I’ll be happy when…

I was flipping through Success magazine today, and one article caught my eye. It was titled, “Need to Lose Weight? Get happier.”

The article was written by a woman who lost 50lbs, not by going on the latest fad diet, but by addressing her thought patterns and overall happiness through therapy and other techniques.

I almost cheered out loud when I read it, as its underlying message is about self-love and well, being happy NOW. Not 10 pounds from now, not when you get that big raise, not when you win the race. NOW, right now…imperfections and all.

But why is it so hard to do this? We are so stuck in that “I’ll be happy when…” mentality, that we don’t notice how amazingly awesome we already are. It’s a dang shame, in my opinion.

It’s this way of thinking that keeps us stuck and so NOT happy.  The more we beat ourselves us for not achieving whatever it is we think we should, the further out of reach it becomes.

What if we changed one little word to make “I’ll be happy when…” so much more powerful?

How about this:

I’ll be happy THEN…

Think about it. I’ll be happy THEN things will start falling into place. And it’s true. If you are miserable and stuck in a pattern of self-loathing, well…let’s just say like attracts like.

But how can you get to that place of being happy when you’re not feeling too good right now? Here are some tips:

  • Find gratitude. It is true that everything begins and ends with Gratitude. The mere fact that you’re breathing and alive is something to be thankful for. It’s hard to feel bad when you’re feeling thankful. I suggest keeping a journal, and making a list each day of 5 to 10 things you’re grateful for. It may be as simple as being grateful for coffee, or as deep as being grateful for divine connection. 
  • Acknowledge yourself: a mentor and friend of mine suggested a daily practice of acknowledging myself for three things every day. It has worked wonders on my self-love and self-compassion. It could be simply acknowledging myself for being exactly where I need to be on my journey, or it can be something like giving myself props for getting up and getting this blog written :-) .
  • Take time for yourself daily: I hear from so many women that they just don’t take any time for themselves to do this kind of internal work. They are pulled in many directions, and of course put themselves and their happiness last. Taking time out for YOU is not selfish. As a matter of fact, it’s the most selfless thing you can do. Through a practice of self-love and self-compassion, you are able to give more freely of yourself. Try to work in at least 10 minutes to just “be” each day. Take a walk in nature, sit in a quiet place, etc.
  • Assume the wish fulfilled: so this is getting a bit woo-woo, but if you’re a law of attraction junkie like me, then it’s right up your alley. When you’re taking that time for yourself, get really, really clear on what it is that you want. Feel the feelings as if you already have it (because you already do, it just hasn’t shown up physically yet). Visualize, emotionalize and feel those happy feelings NOW. If you can’t quite feel the feelings yet, then you need to go more “general”. This means thinking of something that makes you happy when you think of it. For me, it’s hummingbirds. I visualize them buzzing around me, and coming to light on my finger. I feel the wind from their wings against my face, and hear their sweet little tweets. Now, those things haven’t happened yet, but I can feel the emotions now, and I know it will happen. You can follow me on Facebook to get updates on when it does :-) .

What are some ways that you get to that Happy Place? Can you make it a daily practice of focusing on I’ll Be Happy THEN? Let me know!

xoxo,

Tara

P.S. We’re going to be focusing A LOT on this type of thing in our 12 Week Healthy Aging Lifestyle Program. Nutrition & Exercise, while important, are just part of the equation for living a fulfilled, healthy life as we get older. It’s not too late to join us. Head here to learn more.

 

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Is Stress Making You Fat?

You know, one of the things I hear most from women in their 40′s and 50′s is that they have started to get a bit of a belly “pooch”, where once was a flat, toned tummy. Usually, they follow this up with something like, “I just don’t get it…I mean, I’m eating less, and working out even more than I used to.”

This is what I like to a call “a clue”.

To understand why the bulging belly phenomena can happen, you must first understand a little about hormones. We typically think of hormones as bad, especially when we talk about them in context of aging, menopause, etc.

But it’s not that hormones are inherently bad; it’s more about which hormones interact with each other and how they interact with each other, that can cause issues.

