STRUGGLE WITH FEELING ATTACKED WHEN RECEIVING FEEDBACK? THIS MAY HELP.

Most of us (me included) are highly sensitive, prideful, and ego driven when it comes to receiving feedback from another person. I understand we do not want to appear dumb, weak, or as if we don’t know the answer. It is of huge importance to be open-minded to feedback from qualified people and materials that will help you to achieve the healthy life you desire. Going at it alone without proper feedback or becoming defensive when challenged will limit how successful you can become.  Many who are unqualified will give opinions. Be polite and thank them while getting advice from expert people and materials. It is important to stay present with your emotional response to the feedback and to be mindful of the feelings you experience and express when challenged. Regulating your emotional response is healthy and will carry over into other areas as you practice it more often.  If you struggle with taking feedback too personally, being defensive, or lack confidence in yourself when it comes to receiving feedback, the following exercises may help you begin to do the work to overcome your struggle. To change and grow in recovery with the things you struggle with requires extra work but it is so worth it. Do the following exercises carefully and with deep thought. For best results, communicate all answers clearly with handwritten sentences.

Helpful Exercise: In the space below, list three people in your life who are qualified for you to be accountable to.

Examples:

  1. I can be accountable to my personal trainer because she helps others lose weight and has educated herself in weight loss.
  2. I can be accountable to my workout partners because they support my goal of a healthier and leaner weight and are going through this with me.
  3. I can be accountable to my good friend who is healthy and fit and because she cares enough for me to be honest and tell me what I need to hear not what I want to hear.

Now it is your turn:

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2.

 

3.

 

Helpful exercise: In the space below, list three ways you can be more open to feedback. Examples:

  • I can be more open to feedback by understanding that when someone is trying to help me with constructive criticism, they are not attacking me personally. I will not take it personally.
  • I can be more open to feedback by understanding that successful people in all endeavors NEED people to advise them and give them honest opinions. I will accept feedback as help.
  • I can be more open to feedback by accepting that I need help with my weight loss. I have conditioned myself to do things myself and not ask for help. I have not been successful with my weight loss with this approach. I will surrender to the help that I need and be open to the feedback I receive from others who have been successful at weight loss, helping others with weight loss, or other health experts.

Now it is your turn:

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2.

 

3.

 

 

It is common to experience anxious, frustrated, or even sad emotions as someone is giving us feedback. If you have been battling confidence issues all of your life, the criticism or feedback you have received has many times been in an “attacking” manner. As a result, you may have developed an almost automatic emotional and verbal response as you receive feedback and feel you are being attacked again—even though it may not the intention of the person delivering the feedback. You have developed defense mechanisms to counter the attack. It is a basic “fight or flight” response. In the space below, list three automatic emotional responses you experience as you feel you are being attacked with criticism.

Examples:

  • When someone is talking to me about my weight, I feel sad because I feel as though they are attacking me.
  • When my nutritionist is examining my food log and is “critical” of a certain food, I feel anxious and as though I am being attacked and I reacted defensively by lashing out.
  • When my personal trainer tries to push me beyond what I want to do with an exercise, I feel frustrated because I think I am doing my best.

Now it is your turn:

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2.

 

3.

 

 

I hope the exercises help you see how you can be more open to the feedback of others. I believe many people get confused about what is truly support in recovery from a struggle. While having people who cheer us on is important, having people who teach and challenge us in a nonjudgmental way is vital to success. I have watched hundreds of people become successful with health practices and all of them have people in their lives who will give them the feedback they need to hear but not always what they want to hear. They first had to learn how to manage the emotional response they had to the feedback. Continue to practice conscious presence when it comes to the emotional reactions you have to people and events. Practice calm responses. Practice healthy responses. BECOME YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH REACHING GOALS THIS WILL HELP!

