Tag: healthy habits

Creating Harmony

How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?

– Lauryn Hill

By the time most I meet me a lot of people, they are asking me to fix something. Like my infamous friend and client Gayl who literally asked to “fix it” when she wanted to lose weight after her son was born. Little did she know how much I was going to dig into when she became my client. Like most people, she hadn’t learned to make her internal life and well-being a big enough priority. One day in a conversation with my father, he was sharing about his friend who is very successful. He has a great job, makes great money, and is great with his kids. This same friend is also unhealthy, has unresolved trauma, and is stuck in a rut mentally. I countered by saying without inner peace there is no such thing as success. They haven’t learn to live in peace and make healing the priority. Money can’t buy self-worth, self-esteem and joy. But it can mask it with a bunch of material things. It is much easier to mask what is going on in the inside when you are distracted and validated by what is going on outside.

Anyone who has been on a trip with someone they didn’t like. Whether it’s a sibling on a long road trip or an annoying person sitting beside you on a long plane ride. It is a pretty simple concept to understand that if you are going to spend time with someone you might want to enjoy that person otherwise it’s gonna be rough. Well, the same is true with you and how you deal with yourself. You are going to spend more time with yourself than anyone else in this lifetime. The sooner you get right with you, the easier it is to deal with life. 

You might be asking yourself what does it look like when you are “right within.” If you are unfamiliar you should listen to Doo Wop by Lauryn Hill. For the sake of time I will drop these couple bars for you from her song: 

Girlfriend, let me break it down for you again

You know I only say it cause I’m truly genuine

Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem

Baby girl, respect is just a minimum”

Do you treat yourself like a hard rock or a gem? Do you expect everything to be difficult? Do you act like you can handle a beating? Maybe you can, I’m not saying you can’t. Is that want you deserve? Now, let me delineate, I’m not opposing being strong nor am I demeaning a hard workout neither am I debating whether one should box. I am talking about how you treat yourself within. What are your internal conversations like? How do you care for yourself?

How do we treat gems? With the respect and reverence. We take our time when looking at them; we inspect them. If you are anything like me you might have crystals that you clear, charge, and research. In the same way, our insides are worthy of being cleared, charged, and reflected upon to know what is going on within.

The unexamined life is not worth living?

– Socrates

I believe you should examine and get real with who you are this very minute. Take a quick self-check. This can take 5 minutes or 50 minutes, how ever long you can stand. Sit in quiet, without distractions, and check in with yourself. Start by paying attention to your heartbeat. Next, listen to the rhythm of your breathing. Next, move into to examining what’s on your mind. What are you thinking about? Is it worth your time? Engage your imagination: Try to visualize each thought rise up to the sky and float away with the clouds. After you have thought all of the thoughts and have sat with yourself as long as you can stand, give yourself a big hug. Tell yourself this short affirmation:

I am loved

I am seen

I matter 

I am safe

In every aspect of my career I am required to focus first on what is going on inside of someone else. I am always trying to find out the root of the issue. In fitness I am looking first at how your body works. I’m looking for any structural compensations your body has made as well as your stability and balance. As a life coach, I dig into what someone wants most and what is holding them back. As a Reiki Practitioner, I see where someone’s energy is low or out of balance. This practice of sitting with yourself is the beginning to any kind of change and growth. Take it easier on yourself. You are a  precious gem worthy of care.

I knew I had to change

salad-374173_1280In 2014 I read a lot about nutrition. I became acutely aware of the horrible relationship I had developed with food. If I’m honest, I did not understand a lot about food. Like many troubled relationships, I found that it all boiled down to a three key elements; understanding, communication, and expectation.

In order to understand the growth that took place, let me tell you how it started. I grew up in a healthy household where I enjoyed home-cooked meals that were well balanced with fruits and vegetables. My mother was a full-on veggie lover who loved to exercise and always told me she was a “fat kid”. I did not understand how that was possible when I was a pretty skinny kid/teenager. Like most young people I did not really like the wide variety of vegetables that she did so I stayed very close to broccoli, green beans and salads but I could eat a whole pepperoni pizza and never gained weight. My friends called me “Ribs” in junior high school because you could see my ribs when I wore a bathing suit.

