The Reset

IMG_1215

Decisions. Decisions. Chocolate or Fruit?

“RESET” has been a theme lately for me and I think it may be a key to making progress on our goals. Here’s why…

I recently started going to the gym every morning at 5am. It turns out to be a great time for me because I am already an early riser and go to bed early. I get my exercise in before the kids get up and the exercise does not cut into my work time. When I exercise in the morning, I have more energy, I make better eating choices, I can think more clearly, I am focused, and I am more efficient. I am happier!

Getting up so early in the morning can be daunting when you just want to stay cuddled up in a warm bed. So, I focus on how it will make me feel and how productive and happy I will be. I also focus on the social aspect of it.  There are a bunch of other people who routinely hit the gym at 5am too.  Even though I do not talk to anyone, they become motivators for me. I know they will be there and if they can get themselves out of bed to workout, so can I. I know that I am not alone in this crazy endeavor. They are my support, even if they do not know it.

Coupled with my early gym activity is the fact that I joined Weight Watchers to help me RESET my eating habits. WW works for me because its flexible and the focus is on healthy eating/good decisions.  For me to eating healthy, I need to plan and prepare – something I often help my clients work on. Also, logging what I eat keeps me more mindful about what I am putting in my body. I don’t really believe in dieting, I believe in eating a balanced diet. So when I get stuck on the cycle of eating too much sugar or eating mindlessly or because I am bored. The WW plan helps me get that behavior on track while maintaining some balance too.

When the weekend comes, it is easy to go off the rails (sometimes I just need/want to) but I make that decision consciously. Most weekends I don’t want to write down what I am eating and I want to sleep in. So I do just that but I still try to make choices with intention instead of with self-indulgence. Life is about balance. You can be healthy and enjoy life. They are not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to be gluttonous to be happy.

So Monday is my reset day. When the weekend has gone to the birds and I am bloated and feeling lazy. I know that on Monday, I will wake up early, go to the gym, and eat a sensible breakfast and lunch. If I can make good decisions early in the day, I have a better chance of continuing those healthy behaviors and feeling physically and mentally wonderful! It doesn’t always work but tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day to reset.

I don’t write down everything I eat ALL the time; just when I am struggling to get back on track. Each one of us is unique and may have a different solution to our reset plan. That’s great. The key is to have a reset plan for whatever behavior sends you off the rails.

Another reset for me is my schedule. What works for me is to sit down every morning and determine what is most important to get done that day. I look at my schedule for the week and fill in when I can work, when can I walk the dogs, when can I have meetings, etc. Sometimes I just go on autopilot and miss some things that are important to me OR I spin my wheels. This morning ritual is good to keep me on track and get me back on track when I have skipped it one too many times.

Never think failure.

This is life and it’s messy.  That’s the fun!

Just have a personal reset plan.

 

Note from Kim:

If you need help developing your own reset plan, email me to schedule a conversation so I can learn a little more about you and what you want to do. 

March is Healthy Nutrition Month

 

pexels-photo-315737.jpeg

The Transition and Progress of March
I think of March as a month of transition. You know…”In like a lion. Out like a lamb”.

BUT, transitions are hard for many people. The status quo is comfortable but life is rarely still and stagnant. The only constant in life is change, whether we like it or not. If for nothing else, we age and for that reason alone, we change. What worked for us at 18, may not work for us at 40. This is scary and frustrating for many but it can be fun too. We can reinvent ourselves. We can try new things that may suit us better in our current stage.

Instead of thinking of life-changing events as scary and difficult, look for the joy in it. This something new and maybe actually be something BETTER.

I think that’s the draw for New Years Resolutions. The new year gives each of us an opportunity to redefine our future and to create a fresh start, if we choose to do so.

For those of you who made New Years Resolutions, how are are they going so far?  What have you learned? What went well? What did not go well? What obstacles got in your way? What supports could be put in place to overcome those obstacles in the future? What did you like? What did you NOT like? There is no failure! Only learning opportunities. Each time we learn, we are making progress. So reflect on your experiences and appreciate them for what they are…steps forward and an important part of personal growth.

Sharing for Clarity and Empowerment: Please comment below, talk to a friend, or write your answers in a journal. 

#1 New Years Resolution: Eating Healthier
According to the Statistic Brain website, the number one resolution people make is to eat healthier/lose weight.  (click here for more resolutions statistics)

In my experience, the reason people fail to implement healthier eating habits, or lose weight, is because they go for an all or nothing approach. Unfortunately, when we do this, most of us will feel deprived because we haven’t adjusted to our “new” lifestyle. In order to make long-term and sustainable change, we need to do a little at a time, learn from those experiences, and apply what we learned to harder and more challenging changes.

