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?

The Holidays and Creating Balance

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I heard a crazy statistic on the radio the other morning. The most popular radio quiz show in the whole wide world is based right here in Denver, Colorado. Every morning, Dom and Jeremy on The Mix ask a question and people call in to give their answers. The Mind Bender, as it is called, is always entertaining. The question posed this past Tuesday morning was “what are 1 in 8 Americans NOT going to do for the rest of the year?” Answers ranged from working out to going to the doctor. I think it’s interesting that people’s minds instantly went to health. And, the answer was very much so health-related.

So. . .what was the answer? What are 1 in 8 Americans not going to do for the rest of 2018?

The answer was. . .

Only 1 in 8 Americans AREN’T going to gain weight!

Or, put another way, 87% of Americans are going to gain weight in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. EIGHTY SEVEN PERCENT! And, this is just a wild guesstimation but I would say about the same percentage are going to make New Year’s Resolutions come 2019 to lose weight. What kind of sense does this make?

None.

This makes none sense.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again...the holidays are not the time to try to lose weight. The focus from Thanksgiving until the end of the year is maintenance and the best way to maintain is to create balance. Balance is not something that just happens. Especially given American culture and how we treat the holidays. Everything is more intense. Schedules are busier. Food is richer. Stores are crowded with more people. Christmas music blasting is in AAAAALL the places. It is easy to get overwhelmed and turn to food for comfort or relaxation.

Or to eat on the fly.

Or to eat out of obligation in social situations.

Or to eat because the food is nostalgic.

The holidays present a lot of food temptations and all I am here today to do is encourage you to indulge mindfully. What does this mean? It means that eating your aunt’s special mashed potatoes on Christmas day isn’t going to make you gain weight. Even eating those taters and the amazing cookies your neighbor bakes every year on Christmas Eve isn’t going to derail you. You could even eat those, indulge in cocktails at the work party AND make a huge New Year’s Eve feast and STILL be balanced. This is four instances of savoring and really enjoying food in the month of December. Four times when you really taste and appreciate the holidays.

Now “tasting the holidays” four times a DAY in December, that is when you are most likely going to gain weight. At that point, you are ceasing to have indulgences. Eating everything in sight for a month is more of a binge than a celebration. And binges leave us feeling guilty, physically sick and sluggish.

At the very least.

I encourage you, instead, to look at the month of December and take stock of social activities or family traditions and think about when and how you see yourself celebrating those moments. Break down the month if you need to to see that indulging on eight different occasions in December does not mean you need to completely throw in the towel and gain five to ten pounds. And then feel like you have to work to lose those five to ten pounds on top of the other health-related goals you have for 2019.

And, as far as exercising, balance means setting realistic expectations. Maybe you normally hit the gym hard five days a week. During the overwhelm of the holidays, it may be more realistic to reduce that to three times a week. Maybe you usually engage in a rigorous strength routine. It may be more empowering to let your body rest some and focus more on mind/body workouts like yoga. And, maybe just maybe, going on walks or doing quick twenty minute workouts are the most achievable to keep you in the habit. However you are moving, be intentional about that movement!

Balance through the holidays IS achievable. You CAN be that one out of seven. You can eat a bunch of chips and dip at Jane’s holiday get-together and get up the next morning and get back to eating a healthy breakfast and get a good workout in later in the day. It does NOT need to be all or nothing. Balance is achievable by indulging mindfully and setting realistic expectations. The holidays are the season of believing and I believe in you.

Thank you

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As Thanksgiving is just a few days away, I want to send a big THANK YOU to all of you for the support you show my business and show me, personally. I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love, follow my passion and share my knowledge. None of that would be possible without all of you!

I know it’s really easy to feel disconnected in this world of digital communication, but I can honestly say I glean inspiration, positivity and motivation every single day from all of you.

Thank you for the comments and likes. Thank you for participating in my programs. Thank you for purchasing my e-books. But, most of all, thank you for allowing me into your life. I know mine isn’t the same without all of you!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, friends and great memories.

Hap Hap Happy Holidays

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Oh, the holidays. I believe there are two camps when it comes to the holiday season. The first camp is already sneaking Christmas music on their spotify. (Listening with earbuds, of course.) Pinteresting cookie recipes. They had their family photos taken in July for holiday cards. And rumor has it their DVRs are already set to record Hallmark movies.

Who are these people?!

I’m definitely in the other camp. We’re the camp who gets overwhelmed just thinking of all the social obligations (yes, I said obligations) that take place from November to December. The ones who cringe that there were Christmas commercials BEFORE Halloween. And wouldn’t go out on Black Friday if you paid us. My holiday classics are Bad Santa and National Lampoons. For real.

But I’m not all bah humbug. I swear. I plan to enjoy the holidays despite the commercial propaganda and packed calendar. And I plan to get you through this holiday season with confidence because I want you to enjoy them too!

Whether you love all things holiday or are just hoping to get through to January second, the month of December is the absolute most challenging time to stick with your fitness and nutrition goals. I am NOT here to tell that it is the time to focus on losing weight. But I am here to remind you that it's possible to not start 2019 at a deficit. It is possible to maintain your weight, habits and fitness level. There is a better way than starting off the new year bloated, overwhelmed and feeling like you need to “punish” yourself after a month of over-indulging.

So, here it goes. Here are my top ten “hacks” for getting through the holiday season...

10. Start baking your cookies the week of Christmas. None of this baking cookies the day after Thanksgiving. We all know those cookies aren’t for the neighbors and they aren’t going to make it until December 25th.

