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shall we?

The problem with most fitness & health programs isn’t whether or not participating in a given program will actually produce results. We live in a day and age where there is no shortage of effective fitness programs out there. So why don’t we all have bodies that we love? Why don’t we all feel awesome all the time? The thing is, we will only see results and benefits while we follow said program; And only if we actually follow it. The reality is that, be it modern life or another first world problem, we struggle to sustain a diet or a rigid fitness plan. We can’t live in a fitness bubble where our whole life revolves around “getting into shape”. And we shouldn’t. Doesn’t that sound exhausting and isolating?

What we actually need (as actual human beings) are skills and tools to live a healthy life, connected to our bodies whether we are 8 months pregnant, traveling around the world, in a hectic season at work, or in our regular day to day. On top of that, if we don’t recognize the deeper mental and emotional reasons for why we put what we put in our bodies, what we believe we are capable of, and what our goals actually are, much of our energy will be wasted going through the ups and downs as we cycle through the same patterns over and over. Why? Because our mental and physical worlds are so deeply linked. Our goal may be physical, but getting there is an inside job. We’ve all got stuff. Broken hearts, anxiety, trauma, stress, exhaustion, and everything that goes with it. If we ignore the internal stuff, not only will we continuing cycling, but we’ll miss out on the mental and emotional benefits of physical challenge & change.

In other words, we can use “fitness and diet” to perpetuate and reinforce an unhealthy relationship with our body, food, movement, and the world around us through punishment, keeping score, measuring, using food to cope and ignoring signals from our body; that ultimately leads to total disconnection, exhaustion, or neglect. Or we can use movement and nourishment as tools to foster a healthy relationship with our body, where we enjoy the food that we eat and enjoy the therapy and catharsis of physical work; All of this in a way that relies on our individual connection to our own body and our internal awareness, freeing ourselves from the external pressure and mixed messages from the world around us.

To do this, there are three main factors I want you to start internalizing. First is how we see and feel about our body, exercise, and eating. This means creating a healthy relationship with our body, movement, and food. The second factor is how we set ourselves up for success. This includes how we set our goals, whether we set goals that fit our life and the strategy and preparation that goes into being successful. And the third factor is how we respond to life, our personal wellness failures, and hardship. Most of us gain weight and stop prioritizing self care in response to life events. So as life changes, how do we adapt?

If you break down why you want to fit into a certain size, look a certain way, lose the baby weight etc. - if you peel away the layers, I bet it comes down to a feeling. I bet there is a very specific feeling attached to reaching your goal. What feeling will reaching your goal give you? Will you feel confidant? Like yourself again? Beautiful? Worthy?  The truth is, what you’re waiting to feel may be available now if you just give yourself permission. What if you decided to give yourself permission to feel beautiful now? What if you started believing you are capable now? What if you stop holding out on letting yourself feel good?

This course will help you get to work on that feeling that you want to have (both granting yourself permission and the physical change). We’re going to get to work on having a body that you love. And we’re going to start from the inside. Most likely your goals need some tweaking, your approach probably needs an overhaul, and your mindset may need a reset in order to see and experience the shift you’re wanting. We’re going to talk about how you’re going about living that healthy life and dig up all the stuff that is making the process feel harder than it needs to be.

I always find it so interesting how many very specific questions I get about exactly what I eat and exactly what I do for my workouts. I think people are surprised and maybe even a little disappointed by how relaxed and loose my routine sounds when I say it out loud. I have, over time, gotten to a place where I am consistent AND flexible; because I have a strong connection to my body. I know what makes me feel good and what doesn’t. And I have a very clear why. My goal for you is to get you to stop obsessing about or being overwhelmed by the what so you can intuitively move forward with a better how and a clearer why.


Mind

first

Mindfulness Defined: The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

So here’s what we want to focus on:

1 | Accepting one's feelings, thoughts, & bodily sensations

This isn’t obsessing over why or chasing worry and fear. It’s just letting it sit with you; Letting it be there without trying to run from it or make discomfort go away immediately. This is especially important when we face habits that stem from anxiety or feelings of self-doubt. Can you sit with it and learn from it? This is where I recommend taking these feelings to a journal. Writing them down allows you to acknowledge and accept these feelings without holding onto or attaching yourself to them. Using the included meditation, noting, is also another great way to encourage this.