A major shift happened while I was in high school; my mom fell ill, and our roles reversed. I regret_harmonybecame the bread winner, household shopper, and chef. I wasn’t old enough to understand the value of the substance and make up of our bodies. So, I made the unknowingly made the mistake of choosing quick and easy routes to meals and food. The majority of the time that meant frozen and microwaveable. A while later I started to notice that I was gaining weight and feeling sluggish. I decided I was eating too much so I started taking diet pills to suppress my appetite. Since I didn’t like coffee I would drink 2-3 energy drinks a day. My body was communicating that it needed fuel and expected nutrient rich food, but I did not understand. I was communicating that I wanted to look like the girls in the videos and magazines and and was still expecting to slim down.

As a requirement for college I took a health class and I learned great information on what I needed to have a healthy well balanced diet. It did help that I had at least started eating less food. I alternated between salads, frozen microwavable dishes, and over-cooked vegetables. I still took diet pills and drank energy drinks. I had developed a sugar addiction and was often stressed out. I was dealing with my mother’s multiple sclerosis, attending college, and working full-time and the weight just piled on. I visited my Uncle Dwayne before he was going into gastric bypass surgery and after not seeing me for ten years he had much wisdom to share on the unhealthy pathologies that our family shared with food. I spilled all the beans on what I was doing to myself. He made me promise to stop with the diet pills and energy drinks. He never made it out of that surgery so I could not go back on that promise. Our conversation also took the blinders off to the world of weight problems that I had only just begun to understand. Years of unhealthy eating and stress had helped me to get up to 230 lbs. At only 5 feet 4 inches tall, something had to change and it did!

on-my-way_harmonyTwo of the best friends anyone could ever have taught me about food. This sounds funny and simple, but it was true. They helped me learn how to buy, cook, and eat healthy fresh and flavorful food. I learned optimal food combinations, portion control, and healthy sweet tooth alternatives. With the assistance of this wonderful support team, I started 2014 as a vegetarian who ate the rainbow of foods. I juiced fruits and vegetables as well as prepared my meals in advance to accommodate my busy schedule. I soon started feeling different, vibrant, healthy and alive. Mid-year I started eating fish and some small portions of meat, but I did not abuse my body the same way I previously had. I also kicked the habit of running to food when I felt stress. Moreover, through prayer, meditation and clear communication I have learned how to remove, avoid, and limit unhealthy stress. I have seen the needle on the scale go down which is nice but what is even more fulfilling is I know that I am well on my way to being healthier. I am being loving to my body, and it feels great!

The most important lessons I learned were very simple and could be applied to many different areas of life. The first and most valuable lesson I learned was: what you put in impacts what you get back. Like the adage “You are what you eat!” If you are loading yourself up with crap, you are going to feel like it. I started eating more foods that are grown on plants not manufactured in plants. The fresh fruits and vegetables that now occupy the majority of my dietary intake give me life, not a bunch of chemicals that I cannot pronounce and my body does not know how to break down.

The second most valuable lesson that I learned was support and accountability is key. I didn’t feel alone with friends to talk to when I was going to fall off the bandwagon. We started sharing holidays together when we thought we were not strong enough to resist the heavy food our families prepared. Last but certainly not least I learned that I had to keep my diet flavorful and exciting, which took preparation and time. I had to learn to try different things and step outside my comfort zone. Subsequently, I realized that it was a great thing to invest time and energy in preparing my food. I remember when I was always rushing to get some food so I can do this or that but this revelation hit me like a ton of bricks, “If you keep running on fumes you are going to run out of fuel!”

My hope for you in this next year is that this somehow encourages you invest in yourself from the inside out.winking_harmony
If you are looking for other ways to continue to revolutionize your diet or life in general take some time to check out our other blogs and/or contact us for your first coaching session. We dedicate every day of our lives to make a LifeonSprings Easy, Effective, Sustainable, and Enjoyable. Let’s thrive together in 2015!

Personal Prison Break!

May 4th
I mindlessly spent years building a prison brick by brick. I locked myself in and swallowed the key then begged different people in my life to get me out.

Once I realized what I did I had to dig deep inside to get the key out. Once out I’ve spent time to knock the prison down brick by brick.

So when you see my rough, scared and tethered exterior? Understand it is the evidence of experience as a builder.