The change process is never an easy one but it is worth it. A common trait with people who make large change in life is resiliency. It is important to learn how to overcome “failure” so you can create the successful behaviors needed to achieve a life. Many of us have made the decision to quit or give up on an endeavor when large scale changes did not occur almost immediately after we began. BE PATIENT! We did not create the health we currently are at overnight. For many of us, it has been a life time of creation. Positive behavioral change requires time but is the ONLY true way to make lasting changes for the better. To continually rely on diets, preplanned eating programs, medications, surgeries and other non-behavioral methods will only yield short term and/or temporary success.  In other words, do not give up NO MATTER WHAT. The individuals who are successful may have “got knocked down” a few times during his or her attempts to bring about change but continued the battle and GOT BACK UP EVERYTIME.  If things did not go as planned today or changes are not occurring in life as fast as you would like, PLEASE continue the fight. GET BACK UP; LEARN FROM IT AND MOVE ON TO TOMORROW. If others have been able to create significant changes you can too. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Here are a few questions that have helped many individuals learn how to overcome the lifelong habit of giving up on a goal. It is important to think about it carefully and to hand write the answers.

Exercise: In the space below, list three previous occasions that you began a weight loss or health improvement program and stopped without reaching your desired goal.

Examples:

  • At age 23, I began to exercise and eat more vegetables but after one month I was still at the same weight and felt it was not working for me so I quit.
  • At age 30, I began a diet that I had read in a magazine. I was miserable and lasted only for a few days when I had an overwhelming craving for junk food and soda. I ended up giving into my cravings and binged on everything I could find for days.
  • I joined a weight loss support where attending meetings was a requirement. I did not like the people there and felt as though they did not like me. I went to three meetings and decided it was not for me.

Now it is your turn:

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2.

 

3.

 

Based on the above answers, in the space below list three ways that you can create a different outcome for yourself this time and reach the goal you have set for weight loss or improved health.

Example:

  • I will understand that I did not reach my current state of health or weight in one month and I will be patient with my weight loss.
  • This time, I will study and eat for my health and longevity. I will not try a crash diet from a magazine and instead educate myself properly to be healthy and maximize metabolism.
  • I will stick to the program that I choose NO MATTER WHAT! I will also understand that support from others is vital to my success and I will welcome feedback from others who are qualified. I will also understand this may not include immediate family members.

Now it is your turn:

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2.

 

3.

 

Why do you think that some people are able to come from broken homes, addicted parents, severe obesity, poverty, abuse, poor health and other disadvantages and make positive changes that lead to successful behaviors?

 

 

Why do you think others do not?

 

So why do people change? It begins with an individuals’ choice to begin to “do the work” necessary to begin the change process. It is often a struggle for many. If you are sincerely tired of where you are at in life and truly desire to change, then the struggle will be worth it. Resiliency has been the key for centuries with individuals overcoming large obstacles to become successful. If you study business people, singers of all genres, actors or actresses, champion athletes or WEIGHT LOSS success stories nearly all will say that the key to his or her success was resiliency. Good health is truly wealth. The journey will be worth it! This time, stick to your goal NO MATTER WHAT and enjoy all of the benefits that good health can bring.

If we are going to change physically, we must go through the physical discomfort of exercise. If we are going to change lifelong ways of eating, coping, and reacting we must go through the emotional discomfort of looking at ourselves DEEPLY and PERSEVERING through the discomfort. Take your time in this process of self-discovery and do the work necessary to enact the change you are seeking. It is critical to staying focused and for your self-improvement.

Self-awareness questions:

Am I in denial about ANYTHING today as it relates to the way I have eaten, exercised, or other areas of health?

 

How can I be more honest with myself in the future to avoid my lifelong practice of denial?

 

Today, was I open-minded to the feedback from those who are qualified to help me with my goals of a healthier and leaner body?

 

Was I defensive when I was confronted by someone who I have sought out as support for my health and weight loss goals?

 

How can improve in the future to be more receptive and open-minded to the feedback of others?

 

Am I surrendering to the fact that I need help and feedback from others?

 

Did I read and/or listen to materials today that will help my personal growth and assist me in staying focused on my goal of a healthier and leaner body?

 

If I did not listen to or read material that will help my personal growth or assist me with my health goals, what is the HONEST reason for not having done so.

 

How can I manage my time tomorrow to make sure that I include positive material time?

 

Am I in denial about the impact my current weight or state of health will have on myself or others who care about me?