Starter Tips for eating healthier

 #1 Sugar Elimination

One of the first steps a person can take when deciding to improve their diet is to minimize or eliminate sugar. I might suggest minimizing first, then eliminating as progress is made physically and mentally.  For example, use half the sugar you normally would in your coffee for a few weeks then reduce again and again until you can drink your coffee with no sugar. It may take time but remember there is no rush if you want to do it right.

 #2 Better Prepared Foods

Another first step is to reduce the amount of processed food you eat or replace with healthier versions. No matter what, it is always best to cook your own food. However, this is another thing that is not meant to be done overnight. You have to adjust your tastebuds and find the replacement products you like best. I recommend replacing one food item each time you go to the grocery store. You can use apps such as:

shopwell logo

 

ShopWell: This app gives you healthy eating suggestions based on your preferences. For example, if you are gluten intolerant, it will give suggestions on foods you can eat. http://www.shopwell.com

favicon-96x96

Fooducate: This app will tell rate the quality of your food based on the ingredients and give you suggestions for improvement. In addition, you can use it to track what you are eating. http://www.fooducate.com

 

Stay tuned, I am working on a sugar elimination program to help you jump start your healthy eating lifestyle. If you think you are interested in learning more, please sign up at this link below.

Yes, I want to know more about your Sugar Elimination Program

If you find that you need more support and more help, please contact me to discuss coaching options. Email: kimberlysmanning@icloud.com

 

A letter for my daughter

 

On January 31, 2018, my daughter sent me this draft of her declaration for her english class at school.  Proud doesn’t begin to express how I feel. For all our daughters and ourselves, I share with you the words of a powerful and strong young woman.

 

January 30, 2018

A Letter for My Daughter

by Jordan Manning

 

“Jordan, that’s not ladylike.”

I’m sorry, I’m 8-years-old. I’m not a lady yet.

“Jordan, you throw like a girl.”

What are you talking about? Tom Brady throws like me.

“Jordan, you’re such a delicate flower.”

What does that mean? Flowers can’t do anything. They just sit there and look

pretty until someone plucks them and they slowly die. I’m not a flower.

“Jordan, that wasn’t very polite.”

I thought I was supposed to stand up for myself?

***

Society, don’t you dare try and change my daughter.

You’ve tried to change me so many times. You’ve even been successful once or twice.

But she’s the future and she’s where change starts.

Society, your standards for women have become a tool for oppression.

A self-conscious devil on the shoulder, reminding girls where you think they belong.

Society, you need to change.

***

In middle school, my friend was asked to change her shirt at the nurses office

because her shoulders were showing.

She missed the rest of science class.

Why?

Why is it my friend’s fault if her bare shoulders are distracting?

She was born that way. Telling her to hide herself from the rest of the class is not a

solution to a problem. Teaching girls to hide and shrink themselves is to say that we

were born the wrong way.

There’s something wrong with us?

How about we raise our boys to not be distracted by a girls shoulders.

There is nothing sexy or provocative about a shoulder.

So was my friend really the problem?

Every time we force girls to make themselves change in order to make up for our

inability to correct society, more problems erupt.

Why is a girl’s education less important because she has to leave class to change while

boys, who caused the concern in the first place, can remain in class?

Boys will be boys .

And girls will be whatever we need them to be.

***

Freshman year, my health teacher taught the girls in my class how to hold a solo cup in a

way that our hands protected the cup from roofies.

She told us to never lose sight of our drinks at a party.

She told us that of all the girls in the class, statistics showed that at least one of us would

be sexually assaulted in college.

***

Dear Society,

Stop training girls to adapt to the way you have allowed America to become.

Don’t prepare girls for college.

Don’t prepare girls for the real world.

Teach college how to behave.

Teach the real world respect and equality.

You told me:

Take small bites.

Salads are attractive.

Makeup is attractive.

Look good, feel good.

Carbs are the enemy.

It’s a man’s world.

Did I mention makeup is attractive?

Society, why are there standards in the first place.

If I don’t follow this etiquette am I below standard?

***

To my daughter,

Go on a date and eat the biggest burger on the menu.

Go to prom without makeup.

Wear sweatpants to school.

Practice the bench press until it is truly impressive.

Eat your favorite pasta like an animal.

Be the first female President of the United States.

Use your outside voice.

Rise above hate.

Be a strong woman.

Be polite, but stand up for yourself and others.

Play sports. You and I are a team.

