Level Up.

Level Up.jpg

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

This is a quote from Marianne Williamson and it has been on my mind this week as I start a new round of Lift to Get Lean. I posted a two word quote on my Facebook page and Instagram account just a few days ago. It simply said “Level up.” I was encouraging folks to become just a little bit better. Now, when I say “better,” I acknowledge that you are fully amazing just the way you are right in this very moment. But we all have dreams, aspirations or goals we would love to accomplish. We are constantly growing, evolving and change comes whether we want it to or not.

Today I am here to encourage you to level up so you can meet those dreams and go where they want to take you. I am asking you to face those fears that have held you back from your full power and true potential. I have faith in you and your ability to make the improvements. You are not inadequate and you don’t need to fear your own strength.

The amazing thing about leveling up in one area of your life is that it often causes you to improve other areas of your life too. You cannot begin to harness your power in the gym or take control of your eating without the rest of your life following suit. I’m always amazed how the seeds I plant in my program grow for individuals in the most unexpected and rewarding ways. Making your health a priority makes your other priorities become clear also. So, here’s some other ways you can level up...

Mentally.

Emotionally.

Financially.

Spiritually.

Energetically.

Regular exercise and good nutrition are an amazing foundation upon which to build the rest of your life. If you’re seeking mental clarity, you will reap the benefits of sound sleep and what it feels like to reach a goal. If you’re seeking emotional support, exercise releases all kinds of positive endorphins and eating a balanced diet regulates so many hormones. Financial leveling up is influenced by the self-control that is learned from eating in a balanced way or staying consistent with workouts. I am very mindful to incorporate yoga into my programs because it restores and realigns your spirit. And lastly, we all know the phrase “you are what you eat.” If you are fueling yourself properly, you will feel your energy levels rise. Not to mention the positive energy you feel after working out!

I know there can be a lot of fear that accompanies going after your goals. I am in no way saying that leveling up is easy. But, what I am saying is that it is rewarding. And the rewards will be felt in ALL areas of your life. So don’t be afraid to take it to the next level. Don’t be afraid to be powerful beyond measure!

Say YES

Yes Blog.jpg

Not to brag or anything but can I just say that there is so much that is amazing about what I do? It’s the week before a new session begins and I am, as always, being extremely inspired by all the folks who are signing up. Every session, I get the great honor of experiencing people saying YES.

YES to a healthier life.

YES to committing to changing old patterns.

YES to facing insecurities.

YES to finding new strength.

YES to the vulnerability of learning.

YES is hard, man. And seeing person after person sign up for YES, is a huge part of what makes what I do so gratifying. Because saying yes is the first step. Yes means you’re willing to try something new. Yes means stepping into the unknown. Yes means a willingness to cast off what you have been doing so you can do what you’re meant to be doing.

Yes is hard because it also means NO.

NO to continuing unhealthy habits.

NO to that which is no longer serving you.

NO to limiting beliefs.

NO to feeling weak against temptations and challenges.

NO to staying safe in what you have always known.

When you say yes to making a new life for yourself, that often means you’re saying no to the old life you are used to. And that, my friends, is the height of bravery. Charting a new way is not for the faint of heart. It means putting trust in me to teach you different daily habits. It means trusting yourself to make small better decisions constantly so you can make big changes eventually. Yes means trusting the process and being in it for the long game.

Oftentimes it takes well over a year for someone to sign up for my program after following me on social media or seeing a friend post about Lift to Get Lean. Over a year of getting out of their own way so they can say YES. And I get it. Changes require big yesses and sometimes we have no idea where those yesses are going to take us. Yes risks failure and failure is scary. It’s so much easier to stay safe.

But, please know that there is something so magical about saying yes. The power of yes is mighty, in that one yes usually leads to another yes and another. On the surface, my programs are about better nutrition and strength training...but I promise you that it is SO much more than that. My clients take deep looks into what is holding them back. They learn to become empowered in situations that have kept them stuck, sometimes for their whole lives. And, many clients I work with find that saying yes to my program helps them say no in ways they never thought possible. Safety is overrated and the only way you can guarantee failure is by not saying yes. I truly believe that. And, as I said on my social media this week, I truly believe in you.

Now go say YES already.