9. Drink in moderation. You know how it starts. You have one glass of wine and then one becomes four and next thing you know you’ve eaten half the dessert buffet. Really be mindful of how drinking affects your goals. I say enjoy your company, not ALL the cocktails. And, don’t ever feel bad about sticking to sparkling water with a lime.

8. Pick and choose your indulgences. If you have six family parties, two work parties and a party with the neighbors, I suggest you not go “all out” at each one. Pick one or two of those get-togethers to “let loose” and stay mindful for the rest.

7. I’ve said it time and again, but it bears repeating...do NOT go to parties hungry! Do not think you are doing yourself any favors by not eating all day so you can go to Sally’s party and drink ALL the spiked eggnog. Your waistline will thank me for this. And probably so will Sally!

6. Stick to your good habits and routines during the week! Keep up with your fitness routine, even if it is slightly modified. Make sure you have healthy dinners prepped in advance as the season gets busy. Chances are the office break room is going to have goodies galore. Avoid temptation and peer pressure by avoiding the break room and make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks on-hand.

5. Another place to avoid is the kitchen and/or buffet at holiday parties. Positioning is real, people. Do not stand next to that dip you can’t resist. Pro tip: any dip that has the word “crack” in it is probably one of these types of dips.

4. Do not punish yourself for overindulging by doing hours of cardio or not eating the next day. Neither of these say “happy holidays.” Just don’t do it. Don’t do it to yourself!

3. Plan your workouts in like usual. Maybe it is more realistic to accomplish one or two less workouts during the week from Christmas to New Years, but stick with that routine otherwise. You’ll feel more confident and focused on your fitness.  

2. Remember every moment of the holiday season doesn’t need to be tied to food. Not every outing requires a peppermint latte. Not every holiday movie means peppermint bark. And you don’t need to have a candy dish at work with peppermint hershey kisses. Or whatever foods evoke the holidays for you. Maybe tell yourself you’ll enjoy your favorites once so you can really savor them.

1. Last but not least, remember the reason for the season. Enjoy those who you love. Put your people first and stay true to you and your health. You may just never know who you are inspiring. And you will feel like a million bucks sailing into a new year knowing you finished strong.

Putting Together the Pieces

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One of my favorite video games growing up was Tetris. Remember Tetris? That game where you had to clear boards by rotating various shaped pieces into cohesive rows? Remember Tetris?! I loved that damn game. Played it whenever I could. On my Gameboy, of course. Remember Gameboys?! Do kids still play Tetris?! I’m SURE they don’t have Gameboys. I wonder how much my Gameboy would be worth now...

Anyways...

I was reminded of old-school Tetris the other day, in kind of a roundabout way. My friend, Katie Yarnell, and I sat down and chatted about fitness competitions live on my Facebook page last Friday. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can check it out here. It’s not just about competing. I loved sitting down with Katie because she is so knowledgeable and VERY inspiring. She made it to Nationals for heaven’s sake. But what I am going to talk about today has nothing to do with being a bikini fitness model and has everything to do with mindset which, as we all know, has become my new “thing.”

Early in the interview, I asked Katie if she counted macros while she trained for her competitions. I really loved how she described why she did indeed track macros during her training. She said that focusing on hitting her macros gave her a goal to work towards everyday. Specifically, she said that counting macros was helpful to her because it was all about what she “could put in” to her body and said that tracking helped her focus on her nutrition in a positive light. I love this because I think of it in comparison to restricting calories or eliminating certain foods. This type of limitation focuses on lack. Which makes most every person I know think about what they CAN’T have.

Katie described that her macros gave her “targets to hit.” And I just LOVE this perspective. She kept referring to tracking as “macro balance.” In other words, tracking helped her to create balance in a time of extreme training. And it is this balance found in macro tracking that exemplifies a critical mental shift in the way Katie, myself and my clients view nutrition. Hitting your macros is all about taking, say, 160 grams a protein and trying to figure out how you are going to eat that amount in a given day. When I look at that number, I think “Okay, I get to have yogurt, eggs, a grilled chicken breast, a protein shake and some cottage cheese. Looking at a goal of 60 grams of fat turns into avocado, nuts, cheese and olive oil. And carbs go from taboo (as most diet fads would have you believe) to sprouted grain bread, rice, veggies, an apple, etc. Nicole used the example of how having a certain fiber goal made her focus on fiber-rich nutrient dense foods. This is the beauty in macro-tracking. It kind of becomes a game!

Nowhere in the line of thinking that I just described does someone tell themselves, “I can’t have XYZ.” Because I, for one, know that when I am told I “can’t” have something, that is the ONLY thing I want. I know I am not alone in this! Tracking macros shifts your mind from thinking of all the things you can’t have to how you are going to hit your goals. You are no longer focusing on what you are missing, you are taking three pieces of the diet puzzle (protein, fats and carbs) and figuring out how they can be put together to create the most optimal way to fuel your workouts and your life.

So, back to Tetris...

Remember how I wrote a post about “leveling up” a few weeks ago? Well, Katie’s insight made me think of tracking as a game of fitting together pieces of a puzzle in order to get to the next level of health and wellness. I thought of the little pixelated shapes that used to float across my screen as a *slightly awkward only child* young girl and how I used to work to fit them together just right. As I said in the video, I am never going to give you an outlined nutrition plan. But what I do give you is how many pieces of the nutrition puzzle you need on a daily basis. It’s up to you how they fit together best for YOU and your own personal Tetris game...er, personal life.