thrive Life

You can find your path to results.  Your first step, which – I know from experience - is the hardest, is to stop believing what I call the Big Lie.  It wrecks your path.

It pushes you further away from success and traps you in bondage.  The lie, like most, is subtle in your mind, but you can see signs of it wrecking your path. 

At the end I’ll tell you 6 signs that you may be believing the Big Lie.

First, I’ll share a bit of my story of believing this Big Lie and how it harmed me for well over 25 years of my life.

I used to be deeply trapped in this lie.

When I was 9 I started believing it.  I bought my first fitness magazine and started on my first diet.  The magazine (this one – this is the original one) became an authority figure in my life, telling me that I was supposed to eat and exercise a certain way.

I counted the calories on my plate; I analyzed the food on my parents’ plates when we’d go out to eat.  In fact, my dad later told me they stopped enjoying going out as a family because all I did was analyze what everyone was eating.  I wouldn’t skip exercise, even if it meant getting out of bed with a fever to finish it. 

Yes, I did that.

The deeper I got into this lie, the more restricted I became.  Others thought I was self-disciplined – but I wasn’t.  Self-discipline comes from the inside, from the self.  I was forcing conformity to an outside, external, someone else’s rule.

(A little side-lesson here … we all have a need for autonomy, that thing that protects us and our boundaries, our sense of self and our ability to choose.  I allowed this magazine – and later all of the other diet rules – to tell me what to do.  It was my job to tell me that, so I was allowing my sense of autonomy to be pushed down.  And it will only be pushed down so long.)

I remember in college going to parties, eating “perfectly” but then coming back to an apartment and eating ½ bag of my roommates cookies.

I was recently reading some of my old journals, which at the time included daily calorie counts.  I came across a section in which I was berating myself for sneak eating several doughnuts.  At the time I wrote it, I recall thinking how “bad” I was.  When I look at it now, I understand that I was starving myself for several days prior, through both under-eating and running several miles.  No wonder I was craving doughnuts.

Of course, the good news now that I don’t believe the lie anymore, I could care less about doughnuts and actually don’t like them.

So, what is the Big Lie? 

“There’s one way to be healthy and you must conform your life to that one way.”

You absolutely must give up believing this lie to reach your health and fitness goals.

Each person’s path is unique, but not random.  Your path will be based on underlying proven principles, but if you believe that there is one way to live healthy, you will be forever trying things that don’t work in the long-run and will always be searching outside of yourself. 

  • Those ways create struggle, not ease.

  • Those ways are complicated, not simple.

  • Those ways constrict and deprive you, not free you.

Are you possibly believing the lie that here is one way to be healthy and you must conform your life to that one way?

Sign #1: You skip exercise or meal-prep because something else came up.  Why?  You didn’t have time to do it “all” and you’ve believed all-or-none; don’t do something half-way.

Your Path? You believe something is better than nothing and set standards that fit your life.

Sign #2: You go workout and push yourself until you cannot walk normally the next day, then don’t workout again for weeks.  Why?  You’ve believed “No pain – no gain,” or “go hard or go home.”  Or a guru has told you that if you don’t get your heartrate into a certain zone it does you no good.

Your Path? You embrace the intensity of exercise you enjoy.

Sign #3: You eat foods that bore you, or you feel guilty if you eat something you really enjoy. Why?  Someone has been the food police and told you, “If it tastes good, spit it out.  It can’t be good for you.”

Your Path? You listen for true pleasure (not false pleasure) and savor quality.

Sign #4: You are busy and don’t exercise, believing if you don’t exercise for ____ time it won’t do you any good.

Your Path? You know the research and that helps you adapt to your life. Some days you go exercise and some days you fit in bits of activity throughout your day.

Sign #5: This ____ diet is the one that works.  It worked for so-and-so celebrity last year.

Well, that was last year.  This _____ diet is the one that really works.  It worked for so-and-so celebrity this year.  And if it is not working for you, you must be cheating.

Your Path? You understand what works for your body and you know that what you eat is not a moral issue.

Sign #6: You avoid going to a party, trying a new adventure, or just going to the gym because you have to look a certain way, touch your toes, lift a lot of weight, run a particular pace – or you are really unfit and you aren’t trying.

