Excellence

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“Perfection is a fancy way to say dissatisfaction.”

This is a quote I heard the other day in a podcast by my mentor, Brendan Bruchard and this one hit me HARD. So hard in fact, I did a video inspired by this idea on my Facebook page last week called “How Perfectionism is Holding You Back.” I work with so many inspiring and amazing people. But, many times, they don’t see themselves as inspiring or amazing. Once they hit one goal, inevitably they are at it the next day working towards a bigger, better, more intense goal that has them reaching higher and higher and higher.

It is never enough.

And, so often I see the debilitating effects of this “never enough” need to be perfect.

Spoiler alert: Perfection doesn’t exist!

Yah, perfection is a lie. Perfect diets are a lie. Perfect fitness routines are a lie.

Perfect spiritual practices...

Perfect bodies...

Perfect yoga practices…

Perfect muscles…

Perfect abs…

Perfect parents…

Perfect friends…

Perfect partners...

Lies, lies, lies! All lies! Lies that come at us from so many different directions. Social conditioning. Large institutions. Social media. Familial pressure. Advertisements. All day long we are told and sold ideals of who we should be. We are reared to believe we are only enough if we are perfect.

And I can tell you from personal experience on my own journey as a recovering perfectionist, life is so much more when you let go of perfections.

So much more joy.

So much more fulfillment.

So much more presence.

So much more satisfaction.

So much more lightness.

Perfection is heavy. This is one weight I encourage to put the hell down. You are literally poisoning and paralyzing yourself with perfection. There is no way you can appreciate what is good and what is there in your life  if you are constantly striving for an ideal that doesn’t exist. Perfection is toxic because it steals from the joy of who you right now in this very moment. Perfectionism affects your relationships because you can’t focus on connecting with the people you love when you aren’t authentic because you’re always trying to be perfect.

Instead, as I proposed in my video, I encourage you to strive for excellence, not perfection. Excellence is a wonderful goal to work for in all areas of your life. You don’t have to be a perfect parent, but you can sure as heck be an excellent parent. You don’t have to have a perfect exercise routine but you can have an excellent one. And an excellent diet is the type of healthy eating you can stick with. Focus on long-term goals, not doing everything perfectly. Because, again, perfect DOESN’T EXIST.


Done is better than perfect, people. You can quote me on that!

Ten Healthy Eating Habits

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I didn’t really intend this, but I have spent the past month speaking to resolutions. It is January afterall! First I said what not to do (dieting/restriction), then I gave some practical advice on how to achieve a goal (planning, awareness, tools, action) and now I would like to give you some real steps to eating healthier in this wonderful new year.

I always say that achieving a certain body composition or physique is based 90% on your nutrition. You can workout until the cows come home, but if you’re eating like crap or not eating enough, health is always going to feel just outside your grasp. I felt like a real buzzkill a few weeks ago when I preached that diets basically SUCK. I have a feeling this might have felt defeating for some of you out there. I want to be very clear that I absolutely advocate eating healthier. I just don’t believe that is synonymous with dieting.

In fact, I believe the exact opposite...that adding foods, instead of subtracting foods, is what will help you reach your healthiest self. Yes, I want you to eat MORE. Instead of listing “bad foods” for my clients or coming up with strict meal plans or giving certain calories to stay under, I focus on getting those I work with to reach certain nutritional goals. There is something so empowering about helping my clients work to eat 130+ grams of protein per day or help them strive to consume at least 25 grams of fiber. Almost all of my clients start to notice how filling up on lean proteins and fibrous veggies/grains makes them feel so much better. They thrive when working towards achieving better nutrition.

And I want you to THRIVE too!

Here are ten habits you can integrate into your life so that you are stepping out of the cycle of dieting, focus on better nutrition (please note I did not say perfect nutrition...ain’t no such thing) and reaching your goal of a healthier you.

1. Eat slowly.

Sit down. Turn off any distractions. Take a slow bite of food. Close your eyes if you need to be able to focus. Really taste that bite. Slowly repeat.

2. Don’t feel the need to clean your plate.

I always tell my clients to eat until they are 80% full. Sometimes that means leaving your plate 20% full. And that is OKAY. You are not eight and your mom is not going to scold you. Plus, leftovers are like the best ever.

3. Strive for 1/4 plate protein, 1/2 plate veggies, 1/4 starchy carbs.

Don’t complicate things. Protein, veggies, starchy carbs and you can’t go wrong.

