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4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle” and Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All!

A very common struggle among women today is a lack of time. I bet you can relate.

When subscribers sign up for my newsletter, I ask them in the very first email what their #1 struggle is. One of the top 2-3 answers I receive from subscribers is, not surprisingly, “lack of time” to workout.

That’s not shocking, right? We all suffer from the busy-ness bug!

I totally understand! I’m a mom, wife, teacher, coach, business owner, church member, friend, daughter, sister, and the list goes on……

Consider a this for a second:

And here’s a (very kindly spoken) tough love alert…

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

I know, I know- we are certainly all in differing circumstances in our life. We don’t all have nannies, maids, and other hired help. But, even within our own circumstances- no matter what they are- we get to choose HOW we spend our time outside of work hours.

Being “busy” is an epidemic in our rushed society. How often do we hear from a friend that she can’t (fill in the blank) because she is “too busy.” You may even find yourself saying that. I do!

It has sadly become the norm for “I’m too busy” to fly out of our mouths in response to any request or invitation. What does “I’m too busy” really say? To me it says, “That is not a priority” or “I don’t find that important to do.” (Just being honest here, and I’m GUILTY as charged!) We can all agree that we each have the same 24 hours in our day. We choose to use those hours differently based on what we determine is important to us!priorities

It’s time to think about designing your life in a way that you are in the driver’s seat of your time. Don’t sit back and let life happen to you. When you sit back and let things happen TO you, you are giving up full control and just move from one frantic “thing to do” to the next. It becomes a vicious cycle of busyness that seems to be unbreakable. In the meantime, no one is really enjoying all the busyness!

4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle”

1) Schedule your top priorities FIRST. To find out what a person deems important, take a look at their calendar! Does your calendar match what you SAY are your priorities? I’ve come to realize that I’m not “too busy” for the things I find to be important. I make time for my top priorities each day. We all do! But sometimes we haven’t thought about it deeply enough, so we end up just living moment to moment, getting through each day.

Suggestion: Carve out 10-20 minutes each week to re-prioritize your life. Write down all the things that you need to make sure happen each day of the week – the things you will do no matter what. Place your most important priorities on your calendar or in your planner FIRST. Pick a night of the week to do this, and make “scheduling” a tradition. How much better do we all feel when organized?!? Or is it just me?? 🙂

Write down a typical day or 2 and look for time slots that you could use differently or more efficiently. This could be the first step to leveraging her time better. Once you find those time slots, use them wisely. If health and fitness are important to you, schedule in 20-30 minutes a day a few times a week for working out. Schedule in a couple of hours on the weekend for food planning and prep for the week. Writing it down is the first step to GETTING IT DONE!

Also, limit your time on email, facebook, twitter, or wherever you find a time sucking black hole in your schedule. Turn off notifications on your phone so you aren’t bombarded ALL.DAY.LONG with beeps and rings that let you know there is email to be read or facebook posts to be “liked”. Set aside 30 or so minutes a day to catch up on emails or social media. This ONE thing alone has increased my productivity by leaps and bounds!

2) Get rid of the “victim mindset” when it comes to your schedule or your circumstances. I used to be the QUEEN of this! As a new mom, 10 years ago, I would often have a pity party about how I didn’t have any time for myself because I now had a baby that required my 24/7 attention. Of course I loved my son dearly and wouldn’t have traded caring for him for anything else in the world, but I now realize that my attitude and thoughts around my new situation were causing me to feel miserable. Looking back, I see that I was getting something out of playing the role of a martyr. I enjoyed how others would feel sorry for me when I told them how my time was no longer mine and I was “too busy” to even take a shower. They would pat me on the back and tell me what a great job I was doing. I was getting affirmation out of playing a “victim” of my circumstances. Now I realize that when I’m in the victim mindset, I’m hindering myself from taking ACTION on what I really desire.

For me, I now choose TAKING ACTION over BEING A VICTIM. 🙂

How many times do you say or hear it be said, “I’m too overwhelmed to add anything to my day. I’m just too busy.” What that is saying is that whatever the activity is that is in question isn’t currently a priority. That’s ok! Just be truthful with yourself. There’s no judgment. It just is what it is – not important at the moment.