 

Am I showing those that care about me that I also care for them by taking care of my health to the best of my ability TODAY?

 

How can I better understand tomorrow that there is no positive outcome to obesity or poor health practices and that my choices affect many others, especially those who care for me deeply?

 

Do I understand that perseverance is the key to overcoming major obstacles or creating large scale changes in life?

 

If I felt like giving up today on my goal of a healthier and leaner body, what can I do tomorrow to regain the drive and desire that has led me to begin this program in the first place?

 

Am I willing to fight with all that I have to create the healthy and lean body that I desire?

 

KEEP FIGHTING! YOU CAN DO IT! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

 

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

HOW TO OVERCOME THE BARRIER OF COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

Thankfully we are not all the same. Each one of us have our own unique gifts, qualities, genetic traits, tastes, skin tones, accents, and other features that makes us individuals. The same is true for our fitness levels, weight loss issues, and overall health status. A common barrier to achieving optimal wellness is the belief that someone else is the same as you. We all have different chemical makeups, strengths, hormone levels and other traits that make us different, especially when it comes to weight loss. Some people “can eat anything” and never gain weight; some can lose weight faster than others despite what feels like a greater effort, and still more never have to exercise and still look great. What gives? Comparing yourself to others and feeling as though you have received an “unfair hand” from the “weight loss Gods” is a fast recipe for failure. It is NEVER you versus them. It is only YOU VERSUS YOU!

Take your time and think clearly when doing the following exercises designed to help you manage the unhealthy pattern of comparing yourself to others.

Exercise: In the space below, list at least three people who you may currently or in the future compare yourself to when it comes to weight loss, wellness, or overall fitness. It may be someone who you are exercising with, a spouse or partner, someone at the office or in the gym etc. Do not give names merely generalizations. In addition to who you compare yourself to, list how you compare yourself to this person.

Examples:

I compare myself to my husband because he can lose weight much easier than I can and he eats everything bad. The reason I compare myself to him is because I wish I could eat like he does and still lose weight. It is not fair.

I compare myself to the lady I work with because she is older than  me and can run a 5k 10 minutes faster than I can. I should be able to do at least as good as her.

I compare myself to the guy at the gym because he is able to work out with regularity every day. My schedule does not permit to train as much as he does.

Now it is your turn:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More (if necessary):

 

 

Exercise: In the space below, list any differences that may exist between you and the person you are or may compare yourself to. This could include physical differences, occupational or financial differences, gender differences or any other difference that could influence your decision to compare yourself to this individual.

Examples:

The differences between my husband and I are gender, metabolism, and genetics.

The differences between the lady at my job and I is that she may be older but she has been running since middle school and never stopped.

The difference between the guy at the gym who is able to work out on a more regular basis is that after talking to him I learned that he actually works more hours than I do but makes exercise a priority every day regardless of schedule.

Now it is your turn:

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2.

 

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4.

 

            5.

 

More (if necessary):

 

 

 

Exercise: In the space below, list how the differences you have listed above may impact the individual you compare yourself to in a positive way. In other words, what makes it easier or an advantage so he or she can achieve the wellness, weight, or fitness level you desire? In addition, list how you can see the individuals you listed as well as yourself in a healthier and more positive manner when it comes to his or her “advantage.”

 

Examples:

  1. My husband’s gender and family genetics enable him to lose weight faster than me. Because of hormones that are more predominant in most males it is easier for him to build lean muscle mass faster than me. This plus his family history of fast metabolism helps his weight loss occur faster than mine.
  2. The female coworker who is older than me but runs much faster than I do has made the decision to continue running for the past twenty years.
  3. The advantage the man at the gym and his ability to work out more frequently is his decision to make exercise a priority, manage his time to allow himself time for his health care, and setting boundaries with himself and others to avoid distractions and activities that would make exercise more difficult for him.

Now it is your turn:

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Exercise: In the space below, list how you may overcome the “disadvantage” that you have with the person you are or may be comparing yourself to. Please list at least five.