The hormones we specifically think of when it comes to women and fat loss are insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and catecholamines. Don’t worry if you don’t know what all of those are – the main thing to understand is that when some hormones “play” or hang out with others, it can lead to a pretty nasty hormonal soup….leading to, you guessed it, increased belly fat storage.

So where does stress come into play? Before getting into that, I need to clarify what I mean by stress. I’m not talking just about stress that is obvious like job stress, financial stress, etc. I’m talking about anything that puts internal stress on the body – things like lack of sleep, overtraining, etc. It is totally possible to not feel unhappy or outwardly stressed, but have a bigtime stress response going on internally. Excess stress = excess cortisol.

Add to this the hormone insulin, and the hormonal soup gets even more interesting. Cortisol added to insulin is a bad combination, and the most problematic for belly fat.

Anyway, as women age, typically, estrogen decreases and testosterone increases. When insulin and cortisol are added to this mix, the result can be increased belly fat. Chronic stress in women raises testosterone, lowers estrogen and negatively impacts insulin – this, in effect, can cause increased hunger & cravings and loss of muscle, along with the belly pooch.

So before you get more stressed out by reading the above, here are some tips to reverse the trend:

  • Get enough sleep: this should be top priority. Make an effort to get at least 8 hours per night. If you’re like me, and have a hard time winding down, try a relaxing bath, reading and drinking chamomile or Sleepytime tea. Also, try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Lights from electronics, nightlights, etc., can disrupt the body’s natural sleep pattern.
  • Build in stress-relieving restorative workouts to your routine. These include things like leisure walks in nature, massage, gentle yoga, gardening, spending time with pets, etc. Whatever blisses you out. These types of workouts help to lower cortisol and help to re-balance estrogen and testosterone.
  • Work in 2 to 3 days of heavy weight training per week. This helps to use testosterone for muscle building, not belly fat storage.
  • Don’t go to extremes with diet. You will hear so many different schools of thought on this, but you have to find what works for you. For some women, low carb works best. With others, it’s Intermittent Fasting. It really depends on the individual as to what works. What I’ve found that works well for a lot of my clients is eating three “meals” per day and two snacks. Each meal and snack consists of quality protein, green veggies and a bit of clean starch. Again, it’s not a “one size fits all” deal though.
  • Keep long, endurance type cardio to a minimum. I’m not going to tell you to stop completely, especially if this type of exercise brings you joy. The thing to remember here is the stress response this type of exercise can cause. If you’re going to do it, try for one or two days per week max.
  • Certain food combinations are fat-storing nightmares. Probably the worst is the combination of fat and starch. Add stress to the mix, and it’s even worse. So, general rule of thumb is if you’re going to eat fat, that’s ok…just eat it with green, fibrous veggies and not with starchy carbs like potatoes, rice, etc. Likewise, if you’re going to drink alcohol, it is best to eat lean protein and fibrous veggies and shy away from the fatty foods.
  • Eating less and exercising more is not your friend. Finding a healthy balance of each is key.

Peaches - lowering her cortisolPeaches – lowering her cortisol

In short, keeping stress in check, whether it’s physical or mental stress, helps keep hormones in balance and the belly fat at bay.

So, get out there and enjoy that leisurely walk today!! It does a body good :-) . And while you’re at it, consider joining our 12 Week Healthy Aging Lifestyle Program. Among other things, we’ll be teaching you how to keep hormones in balance and reduce the stressors in your life. Everything kicks off April 13, 2015!

xoxo,

Tara

Reference: Metabolic Effect – they are the AUTHORITY on all things hormones and fat loss. Check them out!

 

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Embracing Your Age

I often think about when I had various milestone birthdays in my life, and how they affected me.

I don’t really remember 20 (ha!), but 30 was HARD. I remember thinking, “wow, 30…that’s so OLD!” That seriously makes me LOL now!

When I hit 40, things were different. I definitely had some moments when I thought, “40…hmmmm…not quite sure how I feel about this.” But, it helped that my inner circle consists of women who are younger than me, and other than a couple fleeting “I’m old” thoughts, it was really ok. For the most part, now I rarely ever think about being 45.

