March 30, 2015

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So I’ve had a pretty interesting couple of weeks:  I purged my pants collection and only kept those pairs that made me feel fabulous.  I decided not to do a fitness show in lieu of eating well for health. I’ve been busy.

It’s been exhausting, to be honest.  But I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in such a short time.

The biggest lesson of this week was handed to me by Karen, our amazingly knowledgeable Holistic Nutritionist.  I made an appointment with her when I realized how stressed out I’d been, and spent an hour and a half filling her in on the details of my eating, sleeping, elimination and exercise patterns.

I’m astounded by how cathartic just the assessment was; it was like seeing a psychotherapist and divulging my mental health issues (which, I suppose food issues are, anyway).

Karen knows her nutrition.

Karen knows her nutrition.

Our follow-up this past week left me reeling.  As I had suspected, I was teetering on the edge of adrenal fatigue.  For the uninitiated (like I was), adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands are releasing too much stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine) and causing your system to be out of whack.  I could go into a whole slew of jargon here, but the long and short of it is this:

Too much adrenal stress leads to poor digestion, fatigue, and unstable blood sugar, all of which I was experiencing.

Poor digestion leads to me feeling yucky, bloated, and fat, which leads to more stress.

Fatigue and unstable blood sugar leads to lots of coffee drinking and cravings galore, which then leads to me eating crappy, not digesting well, and feeling yucky, bloated, and fat… wait, didn’t I just say that?

Basically I was trapped on the hamster wheel of stress, and my body was like, Until you fix the problem, I’m not going to listen to you.

No wonder I wasn’t leaning out like I wanted to!

Talking to Karen was enlightening and refreshing.  Being in the fitness and health industry for over 15 years has taught me a lot, but it’s interesting to note that none of my knowledge helped any when the focus was me.  I was blind to what I needed.  I needed help, and she was it.

So.  I’ve started a plan to fix all of this hamster-wheel crap.  At Karen’s recommendation, I started a few supplements designed to get my digestion back on track.  I’ve eliminated some foods (and caffeine – ughhhhh) for ten days to stop the over-stimulation of my adrenals.

Side note: Have you ever tried to stop coffee cold turkey?  SO not enjoyable. I had to wean off; it wasn’t fun.  But after only 3 days I feel markedly clearer in the head.  Win!!

In addition to the supplements and food changes, I’ve also been given strict instructions to take an hour of “me time” every day.  I balked at that at first – do you know how busy I am, Karen?  But then I realized that an hour (sometimes taken in 10 minute chunks) is not a whole lot of time.

I can do me time for 15 minutes before the little one wakes up.  I can do it on my lunch hour at the gym.  I can do it driving home listening to whatever kind of music I want, car-dancing my head off.  And I can do it at night before bed with a book or a TV show with Husband Jamie.  It’s doable.

It’s been 3 days, and I’m already optimistic.  I feel clearer, more alert, and already I can feel a positive change in my stomach.  I’m starting to feel satisfied after meals instead of crave-y, and even though I thought I wanted more coffee just now, I was pleasantly satisfied with green tea.

Can I change?  I think so.  It’s happening.  One step at a time, and with some help, but it’s happening.
The journey continues.

Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

Jen

March 6, 2015

healthy-giftAs a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, And Yoga instructor, I am both fascinated and       flattered that many of my clients will come forward believing I have all the answers.  They       believe within a couple appointments, their lives will be turned around. Learn a few tricks, pop a few supplements, and all their problems will be gone.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Too often people are giving their power away and             expecting to be able to undo years’ worth of poor choices once they invest in a few                 appointments with a healthcare practitioner or trainer.

It’s true, lasting change takes time; it’s hard work.  If it wasn’t, we’d all have done it by now.   It has taken me years to adopt a healthy lifestyle involving whole foods, regular exercise, restorative practices, and to develop intuition to know how to apply each of these and when.  If there was a quicker route, I would have taken it myself.  There are several more factors involved than simply the food we eat or the amount of exercise we do.  When someone wants to make a significant change in their health and well being, there are many things to consider:

Do you have support?
It’s an inspiring thing to witness someone strive to make a difference in their life. They start packing a lunch for work, getting up extra early for that workout, or having the energy to climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, and they start to radiate health. Although new, healthful habits should be commended by others, too often they are criticized.  Being called a “health nut” nowadays almost feels like ridicule.  You are coerced into sharing a pizza, or put down for not wanting to participate in a pub crawl in order to make it to the gym the next day.  Unfortunately, people like to see people fail. But why? Likely, it’s because your health habits make their own unhealthy ones all that more apparent.  As you feel better, they feel worseBe prepared for this!

It will be a challenge to stick to the plan to reach your goals when you don’t have supportive company.  It may take a tough conversation on your part to communicate how their comments are affecting your progress or even separation from those who cannot be happy for your success.

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” Honestly guys! I’m really okay with this broccoli instead”


Are you willing to say no?

Life will consistently test you as you try to walk a different path.  Temptation will arise without question.  Cake at an office party, buttered popcorn at the movies, cocktails at a friend’s gathering.  Can you say no?  Does saying no leave you feeling deprived or empowered?  Can you continue to say no?  For change to occur, consistency is key.  Turning down one treat only to say yes to the next one does not serve you, either.  Saying “no thanks” often enough slowly lets people know these indulgences aren’t for you.  Acceptance will come.  It’s like offering a vegetarian a steak every time you see them.  They are never going to accept, so after a while, people stop asking.  Say no, to be able to say yes to yourself.

Do you really want it?

Why do you want to make a change?  Is your health at risk?  Are your jeans too tight?  Do you feel uncomfortable in your skin?  Do you have digestion issues? Whatever your reason, are you willing to give it 100% effort to reach your goal? To feel better, are you willing to say no? Are you prepared for the reactions, both positive and negative from others?  Will you stick to it no matter what life throws at you? If you answer no to any of these, ask yourself if you truly want it.

Change is tough, it takes hard work and dedication.  Is it worth it?  Without a doubt! You will have to reorganize your schedule, make the time to follow through with the plan and stick it out no matter what.  You may miss out on a few social activities once in a while.  You may not get to taste the 3 layer chocolate cake at your friend’s birthday or miss out on a few beers and chicken wings at the football game but it’s worth it!  Being called a rabbit for having salad with protein as opposed to pasta with cream sauce?  Worth it!  All of this will be worth it when you feel the best you ever have.  When your confidence is through the roof and your health is impeccable.  When your skin is glowing, people will ask, “How did you do it?”  Your answer, as you sip on your green smoothie will be, “Hard work. Plain and simple.” So be ready for the challenge, otherwise question if you truly want it.  There is no other way.

Karen Yaworsky is a registered holistic nutritionist with Whole Therapy in addition to being a certified personal trainer and yogi.  Karen believes that the wholeheartedly that taking care of your body through diet and exercise is the key to a happy, successful and rewarding life.  More about Karen here

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