Don’t be a delicate flower. Be a cactus.

Don’t worry about being ladylike. Be kind.

Don’t let American society change you.

You were born perfect.

 

Show off your shoulders.

Celery Juice for Gut?

Medical Medium-Edit-2

As many of you know, my gut rules my world. It seems to react to so many foods and emotions. For me, one minute my stomach can feel malleable and relaxed and the next hard and swollen, like a balloon. It’s really uncomfortable physically and clothes don’t fit right.

Because of this, I am always looking for ways to reduce my sensitivity to foods, reduce inflammation, and feel better.

Your gut health can be affected by what you eat, your emotions and stress, bacteria/viruses, and dis-ease. In my experience, your gut symptoms are RARELY being caused by one thing. You gotta work on the big picture; and it takes work.

Recently, I read the Medical Medium by Anthony William. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a fascinating read. With regard to gut issues, he recommends drinking fresh celery juice first thing in the morning. According to Anthony, “celery strengthens hydrochloric acid in the gut and provides mineral salts to the central nervous system. ”

The first time I tried the celery juice, my gut felt so good. The swelling went down and it really functioned better. He had me sold. I did it every day for a week, then slowly decreased to about 3 times a week; which is where I am today.  It has really helped me feel better, digest my food better, and have fewer instances of inflammation/swelling. I even started following some of his other advice with great success. I have also noticed that I am not reacting to as many foods. Go figure!

If you have ANY gut issues, try the celery juice. You can juice yourself or find a juice bar.

If you want to learn more about gut health and other chronic illnesses, read Medical Medium.  You just might find a treatment that works beyond prescription drugs and expensive treatments.

Be Well!

 

Daylight Savings

_MG_3702-Edit

In case you didn’t know, I DESPISE Daylight Savings Time. Yes, it’s easier to adjust in the fall but I still hate it. Our society has enough problems getting enough quality sleep, we don’t need something making it worse. My inner crazy lady thinks it’s a conspiracy to keep all of us hard-working people a little off-balance.

What I do know is that my pets cannot tell time and neither did my kids when they were young. They run on internal clocks that we mess up twice a year and it just wreaks havoc.  Now, it’s hard enough to get a teenager up, but this hour earlier thing is brutal. They are exhausted and not meant to be up this early. Heck, it messes me up for weeks trying to get back to my “normal” routine.

BUT…

This year, I am trying something new because I was inspired by my friend, Carol. She decided to just get up and not go back to sleep for the hour. Now she is using that extra hour in the morning to meditate, something she struggled to do before. No changing her internal clock, no struggle…just peace.

With that inspiration, I got out of bed this morning at 4:45am and got myself ready for the gym. I worked out and was back home before I had to wake my son up. It was great! I didn’t feel like going to the gym but getting the exercise done early gave me more time in my work schedule and I have felt energetic all day.  It was a win-win.

By dinner, I am sure I will be exhausted and my lights will go out even earlier, which is quite embarrassing already.  Deciding to use the change in time to my benefit is much better than trying to adjust my body’s clock. Maybe my clock will change naturally or maybe I will find that I like getting up earlier and getting my day started with some exercise. Time will tell.

What I do know is it feels much better to look on the bright side of this terrible situation and turn it into something beneficial. There is always another perspective or choice to make.

Like making lemonade out of lemons.

What could you use that extra hour for if you didn’t sleep in?

Chill

IMG_5085

Recently, my daughter turned me onto the Chill App.  This app sends you a positive message every morning and sends reminders during the day to breathe, relax, take inventory of your emotions or stress, etc.

At first, I was not interested. The last thing I want are more reminders, alerts, and noises from my phone. However, she insisted. What teenager likes positive self-help stuff? So, I tried it. Besides, it would give us some common ground.

I have to say I REALLY like it. I love the quote every morning. I am finding the little IMG_5086reminders throughout the day to be exactly what I needed. They are not invasive or annoying. They are actually helping me. I hear the “ding” and think “oh, I should take a breath” or “am I tightening my shoulders or clenching my jaw?” or “is my mind obsessing over some thought or event?”

This application really can help you become more mindful and more aware of stress acting on the body.

If a high school student can find a benefit in it, maybe you can too.

Try it and let me know what you think?

Let’s make the world a better place, one simple moment at a time.

 

 

 

What is sexy?

Sexy Blog

Today, I went on a photo shoot with a photographer friend of mine. I was serving as the test model for a collection of fine art, lifestyle images. When I asked what clothes I should bring, she answered “wear what makes you feel sexy”.