Examples:

  • I can accept that I am my own unique person and everyone is different.
  • I can stay aware that there are others with the same or even greater disadvantages than me who have been able to achieve the wellness and weight they desired.
  • I can accept that I may have to work harder and eat “cleaner” than some people but I am willing to do it because I really want to reach my goals of health and weight.
  • I can realize that my “inner strength” and desire are my advantages.
  • I will be happy for the person who has the “advantages” that I compare myself to. I will reach my goal of health and weight NO MATTER WHAT and focus on what I need to do and not others.

Now it is your turn:

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            2.

 

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            4.

 

            5.

 

The above “barriers” section includes common barriers for weight loss. Do you have any personal barriers not listed above that are not physical and only mindset or outlook related? In other words how do you sabotage yourself? If so, please list them below.

 

 

Outlook and mindset are SO IMPORTANT in weight loss. The way we see exercise, nutrition, slow progress and other weight loss impacting areas will HUGELY influence your ability to reach your health and weight goals. This section is only designed to bring insight to you and how you can damage your own progress. It is of the utmost importance to learn to recognize when we are doing this to ourselves. At this point in the workbook, ONLY learn to recognize when this is occurring. The coming chapters will address and provide tools to change the mindset.

 

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO CREATE A LEAN AND HEALTHY BODY! I PERSONALLY HAVE WITNESSED SEVERAL PEOPLE LOSE NEARLY 100 POUNDS WELL AFTER AGE 60, AND KEEP IT OFF. THEY WERE ALL VERY DETERMINED TO ACHIEVE GOOD HEALTH AND PERFORMED ACCORDINGLY, AS YOU CAN TOO. SO PLEASE, BEGIN NOW TO ADDRESS YOUR HEALTH/WEIGHT ISSUES!   BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

 www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

HOW TO CHANGE THE SELF-TALK THAT SABOTAGES YOUR HEALTH GOALS

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are talking to ourselves (don’t worry it is normal) throughout the day. We tell ourselves it is okay to do certain things, tell ourselves it is not okay to do other things, daydream, make judgments of ourselves and others, and prioritize tasks. We also talk to ourselves when it comes to our coping choices and the way we use unhealthy things to cope with daily life. Many times we will “talk ourselves into” unhealthy choices or “talk ourselves out of” healthy choices. For most of us, this has been a practice we have perfected over many years, probably since childhood. How we have “made it okay” with our self-talk to make unhealthy choices plays a key role in the health status we are in today. Changing the “automatic” words we tell ourselves when we are justifying our choices will play a key role in you achieving the weight and wellness goals that you so strongly desire.

Exercise: Choose a time twice per day for 15 minutes where you can be mindful (aware or “in the moment”) of your self-talk. Choosing times on opposite ends of the day such as morning and evening will work well for many. Before and after your hours of employment, during your commute to and from work or errands will provide you with the opportunity to examine your thoughts and self-talk as it relates to the actions you take during that time, whether it is health related or not. The exercise will help you to see how you justify behaviors, judgments of yourself and others, carry out daily tasks and of course make nutrition choices. You should start with about twenty minutes on this exercise. In the space below, list at least five ways you spoke to yourself during the time of this exercise. It could be judgments of yourself or others, work related, reward justifications, talking yourself out of exercise etc. Try to conduct this exercise without stress or pressure. In other words, relax and look at the way you talk to yourself and make things okay or not okay.

Examples:

  • I told myself the person across from me on the bus was poor because her clothes were worn and her shoes had holes in them.
  • I told myself I did not have time to exercise today because of work and a school appointment with my child’s teacher.
  • I told myself that I am being treated with less respect than others at work because of continued reprimands by my boss.
  • I told myself that I had to eat unhealthy fast food because I did not have time to prepare breakfast.
  • I told myself that I “needed” chocolate and other comfort foods due to the hard day at work.

 

It is so important to recognize thoughts quickly that do not lead to our best health and overall good. Focusing on negative events that have occurred in the past, ruminating about events that have happened recently, holding onto resentments, having anger toward another person that you feel has wronged you, remaining sad for extended periods over losses, and failing to correct anxiousness are not healthy for the physical body.