Your path?  You go enjoy your life, because you ignore the confining opinions and messages out there.

These lies push you further away from success.

If you want to find your path to results, you must decide once and for all that the hype and the lies, no matter how glorious and glittery they sound, are not for you.

I get it.

Rejecting the lies can be hard, but do you know what’s even harder?

Continuing to try every new one-size-fits-all rule, failing, feeling guilty and trapped.

This is why learning to find your path to Thrive in Life will be one of the most amazing gifts you’ll ever give yourself.

I am thrilled to let you know that enrollment is open for my newest course: Thrive Life. Click here for details.

Join the conversation – Which of the six signs are you guilty of that is wrecking your path?  What is one small thing you can do TODAY to help you break out of the lies and Thrive?

 

Why self-care is important: one client's story

A picture is worth a thousand words.

So, since this is a picture plus words, how many does that equal?

Seriously, this is a powerful visual I’ve used to illustrate the impact of self-care.

5 Tips (and Products) to Create Your Spa Weekend

You feel like you need to get away from it all.  You want to spend a week at a spa, refreshing your body and mind.  But arranging life to do that?  Maybe later, you say. 

Don't wait until life hands you a week to take care of yourself.  Create a weekend - or at least a day - for an in-town spa retreat.

1.  ENVIRONMENT

A spa setting is typically clean and quiet, with a lot of nature.  So plan to get the house clean before the weekend, perhaps even hiring a residential cleaning company (or your teenagers, if they have a clean-streak).  This is a great time to purchase new bath towels, if needed.  Or break out the plush bath towels you saved for guests.

Quiet?  What a great excuse to have the younger kids visit the grandparents overnight.  The teens may stay with friends, or perhaps they want to join you in a spa-weekend.

Nature? Inside the house, add fresh flower arrangements in each room.  Outside the house, enjoy a nearby park for journaling or walking.  Another way to add nature is candles, especially beeswax candles.  The purest I have found is www.nashvillewaxco.com.  The way the wax is processed makes a difference in what you breathe.

If these ideas don't work...there's always a nice hotel or bed-and-breakfast option.

2.  MENTAL SPACE

One of the joys of a spa is letting your mental-to-do list take a break.  That is another reason to have the house cleaned ahead of time.  Plan on Thursday and Friday evenings to have the laundry, grocery shopping, and any other weekend chores already complete.  

If cooking is a relaxing pleasure, you can leave that for your weekend spa.  If cooking is a chore, then arrange catering.  (If you live in the Nashville area, check out Linda's Perfect Platters - she cooks from scratch whatever you'd like.  You can find her company on Facebook.)

Turn on your "out-of-office" messages and leave your calendar behind.  Don't check your social media.  Unplug.  Scary?  Maybe.  But I promise you will be grateful by Sunday night.

3.  PLEASURABLE, HEALTHY FOOD

Speaking of cooking, spa food is delicious and good-for-you.  Focus your menus around fresh vegetables with lean poultry and fish.  Add lots of cucumber-lemon water.  Perhaps visit a farmers market mid-week to pick up your in-season vegetables.  

If you do not want to cook during the weekend, pre-cook your meats and enjoy as leftovers on salads.

4.  LEARN A LITTLE

An occasional class is nice at a spa, so include a video or a book on a self-care topic.  If you are wanting to learn about exercise, read LePersonal Coach by Valerie Orsoni.  If eating and living healthy are your desire, then The Self Compassion Diet by Jean Fain or any book of the French Women Don't Get Fat series.  (Of course, this would be a great weekend to start Go Forward: 28 Days to Eat, Move, and Enjoy Life God's Way.)

Don't forget that your best expert on you is, well, you.  So journal each day; see what insights are revealed.

5.  ACTIVITIES TO BOOK

Here we get to the essence of a spa.  A spa should include novelty and familiarity.  

  • Hike or walk in a new park.  
  • Try a Pilates class at that boutique studio you've wanted to visit.  
  • Take your journal and stretch mat for a few hours at a park.  
  • Of course, a massage from your favorite massage therapist is "practically" mandatory for a spa weekend.

Enjoy next weekend at your personal in-town spa.

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