Consider this: How many of us will JUMP when called upon to send a snack for our kid’s preschool class or sports team. It doesn’t matter if you get the call at 10 pm, you are ON IT! React the same way to the things you say are important to you! If you say it’s important to exercise, for example, you will find a way just like you found a way to make those cookies for your child’s class or team (even though you were tired, it was late at night, or you were feeling overwhelmed).

3) Don’t take on new obligations that are unnecessary. (i.e. Learn to say “NO” sometimes!)

Self-imposed busyness is a way we sabotage our own goals. It’s how we justify not eating right (don’t have time to plan or cook meals) and not exercising (who has time for that?!). An authentic “no” is much more appreciated than a resentful “yes.” Agree? Would you want someone to do something for you that they didn’t want to do? I believe we’d all agree that the answer is no.

4) Prioritize LEISURE time in your own schedule as well as your KIDS’ schedules.

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” –Lao Tzu

Our kids are scheduled down to the minute these days instead of outside running, playing, building forts, making mud pies, etc. Sports and other extra-curricular activities are important, but they don’t ALL have to be done at once. Set limits. Don’t be addicted to “BUSY.”

priorities

And for all you ladies, make sure that at least 5-10 minutes a day you can relax and enjoy a hot bath, a good book, a leisure walk with the family, or chat with a good friend. This is important to our own psyche and our stress level. It’s not selfish to prioritize meeting your own needs from time to time. I would argue that having your needs met makes you a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, and neighbor. 🙂

What does this have to do with health and fitness?

A lot.

When you don’t prioritize your health and fitness and the health of your family, no one benefits. Don’t be “too busy” to take care of your own physical needs! If you are healthy, active, and feeling alive, you are able to help your friends and family in an even better way – without resentment or being bitter about it.

If you need help, hire a coach to help you. Ain’t no shame in that! I’ve personally had several coaches in my life that have helped me better myself. 🙂

Health and fitness aren’t at the top everyone’s priority list. I get that! For me, it wasn’t for many years. I encourage you, however, to use these same principles in your life to make sure that “busyness” isn’t getting in the way of your TOP priorities whatever they may be.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes that I love about busyness…

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ~ Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

 

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

 

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves” ~Jack Kornfield

 

“The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much further.” ~Sir Heneage Ogilvie

xo -Jill


Here is information about a top-level coaching service that I recommend and have used! FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – a HIGHLY effective program!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

 

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This is How I Stay Motivated to Exercise

By Jill Jacobs

Lately, I’ve been contemplating why certain people can stay motivated to exercise regularly and eat healthily while other people’s motivation wanes easily. They exercise a week or two and just quit. They lack exercise motivation.

I see it in friends, family, and even feel a lack of motivation in myself sometimes.

I think it boils down to a couple of things.

First, if a person has a dieter’s mentality, they will always feel either ON a program or OFF a program. Adopting a LIFESTYLE mentality would make a huge difference in this group. If you know you are committed to something for the long haul, you are not likely to give up when you aren’t performing perfectly. (I mean, perfection is a myth anyway!)

Take parenting for example. What if the first time you make a mistake with your new baby, toddler, or teen, you just threw in the towel and gave up? Never! That’s not how it works when you have a long-term commitment to something. You’d never give up on parenting your child and just hand them over to someone else to raise because of a misstep in your parenting!

The same goes for our health. Taking ownership and having a lifestyle mentality will go a long way towards staying motivated. When you make the switch to the lifestyle mentality, you become committed for the long haul. (If the dieter’s mentality is a struggle for you, having a coach and some type of accountability system in place are 2 ways to overcome this type of thinking.)

The second reason I think people quit is not having a solid purpose for exercising. Purpose allows you to tap into your inner motivation which is the kind of motivation that stands the test of time! Digging deep is how you ultimately find lasting motivation.

