I love those posts about famous people who didn’t reach their stride until mid-life. Or ‘til after receiving hundreds of rejection letters. Or following some huge life-altering experience. Like George Lucas who got turned down by three major movie studios. Michael Jordan who got cut from his high school basketball team, twice. The dude who started FedEx who allegedly got a C on his college term paper promoting the original biz idea.
They’re all well-known now (well most of them), but without special skills like tenacity, self-compassion, and flat-out trusting the process, they might not have ever gotten there.
The same thing goes for those of you struggling with sticking to a primal or keto diet, or trying to stretch out your fasting window by a few more hours, or ramping up your workout routine. I see it fairly frequently with my health coaching clients. They’re diligently following their real-food-eating-plan, tuning into their hunger levels, and moving their bodies regularly, then suddenly, there’s some obstacle that totally derails their hopes and dreams of success.
Hey folks! This week, PHCI’s curriculum director, Erin Power is answering your questions about cheat days, how to handle hunger during intermittent fasting, and the best thing to do when you get the chills. Keep asking your questions over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group or post them in the comments below. John asked: “I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a few months and it’s working well, but I get hungry after 14 hours or so. Wondering if it’s best to try to muscle through the hunger when I feel it kick in or should I just eat?” There are several different ways to practice intermittent fasting and they all have proven disease-fighting and anti-agent benefits. There’s the popular 12:12, 16:8, 18:6, and 20:4 methods, alternate day fasting, multi-day fasting, and really any way you can slice a period of time. The best way to figure out which method is right for you though, is to experiment. A longer fast may have worked for you in the past, but the human body is a miraculous and adaptable organism. What felt great at one point might not be in your best interest now. And if you’re feeling tempted to push yourself to resist eating for a few extra hours, thinking more is better, let me remind you that there’s no award given to the person who can fast the longest. You’re also not going to have your IF card pulled if you decide to eat outside your original window. Everything about our culture seems to discourage us from listening to what our bodies are telling us. We somehow believe that other people know us better than we do. Listen, if something isn’t working, my body will tell me, and I trust that. I try to teach my clients the same thing: to trust the signals they get from within; rather than relying on what a scientific paper, influencer, or so-called-expert tells them is going to prolong their life or bestow them with optimal health. So, instead of pushing through the pain (or hunger in your case), what if you took that hunger as a sign? What if you honored your body by listening to your grumbling stomach and sluggish energy levels and gave it the fuel it was asking for? How Do You Recognize Your Body’s Signals? Stop a few times a day and take inventory of your body. Identify any sensations going on – what’s happening in your stomach, your jaw, your shoulders, your focus, and your mind. Record the negative and positive feelings you observe, then connect the dots. Is your focus starting to wane because you haven’t eaten in awhile? Are your shoulders tense because you haven’t stepped outside all day? Adjust as necessary. What happens when you decide to break your fast with an epic protein-forward meal vs continuing to muscle through the hunger? Are you satisfied and satiated instead of unfocused? Experiment with responding to your body’s signs and see what happens. As I mentioned, I’m … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: What’s Your Body Trying to Tell You?”
Whenever I meet with a new client, I can feel their apprehension about making any lifestyle changes within the first few minutes – especially once we start talking about food .
It’s the worry about never being able to have their favorite foods again. The fear of not being able to stick with it. The judgement from friends and family, who, in their opinion, are going to alienate them from social functions, happy hours, and dinner parties (you know, once those are in full swing again).
The emotions and ‘what ifs’ that come up for some people can seriously derail them from a life they love and completely deserve. Just the idea of change becomes such a roadblock that they’d rather stay stuck in their current patterns than take steps toward something different.
Sound familiar? If so, stick around because I’m going to unpack why change is so stressful and tangible steps you can take to make it easier.
For our animal brethren, mistakes are very often fatal. Stockpiling too little food for the winter, zigging when they should have zagged to escape the predator’s clutches, or stepping awkwardly and breaking a leg could, and probably did, spell the end.