2 | Consciousness

I like to think of this as an objective, neutral observation. What can we observe about our own life? What can we observe about our thoughts, patterns, habits? What would a little objectivity provide you with? What parts of your story are affecting your choices and how you handle situations? Recognizing the role that our inner workings have on our physical form (among other things) is consciousness.

3 | Awareness on the present moment

It’s the simple act of being where you are. While it sounds simple, you and I both know that it is not always that easy - but it is extremely powerful. Constantly living in the past or future; Always working and analyzing; Thinking, thinking, thinking makes for an overburdened mind, unable to make joyful, healthy decisions. Harnessing our minds to live in the moment and to come back to the moment when we get ahead of ourselves or lost in thought does take practice. But, once we have acquired this skill, we will experience more internal peace, sincere enjoyment, and live with more mental space; allowing us to approach decisions with more clarity and genuine optimism. For your bod, this means making better choices, actually enjoying food and the benefits of feeling good (and hot!), and living with more gratitude for your body.

If there’s one thing I want you to start feeling in your gut is that we have the ability to choose mindfulness as a means to deal with ALL of our stuff. It’s a pretty amazing alternative too.

Mindfulness instead of powering through and then crashing.

Mindfulness instead of returning to negative coping mechanisms.

Mindfulness instead of disconnection.

Mindfulness instead of repeating mistakes - because you are your own best teacher. You have all the tools within you to change, adapt, and grow if you learn to use them. Simply recognizing a thought or reaction is often enough to start a ripple effect that allows us to change intuitively and genuinely.

Increasing our mindfulness is key in helping us set real goals that we are inspired to reach (that more connected what), shaping a better how to get there, and opens the door for us connect to our why (which is what keeps us going).

CONSCIOUS BODY

= CONSCIOUS LIFE

The World Health Organization describes health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. So the largest health organization on the world has determined that your health is equal parts social, mental, and physical.

It’s the mind-body connection. In yoga, the word itself, means “to yoke”- essentially joining the mental, physical, and spiritual. These areas are innately intertwined. By developing our awareness of the ways they connect we enable that full definition of good health.

How we receive & connect to others starts with how we receive & connect to ourselves.

When we become disconnected from our most basic level of existence, our physical bodies, we lose our ability to fully connect in the other areas of our life. Most importantly, our physical consciousness and connection affects our emotional and physical connection with the other people in our life. How we receive & connect to others starts with how we receive & connect to ourselves. We start with ourselves and we go from there. When we can practice personal mindfulness, it opens the door for us to be conscious and aware in other arenas. Without personal mindfulness, the consciousness and awareness we exercise in other ways is incomplete.


a better way

Start with your value. It’s already there. So start with feeling and acknowledging it. Nothing in this course will make you more valuable as a human being. Because it’s innate. You have all the value you need. Give yourself permission to see it now. Choose to not use diet and fitness as a way to prove your worth.

It’s essential that we honor our bodies in order to effectively nurture and serve them. And it’s essential that we acknowledge the being within our physical shell. If you want to move forward, start with deep respect for your body and being. Starting with love and respect versus holding out until you’ve earned it is key. Not only is it vital for a healthy relationship to exist with your body, but it’s the only way to change how you approach fitness/wellness/nourishment. We cannot nurture a body we hate. We don’t listen to a body we don’t respect. And we can’t heal where there is distrust.

Our bodies aren’t perfect and none of us are the same. Some of us have real obstacles to face to feel well or to be strong. Still, our bodies are capable of so much. And all the life we live, the emotion, sensations, and destinations are only possible because of the vessels that carry us.

It goes far beyond fitting into the size you want or toning up. Those things will absolutely come, but when we put the relationship of the mind and the body first, we get long term, wide-reaching benefits. You will get the booty. But it’s going to be a better booty, longer-lasting booty, and so much more than just your booty (can I stop saying booty now?) if you start with respecting yourself as more than just a piece of meat.

Every aspect of your life will be enriched by the right thoughts, a nourished body, a strong body, a rested body, and discipline that comes from a healthy place. Without it, toning up is just toning up and it ends when you get bored with your routine or your life gets hectic. Clean eating is just clean eating until you decide you don’t have time to meal prep. Discipline is just discipline until it feels too rigid. And then we somehow feel like we’ve failed, like we don’t deserve to be fit or feel great. But there’s a better way and it starts with a deep appreciation and respect for the life our bodies carry us through.