I’d like to share a few of my reasons (or my deeper purposes) for exercising, hence how I stay motivated and on track. I share these with the hope that something here will resonate with you. 🙂

5 Reasons I Stay Motivated to Exercise:

1. I’m training for the sport called life. I need to feel good and be strong to be the best mom I can be. Motherhood requires athleticism. Have you ever lugged around a toddler and grocery bags at the same time while having to squat down to get the keys you just dropped on the ground? Have you ever played tag with your kids? Sprinted against your daughter? Played football with your son? Exercise allows me to stay in shape so I can enjoy life to its fullest!

Exercise Motivation

I found this funny mousepad on Amazon!

 

2. I value my health and the health of my family. I want to avoid certain diseases that run in my family. I want to be healthy in my old age. I want to pass a legacy of healthy living to my sons and their future families.

When I value health, my example trickles down to the entire family. My sons make sure to do their pull ups every day without being prompted. They just want to! (Daily pull ups was their idea back in the fall of last year. I promise I’m not being a drill sergeant! ha!) My sons ask me questions like, “What’s my protein going to be for dinner?” 🙂 They’ve learned balance around food, and when they make poor choices, they are able to recognize that their bodies feel different (i.e. not good, sluggish, nauseous). I know I didn’t have that type of awareness as a child!

Raising my kids to value health is important to me, and I must lead by example not just words.

3. I value hard work, strength, dedication, and meeting goals. Outer strength begets inner strength. I can tell you this because I’ve witnessed it in myself and so many other women. Putting in the hard work, discipline, and dedication to meet a strength, endurance, non-appearance-based goal will not only make you stronger on the outside; you will be stronger on the inside!

You do not have to be hardcore, “I train, eat, sleep, repeat,” to be consistent and dedicated. Set up some minimum standards for yourself. This could be something like never missing a Monday workout, working out 4 times per weeks minimum, or making sure to move in some way (even leisure walking) daily. This will build healthy habits and you will start to feel strong and confident! There’s nothing more motivating than getting a few “wins” under your belt.

4. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. What I do with my body, what I put into my body, and how I treat my body MATTERS. I truly believe that God wants both our hearts AND our bodies to be used for His glory. Not one or the other; BOTH. My body is a gift. I need to be a good steward with this gift, treat it well, nourish it, and avoid abusing it.

5. I love endorphins! Heavy strength training is one sure-fire way that I use to feel better and more energized.  This is because of the endorphin production that comes with heavy lifting.  It makes me feel happy and alive. Even when I dread the workout and am completely unmotivated, within a few of minutes of starting my workout, I’m already feeling so much better. And then when I hit a PR, I’m on top of the world, smiling, confident, and feeling accomplished. Plus, when I have those endorphins flowing through my body, my husband is completely safe from harm. 😉

I’ve listed several reasons why I exercise. These reasons keep me motivated to stick with it for the long haul! Before I sign off, though, I’d like to leave you with a list of a few things that are NOT reasons I’m motivated to exercise:

  • I don’t exercise to be skinny.
  • I don’t exercise to achieve a certain number on the scale.
  • I don’t exercise to punish myself for eating “bad.”
  • I don’t exercise in order to earn food.
  • I don’t exercise to wear a certain size of jeans.
  • I don’t exercise to be a hardcore, “no excuses” #fitmom. 
  • And most of all, I don’t exercise because I hate my body. I do it because I love and appreciate my body and all that it does for me!

Exercise Motivation

One thing is certain, maintaining exercise motivation is more difficult when you don’t enjoy the type of exercise that you do. Finding a way to move your body in a way that you LOVE and enjoy is so important! My love is for strength training, preferably with kettlebells (like the workouts found here). I keep my workouts short and intense. This way, they don’t take my day away from me AND they are still effective!

What are some of the reasons YOU exercise? How do you maintain exercise motivation? Or do you? I’d love to know! Comment below and let me know. 🙂

Oh, and join my 14-day e-course called Motivation Makeover for some additional support!

 xo ~Jill

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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My Top 10 Tips for Navigating Social Events and Eating Out Without Gaining a Single Pound

Today’s culture involves eating outside the home often. Whether it’s dinner out with friends on the weekend, attending a holiday party or wedding reception, or simply grabbing lunch on your lunch hour with co-workers, eating out is inevitable. This can be a stressful aspect of living a “lean and healthy lifestyle” but it doesn’t have to be!