For better or worse, we modern humans usually get to live with the consequences of our actions. We are around to deal with the aftermath of our mistakes. Even though most of our daily screw-ups are of little consequence in the big picture of life, they still feel awful. Our mammalian brains are wired to be highly averse to failure, pain, and social rejection, though they are unavoidable.
As long as you’re living and breathing, you’re going to make mistakes, sometimes big ones. And if you’re really living—trying new things, boldly blazing a trail for yourself, taking big leaps—you will crash and burn spectacularly sometimes. You’ll lose your shirt in a business deal gone wrong, someone you care about will break your heart, a perfect opportunity will pass you by because you didn’t pull the trigger at the right time.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you’re fed up because this fat loss thing isn’t as easy as it was when you were in your 20s. Or maybe you’re frustrated because you used to love the freedom of working out at lunch and now it feels like a hassle to leave your desk and *gasp* shower twice a day.
Sometimes it’s the novelty of a new routine, a new way of eating, and new-found endorphins that makes embarking on a health journey exciting. And somehow, in the middle of unrealistic expectations, lack-of-newness, and a few discouraging setbacks, it becomes unsatisfying at best.
As a health coach, I’m trained in the nuances of how to reprogram my clients’ genes, but I’m also a seasoned pro at understanding the psychology behind what makes them successful versus what makes them continue to beat their head against the wall wondering why everything seems like such a freakin’ chore.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. To get where you really want to go, you’ve got to maintain what experts call, a beginner’s mind.
Hey folks! In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin is answering your questions about how to offset the effects of a poor sleep routine, dealing with a difficult partner, and which is more important for optimal health: low stress or a Primal diet. Thanks for all your questions. Keep them coming in the comments or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.
Any strategies for countering the detrimental effects of not getting enough sleep? Preferably ones that don’t involve caffeine. My work schedule and family responsibilities are making it difficult, most of the time impossible, to get enough sleep during the week and sometimes on weekends too. I also have to wake up hours before sunrise to get ready for work, and naps during the day are impracticable.
It seems counterintuitive to fear the very thing you want. But let me assure you, fear of success is real and there’s a good chance it’s what’s holding you back right now.
You’re familiar with the fear of failure, right? Those of you who’ve had a major setback or flop in one or more areas of your life probably know this one pretty well. That fear of feeling disappointed, embarrassment, shame, or even public humility can stop you in your tracks.
Fear of failing isn’t the only thing that keeps people stuck though. Spoiler alert, it’s not a lack of willpower or motivation either. Like a lot of challenges in life, the issue is rarely the thing you think it is.
What is Fear of Success Anyway?
It’s not success itself you’re afraid of, but the potential price you’ll have to pay for it. I see this a lot in my health coaching clients. Their fears often manifest as anxiety around the changes and consequences that may occur if they were to knock their goal out of the park. Even before we really get started in our sessions, they’re obsessing over the regular workouts, the uncomfortable conversations they’ll be having about why they don’t eat bread, the glaring they’ll get from envious friends who no longer want to associate with them because they’ve “changed.”