In fact, if you told me today that I could go back to being 25, exactly as I was at 25, I’m not sure I’d want to go. With age comes wisdom and a “getting comfortable in your own skin” and a confidence that I surely did NOT have when I was 25. So, yeah, I think I’ll keep my 45…thank you very much!

Now, this is not to say that we don’t have some different challenges to face as we get older. Hormonal fluctuations, increased reactions to stress, drops in energy, little aches and pains, family changes…all of this definitely affects us and how well we age.

I think this is why there are so many “Look Hot Over 40” programs and “40 is the new 30” campaigns. We have a hard time embracing where we are NOW in our journey, so we work hard to go back to where we were. Then, we just feel defeated when it just doesn’t work.

Well I say it’s time to embrace our age and OWN IT…whether you’re in your 40’s, 50’s or beyond, wherever you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Are there some things that could maybe be improved upon to make the journey easier and more enjoyable…of course!

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This is where the Healthy Aging Lifestyle Program comes in. I’m so excited to partner with Michelle Page of Preventative Medicine Through Food and Exercise on this 12 Week Program that will address the challenges we face as we get a little older – everything from dietary needs and specific exercise, to mindset and life changes. I truly believe that everyone deserves to not only feel happy in their body every single day, but also in their life. The two go hand in hand, and you really cannot have one without the other.

You can head over here to learn a bit more, and to also register for a free webinar Michelle and I are hosting Wednesday night, 4/1/15,  at 7:30pm ET.

Regardless, I hope you’ll start owning your age – be proud and shout it out. And just for fun, hashtag your decade on social media and show everyone how proud you are: #40isthenew40, #50isthenew50 and so on. Have fun with it and be sure to tag me as well:

Instagram: @primelifefit
Twitter: @primelifefit
Facebook: www.facebook.com/primelifefit

Embrace your age J!!

Xoxo,

Tara

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6 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail (and how you can make them stick this time)

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Here we are at the first Monday of 2015. For many, the New Year signifies a sort of “rebirth”…a time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t the past year, and to “start fresh”…again.

While I  think this is healthy for the most part, so many end up failing in their resolutions and end up either the same or worse than they were the prior year.

Let’s NOT do that this time! Realizing why resolutions fail and how you can avoid that is paramount to success. Below are why I think most resolutions fail, and how we can (finally) make them stick, once and for all.

    1. Changing too many things at once: tell me if this sounds familiar – Oh my gosh…starting January 1st, I’m going to be in the gym every single day at 5am for an hour AND I’m COMPLETELY cutting out carbs/sugar/wine/coffee (pick your poison) AND I’m going to get 8 hours sleep per night AND I’m going to be the most organized person EVER!!Whoa…hold on there, little pony!! How realistic is it that one could successfully master ALL of those things long-term without feeling overwhelmed?A better approach might be to pick one or two of those things and create a resolution that is both attainable and realistic.How about this: I resolve to move my body at least 3 days per week for 20-30 minutes at a time. I will also focus on clean, pure foods 80-90% of the time.Do you think you might be able to stick to those very positive, very doable changes? In the process, you just might find the other things falling into place as you focus more on attainable outcomes.
    2. Unrealistic expectations/goals: this one goes hand-in-hand with the above. Things like resolving to run a marathon when you’ve never run the first mile (or you hate running); or putting an unrealistic number on a fat loss goal.While I definitely like to “dream big”, I also understand that being realistic on certain things is necessary. If goals are too lofty and broad, then the negative self-talk can take over as you realize you just cannot achieve them, and you end up doing nothing at all.Perhaps a better approach would be to create goals that are challenging, and create them in manageable “chunks”; i.e., daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. And celebrate each “win” along the way, no matter how big or small.So, if your eventual goal is to do a marathon, make your first goal to run a mile without stopping, and then build upon that.
    3. Lack of accountability/support: I think we all realize how important it is to be supported in our goals. Having an accountability partner or group is a great way to stay focused and on-track. Knowing that we are accountable to someone else also makes it not “all about us” – if we don’t do what we say we’re going to, then it not only affects us, but our partner/group as well. So, partner up with someone who has like-minded goals and check-in with them frequently.
    4. Loss of enthusiasm as time goes on: it is inevitable that the January 1st sparkle will wear off as time goes on, so you have to keep polishing and revisiting those goals to keep them shiny and interesting. If your goal is to move more, then change your workouts up frequently. If you want to eat healthier, then realize there is more to clean eating than chicken and broccoli. Get creative, and don’t be afraid to modify your goals as you go along.
    5. Giving up when you hit a snag: the best-laid plans sometimes fail. And that’s ok! Too often we just give up when something isn’t working or we make a mistake. If we can learn to look at mistakes as detours and lessons instead of obstacles, then there are no failures. When you hit a bump, get up, dust yourself off, and take another path. If you are truly committed to something, then the largest obstacle can do nothing to sway you. If you are just kinda-sorta-maybe committed, then the slightest little thing can knock you down.  It’s your choice.
    6. Lack of focus and vision: we all get sidetracked. Life happens. You must get very clear on your vision of what you want, and you must focus on it every single day without fail. Whether it’s meditating on it first thing in the morning, or having a vision board posted somewhere that you can see it frequently during the day – whatever works for you. Maintaining the vision and keeping it in the forefront of your mind is imperative, because when Life throws a curve ball (and it will), you can use that vision to stay the course.I review my goals frequently throughout the day. I have them written down in a notebook that I keep with me all the time. I recite them silently to myself probably 1000 times each day, and I don’t stop even when I’m just not feeling it. It really helps to keep my mind “at home” and focused on the bigger picture.