Now it is your turn to use self-awareness to recognize how you may use self-talk to sabotage your goals of a healthy and fulfilled life:

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5

 

 

Based on the answers that you have listed above, how can you change the talk you have with yourself to change the outcome or behavior so that it reflects your goal of improved health, wellness, and a leaner weight?

Examples:

  • As I see the person across from me on the bus with worn clothes and shoes, I will tell myself that the person is acceptable to me without judgment and allow that person to be themselves and dress in the manner that they may need to for work or economic reasons.
  • As I tell myself that I do not have time to exercise today, I will examine other ways I can get my exercise done either today or when I am faced with other busy days. I will tell myself to learn from the experience and that exercise is a key part of my goal of improved health and wellness. I will make exercise a priority and focus on the benefits of exercise.
  • As I tell myself that I am being disrespected at work because of continued reprimands by my boss, I will change the talk to myself to, “I am responsible for the emotions within myself and not for the actions of others. I can control the extent to which I get upset and look openly at my work performance to see if I can improve and/or address the areas my boss is reprimanding me about.” Or, “I have examined everything my boss is reprimanding me about. I feel as though I am doing the best I can and will talk to my boss about the reprimands and be open to the feedback he or she gives me. I will communicate clearly, honestly and with respect.”
  • As I tell myself that it is okay to eat an unhealthy fast food breakfast because of time, I will remind myself of the work I have done to achieve improved health and wellness and the consequences of poor food choices. If I have to eat at a place that has mostly unhealthy choices, I will order fruit cups, salads, or the healthiest choice possible to stay on track with my health mission. I will plan better for morning meals and give energy and thought to being successful with my health choices. I will know that resilience will be necessary and explore my time management to create time to make a healthy breakfast in the future.
  • As I tell myself that I need the comfort of chocolate or other foods, I will recognize that this may be the way I have automatically coped with stressful, anxious, and/or depressing situations in my life. When I begin to automatically go to the thought of comforting chocolate, I will immediately switch all thoughts and energy to something else. I will remind myself of the benefits of eating healthy and focus on how I can be successful in my health choices that day only. I will dispute the talk that I have with myself and my definition of “need.” I will refocus on my health mission, call my accountability partners, read a story of inspiration, or anything necessary to stay on track. I am worth it.

Now it is your turn:

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2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

To change and grow requires work and discomfort. Please examine how you sabotage yourself through self-talk and do the work to change it to a conversation that moves you toward your goals. Begin as soon as possible. If you need help seek it. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR OWN BARRIERS

Unfortunately, many people believe that they cannot accomplish  goals because they are “lacking something”  or that something or someone is “against” them such as age, failures in the past, current weight, economic level, environment, family, spouse, physical limitations etc. On the other side of the coin however is the person who has accomplished the goal you are seeking and has had greater or equal “disabilities.” They were able to accomplish the goal despite the assumption that they are at a disadvantage. In the space below, list 5 areas where you see yourself as having a disadvantage that may inhibit your goal of a healthy weight or lifestyle.

Examples:

  • I have tried in the past to lose weight and I have never been able to lose it and keep it off. I am starting to believe that I am just supposed to be this weight.
  • My husband does not support me with my health goals. It is harder for me because he brings all of the bad food into the house and tempts me.
  • My [mother/coaches/teachers/classmates] criticized me a lot about my weight when I was young. I now feel that whenever people talk to me about my weight whether it be doctors, trainers, or friends I automatically feel “attacked.”
  • People don’t understand how hard it is for me. Other people can lose weight and eat anything and I put on weight just looking at food. I get angry at people who are skinny and overeat and feel that it is unfair to me.
  • All of my friends eat unhealthy foods and drink. It is hard to resist and everyone gives me a hard time when I try to eat healthy foods when we are out.

Now it is your turn to identify YOUR barriers or how you see yourself as disadvantaged:

 

2.

 

 

 

 

In the space below, list 5 ways that you can believe differently about your “disabilities” that will enable you to reach your goal of a healthier weight and life.

