And do it all while taking care of our families and work responsibilities.
With time, practice, coaching, and the right resources, we can all learn how to juggle these things…
But sometimes, a wrench is occasionally thrown into the mix – something we couldn’t have planned for or expected.
Right now, many of us are experiencing major changes in our normal routines as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our gyms and yoga studios are closed, in-person social activities and faith services have come to a halt, our children are home during the day, and our work is being conducted remotely or not at all. So much unexpected change all at once can lead to a great deal of stress and impact our health goals.
Juggling just became a whole lotmore difficult.
If you’ve dropped the ball on some of your health and wellness practices, don’t let it stay on the floor! In this blog, I’m going to tell you about 3 simple ways to stop sabotaging your health goals – no matter what life throws at you (even a pandemic).
3 Simple Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Health Goals
In times of stress, it’s very easy to overlook the things that are sabotaging your health goals. Here are 3 simple ways to avoid setting yourself back.
1. Stop Ignoring Yourself
The most important thing that so many people forget during their health and wellness journeys is themselves. Yes, that’s right! People leave themselves out of the equation. When was the last time you turned off auto-pilot to evaluate your mindset or tune into your body’s signals?
As you might already know if you’ve read my blog about stress, it can weaken your body’s immune system and disrupt your normal sleeping behavior. If you ignore your body’s stress signals, you are creating major limitations for yourself; you may find that you don’t have enough energy to complete your normal workouts or that you can’t get enough rest for recovery.
Instead of ignoring your feelings and hoping they will go away on their own, acknowledge them, adapt. This will allow you to begin counteracting their negative effects through nutrition or mindfulness practices.
Rather listen to an 8 minute video with the same information?
Use The Mind-Body Connection
Sometimes, the best way to stop ignoring yourself is to start talking to yourself. Okay – maybe not out loud if you’re in a public place. But this pandemic has created an incredible opportunity for you to retreat and rest.. Everything that we think, feel, and believe can affect our body’s biological health. This is called the mind-body connection. In this way, speaking negatively to ourselves can have a negative biological impact.
Instead, take full advantage of the way that your brain and body share a common chemical language by encouraging yourself to take an optimistic outlook mentally. This will foster energy from inside to reclaim your physical health. I’ve worked with many clients over the years to improve their mindsets and help them reach their visions of health and wellness using this approach.
Make Time For Wellness
When you’re focused on everything you can’t control, it is easy to forget the one thing that you can control: yourself.
For many around the world, we now have Stay-At-Home orders (or at least recommendations for social distancing). You can spend that extra time that you would otherwise by commuting or working and watch that TV series you’ve been meaning to watch. But after a few days of missing your regular exercise, your body will begin to express its needs to you. You may start to feel sluggish or tense. Don’t ignore it.
Here are a couple tips to make time for wellness (especially during this season):
Take Supplements Every Single Day
Take supplements everyday. Make it part of your routine, just like your morning cup of coffee. If you need help figuring out what your body needs, I can help direct you.
Eat Whole Foods. Use the time you would be commuting to cook your meals at home. You’ve been gifted this large amount of time to focus on you.
Implement More Movement
Implement more movement into your daily schedule. If you typically walk or bike to work and now you have been told not to commute in, this is something you don’t have control over. If you normally go to the gym before or after work and it’s now closed, the same is true. Try walking up and down your stairs if the weather is bad. See how many times you can climb them! Have your kids or spouse join you as you “climb the mountain”. Access tons of at-home workouts (many of which have been made free due to COVID-19). Take your conference calls on a walk (Zoom is available on mobile).
Spend Time In Nature
Get outside and spend time in nature. Lately, I’ve been focused on getting outside and in some sunlight. It’s amazing the healing properties that nature has. In fact, it boosts your immune system for up to 30 days. Take a walk or bike ride outside during the time you would normally be commuting to work. Your body will thank you.
Focus On Your Mindset
Meditate, breathe, and pray. Calm the nervous system by introducing rhythmic breathing and focusing on what the Lord is teaching you in this season.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phillippians 4:6-7
No matter what life throws at you, you can always make time to take care of yourself. Energy is always present – don’t sabotage your wellness by letting it go to waste!
2. Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others
In times of uncertainty, many people turn to health and wellness experts on social media to see what they are doing to stay on track. They start comparing their own workouts, meal plans, sleep schedule, or supplements to those of others; however, this could sabotage your path to wellness.
How? Well comparison isn’t just the thief of joy; it can also be a major roadblock to reaching your wellness goals because what works for others, isn’t going to work the same way for you. One approach can bring phenomenal results for one person, while the same exact approach may not work at all on the next person. This is true particularly in regard to nutrition.
Not convinced? Let’s talk about exactly why comparing yourself to others is not a beneficial use of your time and energy…
Understand We Are All Built Differently
When it comes to everything from our muscle fibers and nutritional needs to our stressors and preferences, we are all different. This is why abiding by a one-size-fits-all plan will eventually lead you to a dead end.
Believe me! I’ve tried them all.