So who’s ready to make things stick in 2015? Then join us for The Freedom Project 2015 – we are a group of like-minded people who are ditching the resolutions for good, creating freedom in all areas of our life. Get the details here.

Xoxo,
Tara

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Ditch the Resolutions, Once and For All!

If you’re like most people, you may be thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions right about now.

According to Forbe’s Magazine, more than 40% of Americans make some kind of New Year’s resolution.

But only 8% stick to them. 

As if that weren’t bad enough, a lot of people end up worse off than before.

Ugh.

Let’s take a look at two of the most popular resolutions:

1. lose weight/get healthy
2. get out of debt/save more

When it comes to #1, most people set goals that are too extreme and totally unsustainable.

You only have to visit your local gym on January 1st, and then again about 3 weeks later to see this in action.

For #2, if one is living paycheck to paycheck, and income is not increasing, how likely is it that one will be able to save more or pay off debt? Not too likely I would guess.

In my opinion, both of these resolutions are of equal importance, but we usually hear more about #1.

But, consider this:

If your health is suffering, then you will end up paying more in health care costs, thereby affecting #2

If you’re not financially stable and secure, then it is nearly impossible to be healthy. Financial stress makes you sickI know this firsthand, but that is a topic for another post.

What if you weren’t part of that 92% whose resolutions fail? What if New Year’s Resolutions were a thing of the past, and January 1st was just another glorious day?

How would that feel? To be the healthiest you’ve been in your life, physically and financially?

What would that mean for you?

Would you run a marathon? Would you give more to your favorite charity? Would you travel? Spend more time with family? Quit your J-O-B (just over broke)?

If I said that this was all within your reach, would you be open to learning more?

Well, Nick and I are so excited to announce The Freedom Project 2015!

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What exactly is #TFP and who is it for? 
  • Well, it’s for ANYONE who is tired of making resolutions, only to have them fail.
  • It’s about getting the healthiest you’ve ever been and stopping the yo-yo dieting once and for all, creating a sustainable lifestyle.
  • It’s about being FREE from financial bondage, and being able to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them.
  • It’s about FREEDOM, plain and simple.
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What will I learn?
  • You will learn how to incorporate our organic superfood nutrition into your lifestyle to create the healthiest, leanest version of you (and your family) possible.
  • You’ll learn how to save money on groceries.
  • You’ll learn how you can earn up to $820 your first week, plus income that flows in even while you sleep.
  • You will also have access to top-notch nutrition and financial coaching, as well as personal development and mindset tools – because when it comes to being part of the 8% who actually succeed at their resolutions, these things are crucial. 
What if I’m only interested in losing weight/getting healthy?
  • AWESOME! We realize that some folks are happy where they are financially and don’t have a desire to earn more. Tara will work with you to help you reach your physical goals and create a sustainable lifestyle. 
How do I become a part of #TFP 
It’s super simple. There are two options:
1. If you’re local to the Winston-Salem area of NC, join us at 4pm on Sunday, 1/4/14 for an informational meeting.
2. If you’re not local, join us THIS Thursday, 1/1/14 at 12pm OR 6pm ET for a special webinar.
Regardless of the option you choose, you’ll hear our stories – how, at  ages 45 (Tara) and 50 (Nick),  we are the healthiest and fittest we’ve been, as well as how we’ve been blessed with time and financial freedom.
Complete the form below for details on each option:

Nick and I are committed to helping you reach your goals in 2015. Are you ready?

xoxo,

Tara

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How Aging Affects Your Ability to Digest, Part One

Today’s guest post comes from my dear friend, Dr. Jillian Teta. Dr. Jillian is a brilliant naturopathic physician who specializes in all things gut-related. Her first book, Natural Solutions for Digestive Healthhit the shelves on May 6, 2014 and sold 4,927 copies in THREE days. In five days, it had almost completely sold out of its first printing. HINT: get your copy on Amazon by clicking the link above before those are gone too :-) . Dr. Jillian’s Fix Your Digestion Facebook page contains a wealth of information and has nearly 8000 followers. Bottom line – she knows her stuff, but explains gut health in such a way that everyone can (and needs to) understand. I personally love how she conquers subject matter that no one really wants to talk about (constipation, anyone?), adds a bit of humor and then offers real, natural solutions. 

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How Aging Affects Your Ability to Digest, Part One 

By: Dr. Jillian Sarno Teta

It’s no secret that as we get older, gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, IBS, constipation and reflux become ever more common. Typically we are told by our doctors to take the requisite symptoms relievers like antacids, acid-blocking drugs, laxatives and Bean-o. While these may help temporarily reduce symptoms, they do little to explain why these symptoms have popped up in the first place, nor do they address the causes of distress.

The truth is, very often there is a reason why symptoms pop up, and concrete steps that you can take to help yourself feel better in a meaningful and long-term way. Armed with a bit of knowledge about the workings of your system and where common symptoms arise from, you are well equipped to start a most interesting investigation – the investigation into yourself!

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that as we get older, our ability to break down our food efficiently slows down. It’s not always the case, but let’s consider what it takes to digest. Our body uses digestive enzymes, acid and bile to biochemically break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats into teensy-weensy bits of amino acids, starches and fatty acids, respectively. It is these tiny molecules that get absorbed through the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and into our bodies.

Acid, specifically, is very energetically expensive. The pH of our bodies is around 7, yet the pH of a top-performing stomach is much lower than that, at around 2. This acidic environment ensures adequate breakdown of food and prevents infection with pathogens. Yet it requires enormous effort for the body to produce this precious commodity. As we age, cellular energy wanes. This has consequences all over the body, and for the cells in the stomach that make acid, they slow down. They don’t make quite as much. Ditto for production of enzymes found in the stomach and pancreas, and it’s a similar story for bile production. Often, we just don’t have enough of these digestive factors to break down our food thoroughly.

What happens when large, partially unbroken food particles are on the scene? For one thing, they cause gas and bloating and indigestion. The small intestine likes everything broken into tiny particles – it’s how things are absorbed. Big particles spell big trouble. Another consequence, particularly if this goes on for months, is that the immune system will start to pay attention and react. The immune system will begin to treat these unbroken particles as invaders rather than friends. An inflammatory response from the immune system can lead to increased intestinal permeability (aka: leaky gut) and trigger sensitivities to foods that you never had before. The inflammatory molecules can also negatively impact the colony of beneficial bacteria that live in your large intestine, which in turn can alter gut motility (how frequently you “go”).