Examples:

  • I have tried to lose weight in the past and have not been successful. This time will be different. I will practice healthy nutrition habits every day. I will exercise regularly and I will stay determined to reach my goal of a healthier and lean body even if it is hard. I will stick to my goal no matter how big the temptation, no matter how easy it is to go back into old habits or give up. I will read inspirational stories of weight loss regularly to stay motivated. I will surround myself with people who support and challenge me to improve my overall self. I will not give up.
  • My husband/spouse/partner does not support me in my weight loss goals. I will find support from friends, online, trainers or other people at the gym, and other family members. I will lead by example and will motivate others by my actions.
  • Although many have criticized me and I have allowed them to impact me in a bad way, I will not allow it ANYMORE. What judgmental or hurtful people have to say about me or to me will not affect me other than to motivate me to reach my goals. I will value only those peoples’ opinions that have my best interests in mind and the experts that can teach or challenge me to be better. I will also be more open to the feedback of people who genuinely are trying to help me.
  • It has been hard for me in the past to lose weight and keep it off. But I also know that it has been hard for others but they learned how to be successful. We are all unique genetically and require different things. I will try harder!
  • I love my friends but also want to be healthier. I will eat something healthy before I go out or choose healthy options while I am there. I will also add people in my life that support and share my goal of being healthier in every way. I will stay resilient to be successful!

Now it is your turn to overcome YOUR OWN barriers:

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

 

 

 

THE ONLY BARRIER YOU HAVE IS THE BELIEF THAT YOU HAVE BARRIERS! Please figure out how you can work through things in your life that are a barrier to YOUR best and healthiest self. Begin as soon as possible for yourself and those who love you. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

Struggling With Barriers? Look At These Three Overcomers!

We are so blessed to witness so many people changing their lives by changing the way they approach health. Many of us struggle with one or more things that have been barriers to our best health, functioning, and fulfillment. But by eliminating or approaching differently the barriers that used to sabotage them, these individuals are experiencing health and fulfillment many never thought possible!

Dave

When Dave first arrived, he had limited range of motion in his legs and shoulders. He was experiencing joint and limb pain and at 65 had lost significant strength. He also had suffered a heart attack a few months earlier and required a triple bypass. Despite these barriers, Dave has made miraculous changes. He has lost weight, gained muscle, and now experiences minimal if any joint or limb pain.He has full range of motion in all limbs and now does gardening and other things he could not do because of his prior lack of mobility. And he reported this past week that his heart is functioning healthier than it has in years. HIS HEART HAS IMPROVED! HIS WHOLE BEING HAS IMPROVED! Congratulations Dave for changing your life!

Cris

Cris began resistance training with extreme shoulder and knee pain which limited her strength and ability to perform many things.She began with very light weights and performed all exercises in a safe and disciplined way. After just a little over a year, Cris now has ZERO pain and has increased her strength in all areas. And at 61 she is stronger than she has been in decades. She can even do traditional push-ups! It has been a truly inspirational experience to watch Cris change so much! Thank you!

Joan

Joan began resistance training a little over a year ago after battling mononucleosis for several months. Her doctor told her not to do any exercise and as a result she lost all of her physical strength. Joan could not stand up from a chair without major effort. But she did not lose the strength that has helped her overcome barriers from cancer to the loss of loved ones. She did not lose her inner strength and resilience! A year later Joan has made tremendous strength changes and is able to do things she could not for years. She is healthier and stronger at age 75 than many people years younger. And she continues to improve. Thank you Joan for your work and great example of how to change!

And you can too! All you have to do is believe it can be done and persevere. Like those I mentioned we all have barriers. Please know that you can also overcome or manage differently anything you struggle with. Begin as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

HATE EXERCISE? THIS WILL HELP!

There is no question that our health is an extremely important subject and should be a priority in our lives. One area where people create a barrier for themselves is the extreme NEGATIVE emotion placed on exercise. For many, exercise has been a miserable experience and often times began as a youth. Some individuals can do things physically with ease while others doing the same activity will experience excruciating pain. There are many biological, mental, and physiological reasons for the way we experience pain. We all process and feel pain differently and some people are far more sensitive to pain because of the way the brain and body function together. It literally hurts more because the pain sensors in the body are more sensitive for some people than they are for others.