4. Slowly remove and replace certain foods.

The main word here is sloooooooowly. If you have a venti Starbucks froo froo latte in the morning. Switch to a grande one week. Then a tall. Then focus on the contents. Maybe switch from two pumps to one. Then start to lessen the sweetener. Maybe, lastly, switch to a regular coffee and you control the cream and sugar. This could be a two month (or more!) process but it is the slow changes that are the most sustainable. Slooooooow and steady wins the race when it comes to nutritional changes!

5. Clean out your pantry.

Get the junk food out of your house. If you can’t control yourself around Doritos, then you need to remove the Doritos from your environment. Period.

6. Don’t do in a day what you wouldn’t do in a week.

And don’t do in a week what you wouldn’t want to do in a month. And don’t do in a month what you wouldn’t want to do in a year. My biggest beef with diets is that they are not sustainable. It isn’t realistic to replace two meals a day with shakes for the rest of your life. Sure, that’s just two shakes in a day, but that’s fourteen shakes in a week and at least sixty in a month... you know where I am going with this. Think long game. What do you consistently want to do for a whole year?

7. Factor in setbacks.

Creating any change involves slip-ups, tough days, mistakes, and setbacks. The real change is in how you get back on track. Life always happens and unforeseen setbacks are a part of the process. How you react to them is probably the most vital part of the process.

8. Prepare meals/snacks in advance.

Have the lean proteins prepped and on-hand. Chop up the veggies when you get them home from the grocery store. Pack your lunches in advance. Make a big batch of brown rice or oatmeal. Make healthy choices as easy and seamless as possible by being prepared!

9. Learn how to cook vegetables

This was a biggy for me. Experiment. Broil. Boil. Roast. Eat em raw. Get friendly with veggies. This can only benefit you. “I really regret eating that veggie.” Said no one ever.

10. Focus on your mindset

This is a toughy, but the most worthwhile. Why are you doing what you are doing? Why are you making these changes? Why do you hold yourself back? Why do you give up before you start? Why? Why? Why? Answering these types of questions is not easy but this process helps you meet your challenges better the next time. Asking “why” with open curiosity and not shame will help you achieve any goal you set for yourself.

Now go get ‘em, tiger!

Planning. Awareness. Tools. Action.

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What would you say to me if I told you I was running a marathon without any training?

Or getting my finances in order without tracking where I spend my money?

Or building a house without any materials?

What if I was planning a trip but refusing to buy the plane ticket?

I hope you would give me a nice pat on the back and then... Call. Me. Out! I hope you would say “Kylie, we believe in your ability to achieve your goals but you can’t do that without the right planning… or awareness… or tools… or actions.”

Just like training for a marathon, any fitness goal requires a plan. It’s not realistic to think you can just get out and run twenty-six point two miles or dead lift one hundred pounds or plank for two minutes straight or, as I posted a few weeks ago on my social media, do pistol squats. Long-term goals need to be broken down into smaller short-term achievable goals. Pistol squats have always presented a mental block for me but I trained my body and my mind to perform those bad boys. I worked with my trainer to strengthen the correct muscle groups, progress the move from more modified positions to less modified positions to finally no modifications at all. It took time and dedication and a whole lot of PLANNING!

Just like financial wealth, physical health requires knowledge of your nutrition. You need to understand what is going in your mouth, how much of it is being consumed and how that food is being “spent.” This is why I am a firm believer in tracking your macros, if even for just a short time. There is no way to save your money, or your calories, if you don’t know what is coming in and what you’re spending them on. Each of the macros (protein, carbohydrates and fat) provide different fuel, just like savings and checking accounts help fund your lifestyle in different ways. Tracking helps you know your numbers, check your balances and creates AWARENESS.

Just as it is basically impossible to build a house without lumber, nails, saws, etc., it is really difficult to achieve fitness or nutrition goals without knowing how to use the right tools. Gyms can be very intimidating places. Learning how to use the equipment safely and most effectively is key to success. On the flip side, my personal place of intimidation has been the kitchen. Nutrition is a key component in body recomposition and the last few years for me have been all about learning how to use the right tools to cook food that is nutritious AND delicious. Creating workouts for my clients and providing a cookbook chock full of wonderful recipes allows me to give key TOOLS for fitness and dietary success.