Sounds like an easy request, but it wasn’t.  What is sexy? Is it dressing provocatively? Is it showing cleavage, legs, or a bare midriff? Is it a pair of shoes or heavy eyeliner? Is it lace,  leather, or silk? Is it tight body hugging clothes or barely there outfits that leave little to the imagination?

Yes and No.

Being sexy is an individual opinion. What is sexy to one may not be sexy to someone else. It’s all a matter of personal preference. It’s subjective. Everything can be sexy; it’s all about how you feel at that moment. I think it is about what makes you feel good and what you find attractive. I don’t think its only about attracting a mate or attracting attention. I think it can be an internal feeling of self-love and self-attraction.

So, as I perused my closet looking for outfits, I had to define what made me feel sexy.  I realized that sexy for me is Confidence and Strength; the ability to stand tall, head held high, and a sense of “owning it”. To me, being comfortable in my own skin, is sexy.

So what did my collection of CLOTHES include? Well, I brought a comfortable pair of slightly baggy girlfriend jeans, high heeled tall leather boots, a halter-top summer jumper, a flowy kimono scarf, a choker necklace, a long goddess necklace, big earrings, rings on my index finger, and a flowy, low-back top. What else helped me feel sexy? The wind blowing through my hair, being barefoot in nature, and open and outstretched arms.

In reflection of this little mental exercise, I realized I don’t give being sexy much attention. After being married for 21 years and climbing up on 50 years old, it’s just not on the top of my to-do list. But it made me feel good to feel desirable, comfortable, free, and full of self love. Whether or not I will try to be or look sexy more often is not really the point BUT taking time to harness that feeling is worth it.

So thank you, Carol, for asking the question and providing me an additional opportunity to feel alive and comfortable in my own skin.

So what makes you feel sexy?

What does sexy mean to you?

Is it strength and confidence or something else?

I would love to hear your take on it.

 

 

 

Time, Time, Time

Time-Edit

We all wish we had more time. There is not a person alive, that I have met, who has ever said “I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want”. It’s always “I don’t have enough time” or “I am too busy for….”.

Well, that’s life. We all have things we need to do to live and for society to function. However, I think many of us spend too much time on things that are not important to us and don’t make time for our top priorities…like family, self-care, hobbies, rest, our health, a career or lifestyle change, etc.

For example, for me, Facebook is a time suck. I can think I am going on it for 10 minutes but 1 hour later I am grumpy and stiff from sitting and scrolling. In this scenario, I lost 50 minutes I could have used to meditate, read, work on my newsletter or an upcoming event, or return a call. Heck, I could have prepped healthy snacks/meals for the week or have gone for a walk. So now, I limit my time on social media so I don’t waste my free time, but I don’t feel deprived, and I can have time for what is most important to me…and it’s not surfing the web.

There is also an app for that. (of course there is)  She Knows: programs to limit time on social media

Managing your calendar is especially important for people who do not have a regular schedule. When each day is different, it’s hard to get into a routine. For me, there are days that I even need to schedule time for my shower, just to make sure my schedule is manageable, I get done what is most important to me, and I don’t over-extend myself.

If you want more time for what you truly love…get organized and just schedule it. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. Make a place holder in your calendar and set a reminder. If it’s important to you, it’s important to give it the attention it deserves. Almost all of us have some time in our schedules available or where we are wasting time.

When I work with my coaching clients, every goal is defined by a day, time, duration for a very specific action they want to accomplish in the week.  They ALWAYS come back saying how much that strategy worked and how they got so much more accomplished. Even those that really fight that level of commitment do come back to say how much it helped…IF what they are doing is important to them.

So, if you really want to do something. Put it on your calendar. It can always be moved/delayed if something comes up, but do not delete and forget about it.

Your personal priorities are important and deserve your time. Do not give yourself away. Create time boundaries that protect what is most important to you.

If you do this, I think you will find that you feel more focused, energized, and accomplished.

 

PS: Social Media addiction is real and growing. Read this article by LifeWire on ways to beat Facebook Addiction if you or someone you know is struggling to gain control over their Facebook usage.  Beat Facebook Addiction

Tips for the new school year

first day blog

For parents and kids alike, the new school year can be exciting and full of new opportunities. It can also be a source of stress and frustration. Parents are inundated with papers to complete and return, upcoming events to record, check writing, meetings, coordinating schedules and rides, after-school activities, etc. For students, it can elicit feelings about being successful, accepted, supported, and safe, popularity and fitting in, with who will they eat lunch or what will they eat, what to wear, how will they get to school, etc.  The lists are never-ending.

