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Are You Ready To Nail The Diet Basics?

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This topic needs to come back up again just based on some of the conversations I have been having with clients and on social media. It is really challenging to figure out where I spend my attention when it comes to health and fitness. As most of my listeners here, we are ladies in our 40s and older. We have been on the leading edge of diet culture; we grew up with it all. So, it’s really easy to see why it is so confusing.

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In this blog, I want to give you these 6 things we can do so that if we focus on them, we have a great shot at living a healthy life! For many of us and the clients I work with, we fall into 3 buckets.
1. Clients clearly want to lose weight.
2. Clients who want to maintain what they got.
3. Clients who want to find peace in their bodies and are like me, former competitors that want to get away from the regimented schedule.
When I say weight loss, I am talking about all of these 3 categories we fall into.

So what do you focus on it. Let’s start with an analogy I want you to picture a glass vase and think about how you can fill a glass vase with the least amount of water. The water here is equal to your effort. And I want you to spend the minimal amount of water/effort to put in here. So, what if I found rocks big enough to fill 80% of the cylinder and then I can fill pebbles, sand, and then water? Those BIG rocks are going to give us the BIGGEST bang for your buck.

Let’s talk about those big rocks and then the little pebbles that will fill the rest. Remember, if you prioritize those big rocks first, if you focus on those then you will be ensuring you are focusing on the things that really matter and letting the small things fit in and around them. Most of us are getting bogged down by the small pebbles and sand and leaving little to no energy for the big rocks that need to be our focus.

The 2 biggest rocks I see for many women that I want to touch on first are; Sleep and Stress Management. These two things go hand in hand. We tell ourselves we are going to sleep when we’re dead. But you need to know that sleep is so crucial for our overall health and well-being. It helps us maintain a healthy weight, it helps with our immune system, it helps with our memory, and it helps promote OVERALL health!

Sleep.
Sleep is one of those crucial things that any person needs to make sure that they are getting enough sleep. How can you make yourself a bedtime ritual? As adults we lose this, so how can we get it back? Set a bedtime and start there! How can I make our sleep a little better? What can we do before bed to help us wind down and get us ready for bed? Magnesium, tea, reading, meditation, a hot bath, etc. What can I do to unwind before bed? A little tip… If you suffer from hot flashes… keep a handheld fan by my bed! Trust me, it is a lifesaver!

Stress.
So many of us normalize stress, this is how my life is, this is what I do! There is a staggering statistic on what stress leads to chronically. Mental health issues, depression, heart disease, blood pressure, etc. Managing our stress will help us to manage our overall health and moods, energy levels, relationships with people and even stress eating.

Sometimes we need to sit in uncomfortable shit before we can name what that stress is. What can you control? What can you not control? What can I influence and what is out of my control? There are certain things I cannot control, and here is where I needed to let go so that I can break from circle of doom. I felt like shit in that circle, and I had to pull myself out and change my thoughts. It was a challenge, but I was able to do it and so can you.

It starts with finding things that you love…. And do it. Sure exercise or move your body is great however I challenge you to find out outlets, sleep, or take mental health days. I love Byron Katie  and I learned from her about asking yourself these 4 questions when it comes to stress.
1. Put a name on it. What is stressing you out?
2. Is “blank” stressing you out or are the actions stressing you out?
3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
4. What would you be without that thought?
Stress is hard and it is a process… but I know for me, I can’t be in this world of stress anymore.

Nutrition.
I would put nutrition as a rock BECAUSE when I don’t sleep, I’m looking for sugar-filled, carbohydrate foods. When we’re stressed, we get a dopamine hit because of eating.
When it comes to nutrition, I’m not saying eat less, I am saying eat better! What can I focus on regarding the quality of food? Can we take out processed foods? Can we shop the parameters of the store where we find whole foods and minimally processed foods? Are you eating enough protein? Are you eating enough vegetables?

Track your food for a few days or a week and see what your food looks like. We need data! Sometimes we think we are eating less than what we actually are. And sometimes we aren’t eating enough! Clean up your nutrition and if it seems too overwhelming, start with 1 meal a day to work on cleaning up!

Mindset.
There are 4 mindsets that many of us fall into. This is where we have to own our mindset and mindset is like GPS. You are driving and you know exactly how to get home but the GPS says traffic is building up ahead, take this exit and you have never taken it before… Here are the 4 mindsets!
1. The first mindset says, “What the hell is this exit? I know where to go even if I’m stuck in traffic, I’m not getting off.”
2. The second one says “Ohh… I don’t know if I should do this. Do I do this, do I stay the course?” They are Indecisive and uncertain, but then stay the route you are on.
3. The third says, “I am going to get off but what if there are roadblocks? Can I overcome the roadblocks? Can I handle them?”
4. The fourth says, “As long as I am moving, I am happy. As long as I am moving in the direction of my goal, I’m good to go!”

So, how do I shift my mindset? We have to see ourselves being successful, and success may be different than what we imagine it to be. So many of us are stuck in that certain way and it has to be hard, and it has to be this way. This was me, I had to eat a certain way, or it wouldn’t work. I had to go to the gym 2 hours a day or why go? I had to say was this for me. Is this how I wanted to live my life? I had to ask myself hard ass questions. I had to put the mindset piece before the exercise!

Self-care.
This isn’t getting manicures and pedicures. This is something that can just be 5 minutes a day. My bedtime ritual is my self-care and every morning I journal, which is another form of self-care. You can also meditate, do breathwork, take a bath, go on a walk, draw or color, work with your hands or garden. Find some quiet time and do what you enjoy. Whatever brings you joy, do and remember, it doesn’t have to cost money either!

Exercise.
Some of you say exercise is the only way you can manage your stress, but exercise is a stressor because it puts stress on our nervous system. If our nervous system is already in a wired state, we are just putting gas on the fire. Can we pull down the intensity but still get the same feeling? Do a little strength training – to keep our muscles strong and toned and to help our metabolism. This can be done at home too for at least 2-3 days a week 15 minutes minimum! Or simply go for a walk!

I wanted to have his conversation because I want us all to realize that we have choices. If I start to prioritize the important things and make sure they come first I am not going to get bogged down by the little things. Prioritize the big rocks, the things that truly matter, and see if the small things fit in around them. We talked about these 6 areas of focus, where would you need to focus? What is the easiest thing to focus on and what is the hardest thing for you to focus on?

LINKS

Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/kimbarnesjeffersoncoach

Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/fitgirlmagic/

Website:
https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/

Podcast:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-girl-magic-healthy-living-for-women-over-40/id1476883661

5 Summer Fitness Mistakes To Avoid:
https://www.fitgirlmagic.com/5tipssummer-2023/

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