When We Know Better, We Do Better

IIFYM.jpg

I know that I normally keep it light on my blog, but today’s topic is too serious not to address. I saw this article shared on Facebook several times,

https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/everything-you-know-about-obesity-is-wrong/.  I will warn you that it is quite lengthy, very intense and could be triggering, but it is SO worth the read and the knowledge gained from the perspective and information given. Please take the twenty minutes it requires to read it. (Pretty please.) There is SO much I could expand upon, but I think this post would turn into a novel instead of a blog. So I want to focus on one quote in particular that stood out to me as a nutrition coach living in America.

“Diet is the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for more than five times the fatalities of gun violence and car accidents combined. But it’s not how much we’re eating--Americans actually consume fewer calories now than we did in 2003.”

Guys, this really hits home a hard truth. It’s not HOW we’re eating, it’s WHAT we are eating.

This is what is causing a national health crisis and this is what is literally killing us. I don’t mean to sound dramatic. I don’t mean to use scare tactics. But, the fact of the matter is most Americans are eating food that isn’t food. It is so processed that it has been stripped of its nutritional value and, therefore, cannot sustain our day-to-day life. Empty calories leave us feeling a hunger that is insatiable and causes our bodies to cling to extra weight because we feel deprived of viable fuel.

This being said, ironically, the thing I really love most about macro-tracking is that it doesn’t vilify any food. When you track macros, there are no individual foods or food groups that are “off-limits.” In fact, IIFYM is an acronym synonymous among folks who track macros and it stands for “if it fits your macros.” Meaning, so long as it fits your macros, eat it! Macro-tracking is all about learning how to fuel your body, find balance and eat the proper ratio of proteins, carbs and fats to sustain your daily activity.

This also means being able to eat whatever food you want, including Cheetos or Twizzlers, etc. But people who do my program quickly learn that eating nutrient-dense food (not highly processed food) is what is optimal to keep up with their workouts and life in general. Tracking intake of protein, carbs and fats helps my clients learn moderation when it comes to treats...which, let’s be real are almost always highly processed. Many tell me how much better they feel eating this way because it is a well-rounded lifestyle and they are able to really taste and savor treats when they do choose to have them.

Lastly, hands down, the most rewarding part of teaching people how to track their macros is that SO many of my clients lose weight eating MORE calories. Yes, you read that right. I generally coach my clients on how to eat MORE calories. Calories that are not empty, but rather, important macronutrients filled with much-needed micronutrients (think vitamins and minerals). Most of my participants tell me they never even realized how hungry they always were and how life-changing it is to finally feel “full.”

This is why I do what I do. I want all of you to have a full life. Not a heavy life. There is a difference. Heaviness is burdensome and, as this article denotes, misunderstood and shamed. I don’t give a flip about your weight, I care about helping you to rid yourself of that feeling of heaviness that can infiltrate your whole being and potentially cause death. I want you to feel full, whole and empowered. I want your life to be full. Of nutritious foods, strength, positive habits and self-love. Let’s get busy living. Not dying. We can do better, America.

Parent Guilt, it's a REAL Thing

messagebottleheader.jpg

If I had a dollar for every time a parent expressed guilt to me over taking time away from their children to be more healthy...well, let’s just say I would already have scrapped this whole fitness/nutrition coach thing and I would be living in my ocean side mansion sipping tropical drinks.

I can’t even count the amount of times I have heard statements like the following...

1. “I feel so bad leaving my kids at child watch to go to the gym.”

2. “It’s too hard to workout at home because my kids are all over me.”

3. “Between all my kid’s sports and activities, I don’t have time to work on my fitness.”

4. “With all the demands of parenting, I am just too tired to workout.”

5. “Trying to eat healthier is just another thing on my to-do list and I can’t even keep up with the one I already have.”

What is with all the mom and dad guilt, people?! Is this really guilt? Or could it might possibly just a teensy weensy bit be you using your kids as a reason not to make your health a priority? I have some questions to help you really dive into this sea of guilt that you’re drowning in. Let’s think of this sea as the opposite of my oceanfront beach home, let’s call it the Dead Sea of Fitness Goals.

1. Do you NEVER leave your children? I’m pretty sure you are just fine (and so are your kiddos) when a sitter comes over so you and the hubs can have a romantic dinner. Now go let them run around for an hour in childwatch while you get your fitness on. They’ll be just fine.