Good news- Eating out doesn’t have to increase your waistline! There are many ways you can make eating out work for your goals. 🙂 I understand that it’s hard to let go of the control that we have when eating in where we know each and every ingredient, but if you follow just a few simple guidelines, your social life won’t have to suffer!

Here are my top 10 tips for navigating a social event and eating out without gaining a single pound:

 

  • Do your homework – When you know ahead of time where you will be eating, take a couple of minutes to check out the menu online. Most restaurants have their menu items listed out on their website. Walking in an establishment with a plan is the best offense.
  • Skip the freebies – Many restaurants bring out a complimentary loaf of bread with butter, chips and salsa, or the like. Say “No, thank you.” Ask your server to bring out raw veggies to munch on if you really need something before your entrée arrives. Don’t place unnecessary temptation right in front of you! If you’re in a situation where this isn’t possible, focus on chatting and socializing before your meal arrives.
  • Avoid drinking your calories – Ask for water to drink. If you want a little flavor, add lemon, lime, or even a squeeze of orange to your water. Avoid soda, booze, and other high-calorie drinks. They add up quickly! If you decide to have alcohol, limit yourself to 2 drinks and avoid starches and fats at that meal. Alcohol is best consumed with lean meat and fibrous veggies.
  • Choose lean meat – Almost every restaurant has an option for a lean cut of meat. It may be a grilled chicken breast, boiled shrimp, baked or broiled fish, or even sashimi if you’re feeling adventurous! Always steer clear of anything fried.

    This is a “chicken sandwich” – hold the bun, please.” 🙂

  • Be choosy with your side items – Instead of the normal baked potato, rice, or fries, order steamed broccoli, mixed veggies, roasted asparagus, a side salad, or grilled zucchini and squash. There are almost always healthy side items available.
  • Remember the rule: “Fat over carbs” – Examples of this strategy
    eating out

    When eating Thai food, I skip the rice.

    are guacamole salad over rice and beans, bacon and boiled egg on your salad over croutons and bread, meat with cheese over meat on a bun, grilled chicken salad over grilled chicken sandwich, and veggies sautéed in olive oil over a baked potato. If you’re attending a party and a meat and cheese tray and mini sandwich tray are both being served, choose the meat and cheese even though the meat on these trays tend to be higher in fat (i.e. salami).

  • Order all sauces on the side when you can – Sauces and dressings can completely ruin a fat-loss friendly meal turning it into a fat-storing meal. Ordering sauces and dressings on the side allow YOU to be in control of how much you eat, if any. When ordering salad dressing, the best choice would be an oil and vinegar based dressing.
  • Stick to entrées – Appetizers and desserts add extra calories and are rarely fat-loss friendly choices. When you do order an appetizer, choose something like shrimp cocktail. Desserts are best saved for off-plan, cheat meals.
  • Watch your portion sizes – Most restaurant portions are entirely too large for one person. Split your meal in half and take it home or share it with your friend.
  • Keep good company – It’s important to surround yourself with people who share your values in all aspects of life. When you eat out, take along a friend or your spouse who is supportive of your healthy lifestyle. With time and practice, it becomes easier to eat for your fat loss goals even when those around you order things that aren’t on your plan. When you begin trying to change your habits, however, it’s important to seek out support from like-minded friends or even a coach that can cheer you on and answer all of your questions about changing your habits and lifestyle (see the bottom of this post for my top recommendations for coaching services).

There you have it. My top 10 strategies that I personally use when eating out.

Many believe that lean, fit people prep all their food ahead of time, portion it out for the week, and never dine out or even eat enjoyable, flavorful food. That is simply not true. It’s definitely possible to eat out, socialize, and enjoy food while eating for fat loss!

Trust me… I LOVE food and love to eat. I enjoy EVERY bite I put in my mouth. 😀

Head over to my facebook page and let me know YOUR favorite fat-loss friendly restaurant or a rule of thumb you use to stay on track while eating out!