Another major consequence of reduced digestive capacity is the appearance of acid reflux, heartburn and GERD. Contrary to popular belief, heartburn is not a case of too much acid – particularly in the older crowd, and you now know why – but of acid in the wrong place. Between the bottom of the esophagus and the stomach is a trap door known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is always supposed to be closed, except for when you swallow something. This prevents acid and other stomach contents from regurgitating back up into the esophagus. The ability of the LES to stay closed is influenced by many things, including hormones and medication and certain foods. Interestingly, it is greatly impacted by stomach acid. When you have enough stomach acid, the LES stays tightly closed. As we age and stomach acid production goes down and there isn’t as much on board, the LES can creep open, and the  stomach acid that is present can wash into the esophagus and create symptoms. Low stomach acid is called hypochlorhydria and is a major contributing factor to reflux and heartburn in adults. Sadly, at this juncture, acid-blocking drugs are given, which worsen the underlying problem and create new ones, as they blunt the absorption of nutrients such as vitamin B12, folate, calcium and iron; and increase risk for infectious disease and bone fracture.

At this juncture, a good question to ask is – “well, what does one do about this?”

First things first: always chew your food well. Mechanically breaking down what you eat via chewing will put less biochemical pressure on your system lower down in the stomach and intestines. Chew your food until it is very soft and pasty. Second, consider taking a digestive enzyme with meals. This will assist your body in breaking down breakfast, lunch and dinner and will supplement the body’s own production of enzymes. You can also consider supplementing stomach acid in the form of Betaine HCl, but NOT if you have an ulcer and/or gastritis. Betaine HCl would be taken with enzymes, with meals. Some products contain acid and enzymes both. Supplementing with acid also helps kick-start your stomach to make it’s own acid, which is a very good thing indeed.

There is almost always a cause for digestive distress, but it doesn’t have to be cause for suffering! Understanding what is going on in your unique body is the first step towards uncovering the reasons for gastrointestinal disturbance and kicking symptoms to the curb. In my next post, we will cover changes that occur to the so-called “second brain” – the enteric nervous system – as we get older, and what that means for digestive health.

closeupJillian Sarno Teta ND is a medically trained naturopathic doctor and the author of the brand new book, “Natural Solutions for Digestive Health”. Jillian is the creator of the Fix Your Digestion gut restoration program, which is an online, do-it-yourself program to reduce digestive distress. A widely recognized expert in the field of gastrointestinal health, Jillian blogs for The Huffington Post and her work has been featured in the Gluten Intolerance Group National Letter, Pain Pathways, Dr. Oz Online and more. She loves social media and you can find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fixyourdigestion and Instagram and Twitter at @jillianteta. You can find links to her book, blog, store and more via www.gutrestoration.com 

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Cardio, v.3.0 + PWO shake

So, last week, I felt the need for a little cardio rush, but was majorly strapped for time and wanted to work shoulders as well. So, what’s a girl to do? A short, effective Metabolic Conditioning workout, of course!! I definitely felt this one – but had a blast. Give it a whirl, and let me know how you like it.

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Print n go: Ain’t Nobody Got Time, v3.0

After I got home, I made my most favorite post-workout shake in the whole wide world (see recipe below):

Choco-Nutty PWO Shake Choco-Nutty PWO Shake

Ingredients:

1 serving Isagenix IsaLean Pro protein in Natural Chocolate
2 tbs PB2
5 g L-Glutamine powder
6 drops Capella Flavor Drops in Hazelnut
a couple grinds of sea salt

Oh my gosh – soooooooo good!! I was never one to actually look forward to shakes before I tried these – now it’s my favorite meal of the day!

Enjoy!!!

xoxo,

Tara

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That’s IT! I’m quitting wine!!

Have you ever said this (feel free to replace “wine” with your favorite vice)? I know I have – PLENTY of times. I even almost said it after coming off a wonderful trip to the West Coast a couple weeks ago where I indulged in the vino probably a little more than normal. :-)

Did you ever notice when you tell yourself that you’re quitting this and can’t have that, that you end up wanting it even more?

Exactly.

I can’t tell you when specifically this shift took place for me, but sometime over the past couple years, I stopped telling myself I couldn’t have something that I deemed to be “bad” for me. And whoa…how liberating it was!

With nothing absolutely off-limits, you might think I would go on a full-out binge complete with popcorn, potato chips, wine, etc. But it’s funny…the exact opposite happened. Once I gave myself permission and the CHOICE to have those things, I didn’t want them as much!! Does it always work? No…but practicing what my friend, Jill Coleman, calls “intermittent sampling” and living a life of true moderation leads to a MUCH happier existence! Intermittent sampling is exactly what it sounds like – never going into full pig-out mode, but never depriving oneself either.