Another factor in those that have a negative experience with exercise is the way that exercise is taught in homes, schools, and youth leagues. Unfortunately, many people have had a traumatic experience as a youth with exercise. They may be slower, not interested in the sport that mom or dad has made them join, been made fun of or bullied by someone, or had a coach that was more focused on building an ego than helping the youngster learn a sport or be healthy. Given the way many individuals have experienced exercise it is no wonder they hate it. It has been physically painful and even demeaning at times.

Time For Change

Ninety-nine percent of my personal training and life coaching clients will not set foot in a traditional gym or hire a personal trainer. They have had a negative experience with exercise and believe that when they walk into a gym they will be judged like always. Many are fearful that the personal trainer will yell at them, shame them, and put them through such excruciating pain that they will not be able to roll on deodorant or go to the bathroom for days. I actually have experienced personal trainers in the last 6 months who do this. I was laughed at, told to “suck it up” when I experienced pain, and felt demoralized on a couple of “personal training” occasions. And I am in decent shape. I felt like my trainer was beating his chest like some conqueror. I never went back, needless to say. We may not ever be able to change the egos of some but one thing we can do is change ourselves. Your desire for change will ultimately be the difference in the change you seek whether it be weight loss, increased strength, motivation to exercise, or eating healthy foods, especially as you age.

How to Change the Exercise Belief System

Our bodies need to be moved and challenged a little. We do not need to exercise crazily or do extreme and unsafe workouts.  We should include both strength training and cardio components to be healthy. How do we do that when we have had negative experiences and hate to exercise? Healthy means safe and vigorous at your own pace. Here are the things that have worked for those people who I have witnessed make incredible change in the way they experience exercise::

  1. All accept that exercise is needed and beneficial. They understand that “30 minutes of pain” daily will lead to less pain as they age, make them feel better about themselves, and have a great impact on their overall quality of life. This does not mean that they put themselves through grueling workouts or get yelled at by some crazy trainer. They learn to listen to their bodies and are able to move forward slowly at a smart pace.
  2. All “get back on” daily NO MATTER WHAT. Many of us do not see immediate results and pretty soon we say “forget it” and/or “this doesn’t work.” Unless you have an underlying health issue eating nutritious foods and exercise does work. If you do have an underlying health issue, please see a doctor to fix it and then exercise and eating nutritious foods will work.
  3. All have a significant reason to begin exercise. Many feel better in the knees and back, think clearer, and like the way exercise makes their bodies look. Others want more mobility, to be healthier for family and loved ones, to play sports, or help with bone density. I like what exercise does for my head and my body. After years of experiencing depression, addiction and self-esteem issues, I feel free of these barriers in many ways due to exercise. It has changed my life and the lives of many others and can yours too.

Please see the benefit of exercise. If you have struggled historically to maintain healthy exercise habits, you are not alone. Move forward and become stronger safely. Practice working through the self-talk during exercise that will sabotage your goal of being healthy, strong, and high functioning. Honor yourself and those who care for you by caring for yourself enough to move every day.  Start as soon as possible. If you need help seek it from someone who will help you without judgment. Be your own miracle!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

Depression and Health- Part Two In A Series

A week ago I shared how depression affects our physical health. If left untreated or unresolved, depression can help to cause joint/limb pain, heart disease, certain cancers, coordination issues, and even brain disorders. The effectiveness of traditional antidepressants is under heavy debate and they do not work for everyone. I am not here to debate this issue. The one thing that is clear is the effectiveness of lifestyle change and healthy coping skills. What does that mean though? How does someone actually live happy and fulfilled and still have problems, stress, events that cause sadness, and a past?