If you’re wanting information about coaching services that I recommend, here is my current top suggestion to help you reach your goals!


FASTer Way to Fat Loss 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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My 8 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

I just finished week #8 of working with my coach, Roman. Below is my current progress check in!

  • My Plan general overview from coach Roman: My November plan is still in play until further notice. I switched from the “insulin reset” phase to a “feast and fast” phase 3 weeks ago (more details below). My macros changed up a bit (higher carbs, slightly less fat than the first phase, and protein has increased).

The newest change brought a feasting period for 1 day each week. What that means is I can eat anything I want (preferably higher carbohydrates) beginning at lunch time, but I’m supposed to stop before I feel stuffed. I posted what I ate in the “my successes” section.

On the flip side of the “feasting period” is a FULL fasting day. :/

For the first 2 weeks of this plan, I feasted on Saturday and fasted beginning Saturday night until Monday morning at breakfast. The third week I adjusted my feasting period to coincide with Thanksgiving of course! 🙂

I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts. The style of workout changed from traditional strength training to escalating density training. This increases work volume and testosterone. All of this is great for muscle building and for fat loss!

  • My Successes: I’m very consistent with my workouts. As a matter of fact, I’ve only missed 1 workout in the entire 8 weeks. There have been a few times that I shortened a couple of circuits or substituted exercises at a hotel gym, but my consistency had been ON POINT. I continue to increase my weights in the strength workouts. My goals of getting stronger overall and stronger with my pull ups are definitely coming along!

I fully succeeded with my feast days. It wasn’t hard to do at all. Ha! You may wonder what I ate?!?

Well- The first week I had a normal breakfast for me, fajita chicken salad with chips and salsa, 3 slices of pizza for dinner followed by a donut and a package of Justin’s organic peanut butter cups. Yum! I had no GI issues from this. CELEBRATE!

The 2nd week I had IHOP for lunch (1/2 pancakes and 1/2 French toast with syrup plus eggs and bacon) then a normal dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables. For dessert I had 2 mini candy bars from my boys’ Halloween candy and a slice of creamy peanut butter pie from my favorite place. The IHOP meal gave me a tummy ache. 🙁

Then the 3rd week was Thanksgiving, so I just enjoyed all the plentiful food my family had available! It was so delicious, but I did get a slight tummy ache from the feast. BOO!

  • My Struggles: My biggest struggle over the last few weeks has definitely been the fasting period. With that said, I’ve made it all three times and ultimately felt fine. It’s gotten easier each week which is encouraging. During my fast, I’m allowed to have water, black coffee, and green tea. Once, I broke down and had a diet limeade to give my belly something to do besides talk to me. 😉 Basically, I feel physical hunger only a few times (under 5) during the fast. I ride the “hunger wave” and then it subsides. Of course the growling stomach hits on Sunday right in the middle of Bible class just in time to embarrass me! Lol. The good news is that I’ve woken up each day after my fast and been full of energy to crush my workout before breaking my fast. That part amazes me! I totally thought I’d struggle through, but no (to my pleasant surprise!).

 

  • My Outcomes so far:

Mentally, I’m stronger, more confident, balanced yet focused. Physically, I’m stronger too!

As for my overall numbers – I’ve lost…

  •  in bodyweight – 3 pounds
  •  in body fat – just over 1%
  •  in inches – 1″ from below my belly button, 3/4″ from my waist, and about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (rib cage, hips)

The numbers haven’t changed from week 5, but I can see a difference in my photos. Let’s be honest though, I enjoyed my Thanksgiving to the fullest, so remaining steady is a great thing! I’m a day or 2 away from “shark week” so honestly, it’s not the best time to weigh and measure. 😉

Anyway, numberwise, my body is being a bit stubborn on me. I’m excited to get my next phase any day now and see the tweaks made to deal with this stubbornness. If my weight was staying the same and my body fat was decreasing, there would be no issue. That would actually be a great sign of body recomposition! For now, I’m holding steady which I’m ok with. I’m realizing that where I am right now is exactly where my body is perfectly HAPPY. To get beyond this point in the past, it took drastic measures that I’m not willing to do this go around. If coach Roman has a way to move me beyond this point without my losing hair, losing my period, and becoming an emotional wreck, then I welcome it. If not, I’m just fine where I’m at continue my pursuit of strength and meeting goals!