Hi folks! Welcome back for another round of Ask a Health Coach. In today’s post, Erin will be answering questions about what to cook for quick weekday breakfasts, how to end the stigma of cravings, and why we’re still teaching outdated nutrition principles in school. We love getting your questions, so post yours in the comments below or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group. Francine asked: “I need quick grab and go breakfast ideas. On the weekends I have time for a more elaborate meal like eggs and bacon, but what are your recommendations for weekday mornings?” I actually get this question fairly often, so I’m glad you asked. As a society, we are busier than ever. And it sounds like weekdays mornings are so busy for you that making time for a healthy, supportive meal is totally off the table. Many of my clients want super quick breakfasts they can eat on the run. Something to replace their standard grab-and-go yogurt and banana routine. My answer typically to them begins with a follow-up question like, “how fast do you need it to be?” I want to know how much time you’re planning on devoting to this pretty important act of self-care And yes, feeding yourself well is a fundamental form of taking care of yourself. When people tell me they only have a few minutes to make breakfast, all I hear is “I don’t value myself.” Somehow, they’ve decided that getting out the door or onto their first Zoom call of the day is more important than fueling themselves appropriately. They’d rather sacrifice their metabolism and blood sugar than take a few extra minutes cooking up a satiating, satisfying breakfast. Really then, it all comes down to priorities. By not making time for a proper meal, you’re essentially saying that your health isn’t a priority. Again, I get it — you’re busy!! But I’m assuming if you don’t have time to make a plate of eggs and bacon, you also don’t have time to: Stop mid-morning to look for a snack Shop for bigger pants due to added weight gain Manage diabetes or other chronic conditions Need more food for thought? A recent study showed that participants who had their largest meal at breakfast ended up losing significantly more weight than those who ate their biggest meal later in the day. Seriously though, why would you limit taking care of yourself to the weekends? Give yourself that time every day and your body will thank you. It doesn’t even require that extra much time. I’m fairly certain you can scramble a few eggs in three minutes or less. You can cook a sheet of bacon in the oven while you’re showering — or bake it in advance and store it in the fridge. You can even yank the leg off of a whole rotisserie chicken in under 10 seconds. Which leads me to another interesting perspective. What if breakfast food didn’t have to look like traditional breakfast … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: Quick Breakfasts, Cravings, and Breaking Down the Food Pyramid”
Starting a diet? A new workout routine? A weight-loss regimen? If you’re most people, you’re ready to approach your health endeavors with a white-knuckle, uber-disciplined mentality. As a culture, we thrive on it. We get a pat on the back for how much we can sacrifice. For what we’re able to limit. For how much we can push and how long we can go without. We see it all the time too. Sugar detoxes, juice cleanses, or that ridiculous “75 Hard Challenge” that made the rounds on TikTok last year. We get the message that in order to succeed, we have to embrace the suck, believing that by depriving ourselves we can have what we want. Problem is, approaching your health and fitness goals from a place of lack typically leads to more lack. Meaning, instead of feeling inspired, energetic, and focused, you end up depleted, grumpy, and ultimately, too discouraged to keep it up. Do You Have a Lack Mentality? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to clients who’ve said that doing one diet or another “worked for them.” They tell me how they lost tons of weight by eliminating all fruit or bread or wine. To which I typically reply, “if it worked so well, why are you working with me?” That’s the catch, right? When you look at things through the lens of what you can’t have or can’t do, that’s all you see — that’s called a lack (or scarcity) mentality. In contrast, when you look at what you get to do, getto eat, or get to become, a whole world of possibilities starts to open up. This is what’s known as an abundance mentality. Examples of Lack Mentality Always wondering what you’ll need to give up Believing you can’t have certain things Feeling jealous of others Withholding calories, foods, or joy in general Waiting for the “other shoe to drop” especially when things are going well Examples of Abundance Mentality Noticing what you can be grateful for in life Being open-minded and compassionate Thinking about how your actions can benefit others Believing that anything is possible – and that you’re worthy of achieving it Respecting and appreciating your body for the miracle it is Are You Team Lack or Team Abundance? Initially coined in the best-seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey refers to scarcity mentality as seeing life as a finite pie, so if one person takes a big piece, that leaves less for others, whereas with an abundance mentality, the belief is that there’s plenty for everyone. The pandemic has shed a lot of light on how we as a culture tend to operate (toilet paper shortage anyone?). Fear of the unknown causes us to think with more of a scarcity mindset. Which, as we witnessed over the past year, was actually accurate in certain instances. But for some, this type of mindset isn’t exclusive to the pandemic. People who struggle with a lack mentality … Continue reading “Could a Lack Mentality Be Holding You Back?”
There’s an old saying that goes, “The biggest obstacle isn’t knowing what to do; it’s doing what you know.” Heck, if knowledge was all it took to reach our goals, we’d all have fired up metabolisms, zero chronic health issues, and regularly get a solid night’s sleep. But obviously, knowledge isn’t the only factor at play here.
Maybe you set a New Year’s resolution and your new habits are already starting to wane. Or you’re trying to eat healthier or get outside more or be more present…
You could be the most motivated person on the planet, but without the right tools — and the right mindset — your goals will always be just out of reach and you’ll find yourself scribbling down your hopes and dreams once again, telling yourself, “this time I’m gonna crush it!”