Lastly, and I will say until I am blue in the face... there is no way to achieve your goals without habit change. You are never going to get to Europe if you don’t buy the ticket! It is a necessary action to get you where you want to be. And, likewise, you cannot lose weight if you don’t change the way you eat on a daily basis. You cannot get stronger without moving your body. As the graphic for this post shows, goals need to be broken down from a goal to skills to practices. Daily practices. Intention is all nice and pretty, but it is the ACTION you take that gets you to your goal.

Planning. Awareness. Tools. Action.

These are four vital components to achieving any goal or, ahem, New Year’s Resolution. Stay focused folks, you got this!

Can We Please Kick Diets to the Ever Loving Curb?!

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Diets.

*shudder*

*eye roll*

*sigh*

Can we just NOT? Can we just not...go on diets this year?! I am all about health and wellness. ALL about the health. ALL about the wellness. But I am NOT all about diets. In fact, today I am writing to encourage all of you to NOT go on a diet. In fact, I am begging you. Pleading with you. Please do not perpetuate the very unhealthy cycle of dieting that is depicted in the graphic for this post.

January one and the word “diet” are synonymous. We’ve all indulged for days, weeks, maybe even months, before the first of the year and we are all using January first as a reason to go on a diet. I am all about fresh starts and not waiting until tomorrow to put off what you can do today, but I firmly believe diets are not the right solution. And I am strategically using this subject as my first blog post of the new year to get the message out to all of you when you need to hear it most.

Simply put, diets don’t work.

Wait, this requires caps... DIETS DON’T WORK.

I don’t want you to read this and get defeated, though. I have a better answer so please bear with me until the end of this post. I will convince you that I have a better way, but first I need to give you my reasons why our old way isn’t working.

1. Dieting disconnects us from what our body actually needs. When we’re just “following the rules” of a diet, we become less in tune with our bodies. We aren’t listening to what our body wants and needs. We are just doing what we are being told.

2. Dieting makes us more likely to overeat. Yep, you read that right. Restriction makes us want more of whatever it is that we think we can’t have. It’s simple human psychology. Diets create a “scarcity mentality” which is our mind subconsciously telling our bodies that, if we can’t have a certain food, then that certain food is just what we need!

3. Dieting gives the illusion that there are good foods and bad foods. Diets attach labels, and therefore perceptions, of what are the right foods and what are the wrong foods. Case in point, all the low fat diets of nineties. Or all the keto, or high fat, diets that are extremely popular right now. I’d like to debunk the idea that foods fit so neatly into two categories. I propose foods are more likely better or worse, not good or bad. Lean proteins and veggies are better to eat most of the time. Whereas, say fried foods, are worse to eat all the time. Can you never have fried food because they are bad? No. Diets vilify foods and that is what is bad!

4. Diets make us feel like failures when we don’t stick to them. Show of hands...how many of us have made resolutions to lose weight in the past? Show of hands again...how many people have fallen into the “diet/binge cycle,” not lost a single pound from their resolution and felt like a failure? One final show of hands...who is repeating this cycle right now? It’s not us who are the failures, it’s diets that fail us! They make us feel like a failure and feeling like a failure is not a good place to operate from. Ever.

5. Dieting increases the chances of developing an eating disorder or disordered eating. This may sound dramatic, but if we get anxious around food, start cutting out whole food groups or begin isolating ourselves from social situations with food because we are on a diet, this is having a disordered relationship with food.

6. Dieting reinforces the stigma that thinner is better. Skinny does not equal healthy, just as being thicker does not mean someone is unhealthy. Notice why are you going on a certain diet. Do you want to look a certain way or feel a certain way? Be aware of what’s driving you. Diets convince us that a dress size or a number on the scale will bring health, but this is a lie.

Now that I have given you several reasons why diets don’t work, you are primed to hear what does work. It’s basic, but it’s effective...you have to change what you do on a day to day basis! You have to make daily changes to the way you eat so you can feel better and therefore perform better, sleep better, stand taller, workout stronger and keep up with the demands of day-to-day life. In other words….

Healthy behaviors are what lead to a healthier life!

And this is what I PREACH in my programs. It’s not the easy solution. It’s not the quick fix. And it’s not an overnight diet. When it comes to becoming healthier, long-term is the name of the game. I work to help you create healthy behaviors and find the way to eat for you that works best to fuel you and is sustainable for you. This is a long haul process which involves trial and error and experimentation and lots of learning, but it is soooo very worth it to make the investment in you and your health. You are worth the slow solution!

So, there it is. If you are going to resolve to do anything in the new year for your health, I hope it is to kick diets to the CURB. Here’s to long-term success in 2019!