That’s it for now… I will post again in few weeks and letcha know what changes I’m implementing!

Post in the comments (or in the linked facebook post) to let me know what goals you are working on! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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How to Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All

Meet my friend, Maryalice. 🙂

Mare

Maryalice Goldsmith, Founder of InsideOut Wellness

Maryalice, over the past couple of years, has become a great friend of mine. We me in Winston-Salem, NC at a photo shoot for fitness professionals that was hosted by our mutual business coach, Jill Coleman.  I was immediately drawn to Maryalice’s lively personality and energetic presence. Plus, she’s hilarious and makes me laugh out loud constantly when we are together-  and who doesn’t love laughter?!? It’s healing for the soul! We had a fun weekend getting to know each other and have been friends ever since!

 

Maryalice is a leader when it comes to working with clients to lower stress, set priorities in order, and pursue a fulfilled life! This is a journey she knows very well herself (as you will read below), so she’s the perfect person to offer her perspective on how to go about pursuing your own purpose. Maryalice a person who sets out to help others every single day!

 

I was chatting with Maryalice recently, and she mentioned that she had a “Finding Your Purpose” program she’d been using with her own clients. This was an exciting revelation since I’m often asked by busy women about how to stay motivated and how to keep health and fitness a priority.   I asked Maryalice if she’d make an appearance on my blog to share some ideas about how she navigated this journey and offer you some tips on getting started with setting priorities in line with your goals and purpose!

 

Enjoy this journey with Maryalice… 🙂

Hey everyone, I am thrilled to be here on Jill’s blog and even more excited to share a bit about my journey. So thank you for being here!

A few years ago I had one of those revelations, you know the kind that people talk about that changes their whole life…puts things into perspective – that kind. But, unlike many people who have those ‘A-HA’ moments, mine was more of an ‘A-HA’ journey.

I think many of you can relate to those times in your life when you are driving along and you think ‘There must be something more ~ this can’t be it!’ I have to tell you while having these thoughts there was no way I wanted to share it with anyone. I actually felt a bit guilty as I had a pretty awesome life. I was married to my high school sweetheart for 16-years, we had 3-awesome boys, and at the time a beautiful fur-baby (our Yellow-Lab – Abby, now we have 2!). Life was good and there was no way I should be feeling sorry for myself and looking for more. But, in all honestly, I was.

I had this ‘Ho-Hum’ feeling. Every day seemed the same and in one word I was bored. It sounds ridiculous now, but at that time it was what it was. I was a stay-at-home mom, a dream of my husband and mine and I loved being a mom for my boys, there is no greater blessing. I think that is why I was even more dumbfounded. Here I had anything I could have ever wanted and still wasn’t satisfied, I wasn’t 100% happy. This was a struggle because I was ashamed.

Then the journey began…

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One day a friend of mine introduced me to this book called the Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. I hadn’t read a book in I don’t know how long so I was excited to have a book that came highly recommended. I began to read this book and I was having those ‘A-HA’ moments non-stop! There was so much he was speaking about that was resonating.

  • Lacking focus
  • Feeling bored with life
  • Lacking energy – depression and frustration
  • The yearning for something more.

He spoke about how many of us struggle with lack of direction and focus…(Hello – I can so relate!) how we allow ourselves to get caught up in the chaos of life without taking the time to touch base with our soul. We let stress, anxiety, and frustration to build up and we block ourselves from true happiness.

I decided that I was not going to take these ‘A-HA’ moments and do nothing with them – I was going to start my process ~ my journey inward. I began to meditate every morning – I would wake before the entire house and I would sit in complete stillness. This was REALLY hard to get used to, but once I did, it became a highlight of my day. I would then journal and express what was on my heart and mind.

