In the past few years I’ve worked so hard on upleveling my life game. I’ve worked hard on relationships, business, lifestyle, and wellness. It wasn’t until I started making the changes and putting in the work that I realized just how much I was overdue for all of these upgrades!
Here’s the deal, this shit is HARD. It requires work and attention and commitment. The good news is that it’s so, so worth it. You will notice, your family, kids, parents, friends, and dogs will notice. Once you level up and decide to play at a higher level, the universe notices and shit gets crazy. You start to live bigger, better, more confidently! The work is big, but the rewards are bigger!
Here are my tips for upleveling my own personal wellness. These things have impacted me the most. I encourage you to try them. Incorporate them into your life. You probably already know that diets, fads, and short lived changes don’t make enough of an impact to last. It’s about creating a lifestyle.
Make meditation a daily routine. It doesn’t have to be long, involved, look a certain way, or complicated. All you need to do is set a timer for 5-10 minutes and observe your thoughts.
The two methods that work best for me (currently) are simply counting my breath and letting my brain go nuts and then bringing it back to still. I start each session with a body scan. Just noticing how my body feels top to bottom without judging it or adjusting it or trying to solve any issue.
Inhale 1, Exhale 1
This is what I say in my mind as I breath. “Inhale 1, Exhale 1. Inhale 2, Exhale 2. Inhale 3, Exhale 3.” When I get to 10 I start back at one until my time has expired. It’s simple, counting helps me stay focused on my breath and not what I’m going to eat for dinner.
Crazy Brain. Stop. Crazy Brain. Stop.
I let my brain think all it wants. For me, it usually starts with some daydreaming (future that isn’t real), then moves to the past (replays things that have already happened), then hits my big picture life to do list and quickly becomes overwhelmed and moves to my smaller scale to do list. I stop it and focus on being still and focusing on a word or my breath. If it starts to get crazy again, I let it. Then I bring it back to a stop. I’ll do this over and over until my timer brings me back.
There are a million other ways to meditate. There are apps and online tools that can help you find something that works for you. These just happen to be my current modes. And in full disclosure, they aren’t perfect. Some days I get in the zone and some days I miss the zone by 78 miles. But I show up and I practice and I’m a much calmer, more self aware human because of it.
It’s true, I love to sweat. I love to lift heavy weights, run, cycle, do the yoga, jump, climb, swim, and try all the things. I have a love for the hard, gritty work, the mental space it puts me in, and the results. I love it! I’m aware this is not the case for everyone.
It all starts with moving your body. Find something you enjoy and start doing it. But commit to doing something every day or at least on most days. You don’t have to pump out 2 hours of sweat six days a week, but the more you make movement a nonnegotiable habit, the more it will be a part of your lifestyle. Here are some workouts that might help you work up that extra sweat. You can do these anytime, anywhere all you need is your body and probably some good tunes!
AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) 20 minutes
10 Half Burpees (plant hands, jump feet back, jump feet forward, lift chest, stay low)
10 Under/Unders (plank position - tuck opposite knee to opposite elbow underneath your body)
10 Squats w/ pause
10 Back Lunges (left)
10 Back Lunges (right)
20 Side Lunges
10 Front Lunges (left)
10 Front Lunges (right)
10 Half Burpees
Plank to failure
20 Push Ups
20 Sit ups or V-Ups
4 rounds as fast as you can
20 Speed Skaters
20 Power Jacks
20 Chair Step Ups (10 each leg)
20 Mountain Climbers
20 Hip Thrusters (lie in bridge position, lift hips (squeeze glutes at the top), lower hips, hover over floor, repeat)
RIP Lungs ;)
800 meter Run
400 meter Run
200 meter Run
*bonus 800 meter Run
Politics, religion, and nutrition… three hot button topics, it seems. I 100% believe that everyone is different when it comes to their healthy food equation. This can be extremely frustrating because you have to do the work/research to find out what feels good for you. Here are the top two tips (that most of my clients find helpful) that have helped me the most.
Mindful Eating - I come from a disordered eating background. YEARS of binge eating, starving, restricting, gorging, over exercising for compensation have made my body and mind resistant to weight loss. I’ve worked very hard to find a healthy relationship with food and it’s not always perfect - I still eat pizza, drink wine, and love cookies. I just learned what feels good and what feels not so good. I focus on feeling good most of the time and when I want to eat pizza, I know what I’m getting myself into, so I take a digestive enzyme (lactose intolerant!), eat mindfully, and enjoy every stinkin’ bite.
A lot of us learn to use food as a reward or a means to control our feelings. We can’t always control our emotions, but we can always fill our bellies with foods that make us momentarily feel good. Lots of people eat to fill a void. They may not even know they had a void. You aren’t alone, this was me!
When I’m feeling hungry - I ask myself these three questions:
Am I actually hungry?
How do I want to feel during and after I eat?
Is it worth it?
Sometimes, I answer these questions in a way that I KNOW is not ‘the better choice’, but I recognize what is happening. When that happens, I eat the ‘bad for me’ food, I shut down the guilt, and I move on asap. Sometimes, that void just wants to feel full. This doesn’t happen often anymore, but I’ve worked for years on being mindful of my feelings regarding food.
No one likes restrictions BUT if you can cut food that cause inflammation from your diet even just for a few weeks (or at least greatly restrict them) new science is proving that this can tremendously impact both your physical and mental health.
Without going too in depth, we need inflammation it is part of our immune response. It helps in healing our bodies. But when our bodies get over run with inflammation it can spiral into autoimmune diseases, cancer, allergies, insulin resistance, gut issues, and the list is constantly growing.
Here is a list of foods to avoid or limit that cause inflammation: dairy, gluten, grains, legumes (lentils, peanuts), refined flour, refined sugar, vegetable oils, processed foods, processed meats, additives, corn syrup, alcohol, iodized salt, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)
Yes, this list is long and if you are accustomed to eating many of these foods the thought of limiting them can be overwhelming. But it might be worth playing around with getting rid of some of them and seeing if you FEEL a difference in your body!
These are just a few avenues I’ve tested, tried, failed, tried again that have greatly impacted my (and many clients’) wellness! Test and try for yourself!