Intentional Self-Awareness

There are people who do not recognize that they are suffering from depression and think it is normal to have a dim outlook, persistent sadness, irritability, and other potentially unhealthy practices. Again, it is not wrong to have depression, irritability, or sadness. As humans we will experience life events that bring sadness. The longer we stay there however the more it will affect our overall health and ability to function. I believe that everyone wants to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled but may not know how. I sure did not for the first 35 years of my life. Having the self-awareness to recognize when depression is creeping in is vital to recovery from depression. Irritability, sadness (even mild), and persistent feelings like you have been done wrong by the world are important to recognize as soon as possible. As we have learned through research, lifestyle change is highly effective in recovering and preventing relapse in depression. What is that though? Does that mean you have to run marathons, do military boot camp training, eat like a rabbit, or sit in a circle with others? No to all of these! While that works for many, it may not work for everyone. What does work however for everyone is the recognition that change is needed and it may be a tough road, but can be done. Change is never easy but for me and so many others who now manage our depression in a healthy way, it is SO WORTH IT! Please recognize if you are suffering from depression and seek help if necessary. Everything we do ultimately will have an impact on us and those who love us. In the coming weeks, I will share how many of us are managing our lives differently than we used to and how much life has changed for the healthier and happier. It began for all of us with the self-awareness that change is needed. And it can for you too. Move forward. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

MY FATHER AND YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

As I sit here and look at my father’s picture just above the keyboard, I am reminded how one’s health choices affect those that love them. My father was a brilliant man who was raised in the woods with violent, hard-drinking uncles who conditioned him to be the same. His father died when he was three months old due to the horrendous flu epidemic of 1918, which is estimated to have killed 50-100 million people worldwide. His mother left him with the uncles and grandmother in the woods because of severe depression from the death of her husband and father of her two boys. My dad’s brother was deaf so my father was given the responsibility of caring for his deaf brother, dealing with the crazy uncles, and learning how to support himself and his brother at an early age. He only knew what he was exposed to with minimal exposure outside of the 30 mile square radius of the ranch and lumber camp the family owned. He worked hard, did not have the skills developed to manage his temper, drank constantly, smoked, and ate a lot of red meat. Even with all of this, he still managed to start a small construction company and make it profitable. He was brilliant but suffered immensely because of the choices he made. I am not even sure he knew he had a choice. He died way too early at 62 and did exactly as he knew.

A Different Era Today

We live in a different world than that of my father. We have access to so much information and we are witnessing people from 20-90 take advantage of the endless knowledge we have access to. Please know that you have choices today. For some it is extremely difficult to make the healthy choice and we understand the struggle is truly real. We understand conditioning, lack of coping strategies, reward systems, and addiction. But it is so important to you and those who love you. While we understand the struggle and the many things that go into a choice we also understand resilience. We also understand the importance of making your change a top priority NOW! We understand you have what it takes to overcome any struggle you have. YOU JUST HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IT! Begin as soon as possible to learn how to work through what you struggle with. Exercise yourself to be healthy not extreme. Enjoy food and life with boundaries. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

ABOUT DEPRESSION AND HEALTH

Most of us have struggled with something. Managing weight, addictions of one form or another, anxiety, lack of purpose or fulfillment, low self-esteem, and poor relationships are just some of the things that many of us have battled since childhood, with little or no improvement. Many of the things we struggle with are the result of or lead to depression. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health(NIMH), 6.7% of the overall population experienced a major depressive episode in 2015, with higher percentages in young adults and women. Depression continues to be the leading cause of medical disability in the United States and Canada, accounting for nearly 10 percent of all medical disability (www.nimh.nih.gov).

Depression can hurt and affect EVERY area of your life and according to the NIMH, depression is more than mental. Physical symptoms such as joint pain, limb pain, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbances, and appetite problems also will occur because of depression. Even coordination and strength declines can be caused by depression. The resulting pain can trigger more depression and life becomes a two way street of depression, physical symptoms from depression, depression from the pain, and more pain. Long term effects of depression include memory and brain function decline, heart disease, and a weak immune system, which leads to other diseases. While it is normal to experience sadness due to life events, continuing depression has severe health consequences. This is not a judgment of you as a person or saying that depression is “wrong.” Most of us struggle or have struggled with something in our lives. It is of vital importance to address depression and learn how to manage it in a healthy way. I have suffered from severe depression since childhood so I know how hard this is to do. As someone who has learned how to manage depression, I can tell you that it is possible and new science backs me up. In the coming days and weeks, I am going to share how myself and others are recovering from depression to live a complete and fulfilled life. To be happy and fulfilled is healthy.BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com