4-Key elements we all need to focus on…

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There were 4-key elements I would address at the end of my journal entry – how was I going to address my spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs of that day? I would dedicate part of my day to address these 4-area’s because in that I was honoring my soul. When we honor our soul ~ when we give our soul a voice we are then able to be the very best version of ourselves, we are able to thrive.

This journey was an amazing experience. It made me realize that I wasn’t lacking in anything except the connection to myself. I had lost myself. I was undefined – lacking focus, energy, and my purpose. I had entrenched myself in my role of a wife and a mother, which is a great thing, but as the kids got older and needed me less I became more and more lost.

It takes more than an ‘A-HA’ moment to reveal your true purpose!

Self-discovery of any kind takes time and commitment. The more I practiced stillness the better I got at it. The more I addressed my physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs the more I discovered who I was, what I loved, who inspired me, and who I inspired. I began to live my life with purpose and everything changed – Everything!

I remember waiting for my youngest son to come home after school one day, he was 8-years old at the time. I saw the bus come through the neighborhood, so I jumped up to meet him outside. He came running up the hill to our house and I said: “Hey buddy, how was your day!?” He looked up at me with a quizzical stare and simply said: “Why are you so happy!?

Now someone might have taken offense to this, but for me, it was so affirming. I was not happy the way I was living. I wasn’t miserable either but there is a difference between a person who is grateful and aware and one who is always in search of something more. When you look at someone who is lost and confused versus someone who is confidently clear about his or her life – there is a HUGE difference. This was a profound moment for me. I knew I had revealed my purpose through my practice and the work I had put in. Even more importantly, I knew just how important it was to live with purpose and how it can have a profound impact on one’s life and the people in it.

It doesn’t take a miracle, just respecting your process…

There is no miracle here, by any means. Like I said, there was no one ‘A-HA’ moment that changed my life forever, there is a process and a journey that led me back to me. This process has given me clarity, direction, inspiration, and passion for living my best life yet. If it weren’t for this process I wouldn’t be typing this right now. It allowed me to take risks to design the life of my dreams from the inside out!

I am a believer that when you discover or learn something it is our obligation to share it with as many people as we possibly can. In fact, I have discovered that one of my main reasons I am on this earth is to help others – to bring people to a better understanding of themselves. Doesn’t necessarily matter how I do that, but I know that when I am doing it, I get fired up in a really good way! I am living with purpose. Are you living with purpose?

Pursuing Purpose (1)

 

There is no need to rush your process. This is your journey and should be respected as such.

People who live with purpose are more focused, grateful, happy, and successful. Their success comes from, not so much in what they are doing but more from the fact that no matter what it is they do, they do it well. They are fulfilled and they embrace life 100%. Their priorities are in order and they go to great lengths to address them daily. They know themselves to the core and they live their life based on their values and morals. They are ‘doers’, risk takers, and they live a passionate life. We all deserve that!

If you have any questions you can reach me here: info@insideout-wellness.net

In Health & Fitness,
Maryalice

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New to Kettlebell Swings? Read This First!

Just over 6 years ago, I decided it was time to venture into fitness after my childbearing days had come to a close. (Why I waited until then is a completely different blog post!) My first attempt to “get fit” was to pick up running. I didn’t know the extensive benefits of strength training for women, and I certainly had never heard of kettlebells, so running it was.

 

As soon as the weather cooled off, I jumped on the chance to try an indoor program- not for the benefits of said program, but to get away from running, especially running in the COLD! No thank you!

 

I purchased and went through P90X a few times that fall and winter. I saw results that running didn’t offer me and was prompted me to research more and more about strength training.

 

That’s how I discovered kettlebells!

 

This one simple tool can make you stronger, faster, and leaner, in LESS TIME than any other piece of fitness equipment. I don’t know about you, but I love ANY thing that is time efficient PLUS superior! #SCORE

 

The very foundation of a great kettlebell program is the Russian kettlebell swing. I get a lot of questions from readers and facebook followers about how to swing, what weight to swing, and what are the benefits to the swing.