When I think about all the time I used to spend obsessing about food, I feel so grateful to be in this place now. Does it really need to be that difficult? What if  we all replaced the language of “I can’t have that” to “I choose not to have that”? Two similar, yet very different phrases in how your subconscious processes them.

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We always, ALWAYS have a choice – when we use words like “can’t have” or “not allowed to have”, we are perpetuating an all-or-nothing mindset. And I have to quote Jill again here because she has this stuff nailed: “All or nothing always ends up being nothing.” I LIVED all-or-nothing for freakin’ decades, and it was not fun. I would spend literally all week obsessing about my once a week, all-out cheat meal, and then feel absolutely miserable afterward. I missed out on a lot of living, because Lord forbid, a family or social gathering fell on a non-cheat meal day.  Those are years of what would have been precious memories that I can’t get back…because of the “can’t have” obsession.

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Don’t get me wrong – when it comes to fat loss, there have to be some sacrifices involved to reach your goals. But again, it boils down to choice. And honestly, nothing should ever be completely off-limits (again – intermittent sampling ).

You will never hear me say I’m quitting anything (especially wine, ha!) because I know that just sets me up for a downward spiral of craving the very thing I’m quitting, guilt and being miserable.

So, Cheers (as I refill my glass of Chardonnay). Just kidding…sort of ;-) .

Love,

Tara

P.S. If you’re ready to quit the all-or-nothing, but aren’t quite sure HOW to do that, let me know. We are running some cool promos through Easter Sunday on some of our best systems to help you break the cycle, reach your goals and create a sustainable LIFESTYLE.

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Please…Get Out of Your Own Way!

How many times have you told yourself, “I can’t do that” or “I’m not good enough, smart enough, successful enough,” etc.?

How many times have you NOT done something you wanted to do because you were scared?

How many times have you stopped yourself from visualizing how you’d like your life to be because you think, “what’s the point? That’s NEVER going to happen for little old me!”

Oh yeah, I can relate. There have been so many times in my life where I held myself back. I would create these crazy justifications in my mind on why I shouldn’t do something, even though deep down I knew that doing it would get me closer to where I wanted to be.

Even worse than that, for a long time, I didn’t even allow myself to dream or hope about my “ideal life”, because I figured it was a waste of time and I was just setting myself up for disappointment.

What I’ve come to learn over the past couple years however, is that those self-limiting beliefs are EXACTLY what was holding me back from experiencing the things I wanted. It has been a very gradual shift in thinking and mindset, but I have come to the realization that we were ALL meant for Greatness. But so many never realize their true potential because they place limitations on what they can do. We get comfortable, dare I say, lazy, in our thinking and living the status quo.

We go through life not really living, but merely existing. We live a life of mediocrity, which is totally fine if that is what you really want. But what if it’s not? How do you stop limiting yourself and your thinking?

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I’m not going to lie – it takes a lot of mental re-programming. Some get it right away, and others get stuck in “analysis paralysis” mode. But if you are ready for the shift, here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Get clear on exactly what it is that you want – your WHY. It’s best to do this in a quiet environment with no distractions. Open your mind and let your thoughts run wild. Don’t limit yourself. If you could have anything you want, what would it be? A new house, a better job, a better relationship, more money, more time with family, the ability to serve others, etc. Pretend you’re a kid and just let go and let those thoughts in.