2. You’re going to tell me your kids are all over you for thirty minutes to an hour if you try to workout at home? That is some serious dedication because most kids I know have very little attention span. They may be interested in you working out for about five minutes for the first few times they see you exercise, but then you will become boring to them. You are not an ipad, my friend. You do not have that kind of power to mesmerize children. At-home workouts may not be perfect workouts with kids around, but they are far better than NO workouts.

3. Are you really going to try to tell me you have ZERO time to make yourself a priority? Are you watching Real Housewives? Now, be honest.  You find time to keep up with their drama, don’t you? You know you do. Now, I love my TV time just as much as anyone else, but replacing just one episode three to four times a week so you can workout is doable. Invest in yourself and invest in DVR.

4. You are too tired to workout...but not too tired to get in the car and go through that drive-thru. Am I right? Parenting is a 24-7-365 job. I get it. There are no breaks for moms and dads. It is exhausting and can be all-consuming. Which is why you should workout! Give yourself time to focus on just you. Give yourself those healthy endorphins. Boost your mood, energy and confidence. I promise you will be less tired fueling your body properly and MOVING.

5. Admit it, do you even put yourself on your to-do lists? To-do lists are all about prioritizing. You write out what you need to do so you can see what takes priority and what can wait. I can guarantee that a lot of parents I work with don’t even put themselves on the list! I may not be winning mother-of-the-year (ya know, the whole Brooks taking the bus thing) but I know one thing for absolute certain, you are no good for anyone else unless you’re taking care of yourself.

So, what are we thinking about all the guilt and excuses? Can we write them down on a little piece of paper and put them in a bottle to throw out to sea. As much as I would love that beachfront property, I would WAY rather see my client’s let go of their inability to make themselves a priority. Guilt is a tide that will suck you under. Let me be your life raft and pull you out of that mindset. Moms and Dads you DESERVE your health!

Listen All Y'all This is Sabotage

Beastie Boys.jpg

One of my favorite groups to rock out to during leg day is Beastie Boys. Without fail, their old school rhymes get me pumped every single time! There are so many good tunes on Licensed to Ill (ahem, Brass Monkey, Girls...I could go on), but I have to say my absolute favorite song by them is Sabotage. Nothing gets me revved up like Ad Rock screaming lyrics about how terrible it is to be sabotaged.

This song really gets me because this is a theme I hear all too often from people doing my programs. Sabotage. Inevitably, in every single session I have of Lift to Get Lean and even my VIP groups who have been at this for months, clients say their biggest stumbling blocks are with other people! And the insensitive and unhelpful things they say to my awesome rock stars who are simply trying to make better choices for themselves by eating healthier and exercising. Sometimes the comments are subtly demeaning, for example...

“Of course you’re eating salad again.”

“Well we all know you’re not going to have dessert.”

“Oh, look at Miss or Mr. Healthy over there.”

Then, of course, there are the food pushers who are overtly demeaning what you’re trying to do.

“C’mon, you have to eat these cookies. They are soooo delicious.”

“Just one slice of cake. A tiny piece of cake won’t hurt.”

“Everyone is having margaritas. You don’t want to be lame.”

I have heard it all! And, let me tell you, these types of comments say more about the insecurities of the person saying them than they do about you and your choices. It is something in their mentality that tells them, “if other people are succeeding, then I must be failing.” And you are NOT responsible for soothing their feelings of failure. You are not responsible for pleasing anyone else through what you are eating.

So I’m sure you’re thinking, “Kylie, what do we do in these types of situations? Help!” Well, don’t worry, I got your back. We literally go over weekend strategies, social situations, and going out to eat in the first week of my programs. I touch on how to combat the naysayers and then do several more in-depth talks about it throughout the program. I give you tips and strategies on how to navigate going out to eat, happy hour with coworkers, the break room, family parties, etc. Bottom line, I tell my clients to keep the focus on YOU and your goals. I’ll repeat...you do not need to please anyone else through your food choices. Period.

So you can take a cue from the Beastie Boys and yell in their faces. “So, so, so, so listen up 'cause you can't say nothin', You'll shut me down with a push of your button?” Or you can just politely but firmly decline anyone who is pushing food in your face. And know that anyone who is trying to make you feel guilty about being healthy, is most likely struggling with how they feel about themselves and  their own health.

I’ll leave you with this thought...you gotta FIGHT...for your RIGHT...to be HEALTHY!

(And I know you can.)