 

Kettlebell swings are known as the “mother of all kettlebell exercises” and for good reason. They give birth to many of the other kettlebells exercises. In other words, the kettlebell swing is a foundational exercise AND has some major fitness and fat loss benefits!

 

Here are a few of the benefits of the kettlebell swing. If you incorporate swings in your workout regimen, you will:

 

  • Get stronger
  • Get faster (hello better 5k time!)
  • Become more powerful
  • Perform better in other sports with increased endurance
  • Get Leaner
  • Develop a the infamous “kettlebooty” and who doesn’t want that?!!
With all of these benefits, I know you’re really wanting to add kettlebell swings to your life! The problem is that many people perform the swing incorrectly. This diminishes the benefits and increases the risk of injury. *sad face*

 

Because I don’t want that to happen to any of you, I asked my friend and colleague, Kristy Agan, who is a Level II RKC Instructor to lay out exactly how to progress into being able to perform the swing. She was kind enough to include some video demonstrations as well as a couple of bonus workouts for you to try! Take it away, Kristy….
Kristy Agan, RKCII

Kristy Agan, RKC Level II Instructor

Swing Tutorial for Beginners

By Kristy Agan

Kettlebell swings are a fundamental exercise when training with kettlebells. It is a very effective and explosive movement that burns fat and develops power. But before you can safely perform a swing, you must first learn how to correctly do a hip hinge, and from there, a deadlift.

Hip Hinge

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Push your hips back and allow your torso to move forward
  • Lengthen your spine and open up your chest
  • Your shins should remain as close to vertical as possible

Deadlift

  • Stand over the kettlebell
  • Perform a hip hinge until your hands are touching the bell (Refer back to the steps for performing a Hip Hinge)
  • Before you lift the bell, pull shoulders back/down and engage your lats (do not round your shoulders)
  • Brace your abs
  • As you lift the bell, think about pressing your weight into the floor and keep the weight on your heels
  • Stand up tall and squeeze your glutes
  • Repeat hip hinge pattern until bell is back on the floor

Russian Kettlebell Swings – Demo of the hinge and deadlift

Next: Transition to the Kettlebell Swing

Hike

  • Step back from the bell
  • Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder width apart
  • Perform a hip hinge until your hands are touching the bell
  • Tilt the bell towards you
  • Before you hike the bell, pull your shoulders back/down and engage your lats (do not round your shoulders)
  • Brace your abs
  • Hike the bell between your legs. Your arms should come in contact with your ribcage and your forearms should come in contact with your upper thighs.
  • Return the bell softly back to the floor in front of you

 

kettlebellswing

Swing

  • Hike the bell between your legs
  • Stand up explosively, snap your hips and squeeze your glutes
  • The bell should float up into the air after your hips snap forward
  • Then hold your hips forward and maintain tight glutes until your arms come in contact with your ribcage as the bell begins to drop.
  • Then push your hips back quickly out of the way allowing the bell to go between your legs. (see video below of kettlebell swings)

Russian Kettlebell Swings – Demo of the hike and swing

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For more information and fitness tips from Kristy Agan, subscribe at www.kristyagan.com and receive a FREE copy of her Healthy Living Guide.

 

You can also follow Kristy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!readerschoice

 

More about Kristy:  After the birth of her first child at the age of 27 Kristy realized her desire to pursue fitness as a career and not just a part-time gig. Kristy began her career as a  group fitness instructor certified through AFAA . Through training clients with multiple tools, Kristy quickly discovered her passion….kettlebells. Kristy self- taught her way into the kettlebell world where she eventually earned her HKC, RKC, and RKCII. Kristy is also a certified personal trainer through the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and TRX qualified. This wife and mother of two kids maintains a large following of faithful clients in Rome, GA where she trains at Pro Performance with Tim Vicchrilli and Mike Sarver. A big congrats to Kristy is in order! She was recently awarded the Readers Choice Award from Rome News Tribune as Best Personal Trainer for 2014.

 

p.s. (from Jill) Looking for more swing practice? Use my beginner’s kettlebell program, Simply Kettlebells!