  2. Write it down. This probably most important. Until it is written (on paper, not on a computer), it is just a fleeting thought.
  3. FEEL it. Read each thing you wrote down. Focus on it. Focus on how you will feel once you have it. Feel each emotion as if you have it already. Happiness, joy, GRATITUDE, love. REALLY feel and visualize it.
  4. Act as if. This one is tricky. You want to act as if you already have the things you desire. Does this mean that you spend money you don’t have if money is what you desire? No. But being grateful for the money you do have sets you on a path to receive more. It’s the difference between having an attitude of abundance and giving, as opposed to an attitude of scarcity and lack. The key is to feel as though you have the things you desire. Focus, focus and focus some more. There will be things and people who will challenge you. Stay true to yourself. As my friend Dave Mac Arthur says: “Guard your focus with your life.
  5. Set the intention. This involves knowing without a doubt that you WILL accomplish your goal(s). It takes over until you are almost vibrating with clear, solid intention. You KNOW with all of your being that it WILL happen.
  6. Take action. The “how” is probably not going to be clear at this moment. And that is exactly how it should be. The how is none of your business :-) . But taking action, no matter how small, sets forces into motion so that the how presents itself as you go. It sounds crazy and woo-woo, but you’d be surprised. People and circumstances will start showing up in your life, and you’ll have no idea how or why it happened. Be grateful and know it was all meant to be.
  7. Finally, for the love of God, get out of your own way! One of the things Nick and I used to say was, “we’ve got to figure this out!!”…we were so focused on “figuring stuff out” that we paralyzed ourselves. We tried to control everything, and if we couldn’t “figure it out”, we would just do nothing. What we learned though, is that once we relaxed into this way of thinking and stopped trying to control the Universe, things just started to happen. Does it happen overnight? Absolutely not!! Do we have setbacks? Heck yeah!  We are in constant learning mode. But we have gotten really good at is catching ourselves and calling each other out when we regress into our old negative thinking patterns.

You may be thinking this all sounds crazy…and I would have agreed with you up until a couple years ago. But so much of what happens or doesn’t happen for us is caused by the limitations we place upon ourselves.

You were meant for more. Now go out and get it!

Love,

Tara

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10 Holiday Sanity Saver Tips

Ahhhh…the holidays….such a wonderful time of year, right?

But, it can also be somewhat crazy, what with parties, shopping, wrapping, etc. And if you live in Procrastination Nation like me, it can get stressful rushing around at the last minute to get everything done.

And sometimes, we tend to have a WTH attitude towards nutrition and exercise during this time, vowing to get back on the wagon come January 1st. Why do we do that? I know for me, if I get totally off-track, I just end up feeling awful – physically and mentally.

I like to enjoy the holidays like everyone else, but I like to practice moderation – I never feel deprived, yet am still able to maintain. Here are my top tips doing that – they are painless and easy!

1. Start your day with a high-quality protein shake. I choose one with 36g of undenatured whey protein from grass-fed cows.

2. Drink lots of water – shoot for 100 oz daily.

3. Eat lots of greens – eat some, then eat some more. Spinach and kale are great mixed in with shakes – you can’t even taste it.

4. Move your body. If you can’t get in a regular workout, do “bursts” several times throughout the day. A burst consists of 60 secs hard effort. For example, squat jumps, push-ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, etc. OR see below on our Holiday Time Crunch Workout Series.

5. Don’t forget about sleep! We’ve been through this, but if you are sleep deprived, then fat burning is going to be hard.

6. At parties and family dinners, scan the food choices first before diving in. Fill your plate with veggies and protein first. Keep starches and sweets to a minimum. If you drink alcohol, try to keep it at 1 to 2 and drink water with each one. When it comes to alcohol, the solution is dilution.

7. Don’t stress – take some time out of each day to just breathe and  ”be”. Even 5 minutes can do a world of good.  Do what lights you up: meditate, walk, take a nice bath, read, etc.

8. Realize that no one is perfect – it’s totally ok if you slip up and indulge more than planned. Acknowledge, accept and move on. We always have a wonderful opportunity to get right back on track the very next meal.

9. Be grateful in every moment, even the difficult ones. :-)

10. And most importantly, ENJOY yourself. I think sometimes we get so focused on all the tasks at-hand that we forget to do this. Remember the meaning of the Season and cherish it. Being with family and friends is what it’s all about.

Love,

Tara

Oh, and before I forget!

Our Prime Life Fit Club peeps are putting the above into action with our easy-to-follow and CONVENIENT Holiday “break-even”  nutrition plan and our FREE Holiday Time Crunch Workout Series – 5 to 15 minute workouts you can do in your PJ’s at home :-) . Want more info? Shoot me a note: Tara@PrimeLifeFit.com.

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