IF you are a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of parent and IF that works for you AND your kids, then great. You can stop reading now. For the rest of us…I hope you find something that will help you with the summer-to-school transition.

So what can parents do to help minimize all this emotion?

  1. Acknowledge it. First, we have to take our heads out of the beach sand for a moment and realize that this is a transition and it is coming up quickly. Also acknowledge this transition can be hard on us and our kids. Ignoring it won’t make it so.
  2. Prepare your mind. Make a list of all the things you know will be changing and coming your way. Get it out of your head and onto paper. This may help to relieve the internal mental churnings and allow you to observe the list and think about possible solutions for each item. For example…
    • If you know that the paperwork trail is overwhelming to you….maybe you can think about creating a place for all school forms to go so they don’t get lost.
    • Or if you know that the busy schedule gets you stressed, plan to take a little time each day to relax or exercise or do some other actviity that helps you reduce that stress so you can be more present and positive.
  3. Sleep. I don’t know about you but our sleeping patterns change in the summer: later nights lead to later, slower mornings. Decide whether you need to start going to bed and getting up a little earlier each day as you get closer to that first day of school OR will you bite the bullet and just get up early for that first day, struggle for a few days/weeks and let your body adjust to the new routine? Whatever works for you, but make the choice.
  4. Healthy Meal Planning. The new school year may also bring changes and challenges to meal planning. You can do a little prep work here too.
    1. Think about what worked in the past.
    2. Research and save recipes and meal ideas that are healthy easy, and quick in a file or on pinterest for easy access.
    3. Use a whiteboard to write the meal options/ideas for the week
    4. Create a snack bin
    5. Put out veggies (and fruit) after school. Kids will pick at it as they walk by.
    6. School lunch… discuss with your kdis about making healthy choices
    7. Bag lunch…. find creative and healthy options so they don’t get bored.
    8. Share dinner time responsibilities. This is great if you have older kids but younger kids can help out too.
  5. School supplies. Getting all those supplies can be expensive and stressful for some. My daughter loves shopping and organzing her supplies, my son hates it. Here are some things we do…
    1. Make a organized list.
    2. Get in a mindset of fun
    3. Get creative…my daughter likes to color coordinate classes. The best part is that it helps with organization all year long.
    4. Re-use…whether it’s from last year or a hand-me-down, if it’s in good shape why buy more?
    5. Set your priorities… what is more important to you? time or money? Shop accordingly.
    6. If you are able, buy backpacks and supplies for local children who cannot afford it.
  6. Homework.  It’s coming, why not prepare for it. Create a space that is welcoming and conducive for homework…quiet, well-lit, distraction-free, and comfortable.  Allow your kids to help create and decorate the space.
  7. Visualize a great year. What does it look like? What does your student want out of this year? Talk about it and set some goals. Create a vision board or a sign to serve as a reminder and motivator.
  8. Talk about fears and anxieties. Discuss steps that can be taken to reduce the anxiety so your student can feel more in control and prepared. Also make sure perspectives and expectations are realistic. Help your children develop tools to handle real life. Plus, always get professional help when needed. Here are some other ideas to consider…aikido blog
    • exercise routine
    • tutoring
    • school guidance or other services
    • academic coaching
    • therapists
    • health and lifestyle coaching
    • activites and interests outside of school

What do you do to help with the school year transition?

please share your ideas

SaveSave

My Plate

cmp_slideshow_plate

Trying to eat healthier and don’t know where to start? Try the “MyPlate Checklist Calculator” at www.choosemyplate.gov. You enter your information and it tells you how many servings you need in each food category.

Sometimes, I use the MyFitness App to help log what I eat when I need to get back on track and eat a more balanced diet.  Logging my food into categories helps me realize what I eat and I eat a lot of protein. I already know that but when I document and see the real data and impact of my choices, it’s harder to make excuses or deny the reality that I need to make some adjustments and be more mindful about my nutrition.

 

For some people eating more protein might be good.  I believe that one diet does not fit all. Some people function best as vegans, some NEED meat. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. Your diet needs may depend on body type, lifestyle, blood type, allergies & sensitivies, etc. Find what works for you. If you have a hard time figuring it out, hire a nutritionist or a health coach to help you.

No matter what your eating style is, we all need nutrients to help our body function properly.  Fueling our body is the #1 reason we eat…not taste, not emotion, not joy, not social…fuel and nutritional support for all the processes and functions that are occurring in our bodies. cell division, DNA replication, liver function, brain function, heart and lungs…you get the gist. Important stuff.

So get rid of the sugar, chemicals, and other processed foods and start feeling better.

Your body will thank you!