Year-End Reflection and Review

The end of the year is the perfect time to do some reflecting and reviewing. What went well, what needs to be improved and what can be let go of all together. 2018 was a big year for me and I want to share the highlights and the lessons learned. In true Kylie-fashion some of these are serious and some of them are fun.


The Highlight Reel:
1. Started practicing yoga again on a consistent basis.

The last three years, my personal practice got away from me and it left me uninspired as a teacher and out of balance as a person. I make it priority to go at least once a week and I have experienced the benefit in my physical body and emotional state and quality of teaching.

2. Put my fitness in the hands of others.

Running a business and showing up as a mom and wife left little mental capacity to come up with my own workouts.  Working with a personal trainer and boxing coach got me excited, taught me new things and has freed up mental space.

3. Got an assistant. In addition to Coach Leanne helping to run Lift to Get Lean, I also started working with Margey who does all the things behind the scenes.  If you want to grow, you’ve got to give up some control. I’m still working on this, but both of them are a HUGE help.

4. Invested in myself.

This ties back up to #2 and #3, but I also invested in my personal and professional development. I am in the process of finishing my Precision Nutrition Level 2 training and I completed Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Coaching Certification.  Both have proven to be invaluable investments.

5. Believed in myself.

Investing in the High Performance Coaching was a bit of a risk, but it is turning out to be the BEST decision that I could have made.  I was met with a mixed bag of support from others, but deep down I knew that it was necessary for me to do, and I believed in myself and went for it.

6. Audio books.

OMG! This should probably be number one on the list. I have “read” more books this year than I have in the last 10 years combined. Stay tuned for my must-reads. This year has been one of tremendous learning, and a large part of that is due to the books that I have read. I love listening to books when I walk outside, fold the laundry or drive around town or long road trips.

7. Focused on my Beautycounter business.

I love the products and believe in the mission, so why not put more effort behind it.  As a business owner, it’s crucial to have multiple streams of revenue and you can be very successful with direct sales if you actually put some consistent effort behind it.  This stream is my fun stream!

8. Lipstick.

I know, this one may seem a little silly and truth be told, I only wear make-up about 50% of the time.  But when I wear lipstick, I feel bold, put-together and confident. Who doesn’t need more of that in their life?

So there’s the highlight reel. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been lessons learned.  Each month, I have at least one melt-down/freak-out and feel like giving up. So in an effort to keep it real, here are the lessons learned.

Lessons:

1. Have the hard conversations.

This is not to say that I HAVE HAD said tough conversations, but I’m working on it! And this isn’t just for myself, but for my clients.  I need to push my clients and ask the tough questions even when it gets uncomfortable. Clients won’t change if I’m constantly saying, “that’s OK, try again this week.”

2. Balance takes effort.
I still struggle with finding balance, so sue me. But seriously, there were a lot of nights where I was sitting on the couch working on my laptop while my husband and I should have been enjoying each other’s company (read: watching TV), but I was “too busy” to be present with him. There were many days before Brooks started school that even though I was with him, I wasn’t really WITH him.  I can’t change what happened in the past, but I can be different now and in the future.


3. Trust yourself.

This ties back to the highlights. I (re)learned that deep down I know what I want and I need to trust myself and my instincts.

4. Action trumps intention.

I can tell you what I want or INTEND to do until I’m blue in the face, but it won’t get done until I put some action behind it.

5. Ask for help and support.

Adding Leanne and Margey to the team was great, but I also need to ask for help at home and reach out to other entrepreneurs for support. I love talking to other business owners, especially in the online space because this life can be lonely. When you talk to other people who “get it” they can support you.


6. Let go.

Holding on to things that happened in the past is lowering my vibration. I need to let go in order to release the lower energy so that I can level up. I learned to reframe it as, I’m not letting go for them, I’m letting go for me.  Because I deserve emotional freedom.

7. I HAVE SO MUCH WORK TO DO!!!

I mean, seriously.  I’m not talking about work work.  I’m talking about work on myself. Being more courageous, living with more intention, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and so much more.  And that’s OK. I’m excited to do the work. I like the idea of evolving, of leveling up. I just know that I can’t do it alone and it’s not going to happen overnight.  And if I were my own coach, I would ask, “Kylie, what are you going to do today to be more courageous?”

There you have it! The highlights and the lessons.  I’m dying to know, what’s on your highlight reel? What lessons did you learn?