The truth is, we don’t all have the same genetics, body composition, environment, or disease processes. Because of this, building a health plan is a lot like cooking from a recipe. To make the best meal, you don’t always follow the recipe exactly to a “T”. Instead, the ingredients need to be adjusted to satisfy whoever you’re serving.
You wouldn’t give your lactose-intolerant friend your smoothie recipe that includes yogurt. No matter how delicious it is to you, it would cause them major discomfort. Instead, you substitute yogurt for something their body can easily digest, like almond milk.
The same is true when it comes to following a wellness plan. You don’t need an expert’s meal plan filled with a variety of boxed foods; their workout plan also may not be right for your body. These things will not serve you to the fullest capacity. In fact, it might even do more harm than good.
Instead, stop sabotaging your health goals by focusing on your own personalized approach to wellness.
3. Don’t Push Off Your Priorities
Now, breaking free of the comparison trap to focus on yourself doesn’t mean that you have to walk down your path to wellness all on your own! In fact, you should do your best to surround yourself with others that will hold you accountable.
Why is accountability so important? It is one of the most essential ways to help us avoid pushing off our health priorities.
When we set SMART goals for ourselves (check out #1 on last month’s blog post for how to set SMART goals!) and then life throws something unexpected our way, it is only natural for us to want to postpone our initial timeline for reaching that goal. Sometimes, this can’t be helped. But other times, we just need a friendly reminder to prioritize what is most important: our wellness.
“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods”
Sticking to your priorities doesn’t mean that you have to carry out the plan exactly as you initially intended. But it does mean getting them done – one way or another. Releasing yourself from an all-or-nothing mentality will ensure you’re not stagnant in your progress towards wellness.
It is harder to let ourselves down when we know others are rooting for us too.
If you are having trouble finding others to foster accountability with in-person because of social-distancing or other circumstances, there are several other approaches you can take. For example, you can start a virtual accountability group with family or friends online with daily, weekly, or monthly check-ins.
Another great way to stay accountable is through having a health and wellness expert like myself coach you through your journey. I found this to be incredibly useful in my own journey, and that is why I am so excited to be a source of accountability for others like you. It makes all the difference.
I don’t say this to scare you, but COVID-19 won’t be the last illness that sweeps the world. Are you ready to step up and take care of your body, so you don’t have to worry about the next pandemic coming around (at least as much)? Fill out a discovery call form here if you’re ready to talk more with me about holding yourself accountable to your health goals and protecting your future.
P.S. Over the last couple days, I’ve been posting a lot of COVID-19 related things on my social media accounts to reduce stress and improve your immune system. Are you following me?
What comes to mind when you think about your picture-perfect image of health?
Do you picture a specific person?
Maybe an authority in the health and wellness community comes to mind. When we start our fitness journeys, many of us look to others who already have what we want for direction. We think… “If I can just do exactly what she does, then I’ll look and feel like she does too.”
Like a recipe, we start cooking up that picture-perfect image of health. We add each ingredient and follow each step exactly as the “recipe” calls for.
But, after a few months of hard work, we find that our results are lacking. Our image of health still doesn’t compare to that of our idols. We wonder…
Did I add too much of one ingredient by accident?
Did I make a mistake?
What am I forgetting?
Before we get into my 5 practical tips to achieving your health goals, we need to look at what the original diet looked like and why returning to the original diet can help you to reach those goals…
The Original Diet Was A Flexible One
Our ancestors likely got their food through hunting or foraging. They didn’t have grocery stores with a variety of food options year-round. With changing seasons, the types of food available to them changed. Our natural eating patterns are meant to change depending on our environment and our body’s needs.
Processed foods and foods sprayed with poisons and pesticides weren’t on the menu for our earliest relatives either. The original diet consisted of eating patterns that revolved around things found in nature.
Today, all the latest fad diets promise tremendous results for anyone who can stick to a strict set of rules-all the time, no matter what season it is, or what our body truly needs at any given moment. This can easily set anyone up for failure.
We were created to eat intelligently. It is the imbalance in our bodies when these diets do not give us what we actually need that has brought about cravings and the desire to eat foods that were not originally even meant to be eaten. While some people may adjust to digesting the altered foods of our modern society, others might benefit from eliminating foods that cannot be naturally processed or cause inflammation.
Fad diets do not consider the individual. How can we expect keto, paleo, or low carb to be the answer for everyone if we are all built differently?
Keeping An Open Mind Towards “Fad Diets”
Instead of treating fad diets like a religion, I approach them with an open mind. I try to understand what goes on in someone’s body when they alter their nutrition in a certain way, and make adjustments that are in-line with their natural needs.
Instead of subscribing to a particular diet, opt for the customization and flexibility you need to maximize your results and keep doing so overtime.
5 Practical Tips to Achieving Your Health Goals
Now that you understand why focusing on your unique biology is important for getting the most out of your health and wellness plans, let’s talk about these 5 practical tips to achieving your health goals.
“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have”
1. Get Crystal Clear on Your Goals by Making Them SMART
If you are not sure exactly what you want then you will never get it. What do I mean by getting clear with your goals?
They must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
More importantly, they must be SMART for you. Your goals may change overtime, but for now, start SMART where you are.
This time, when you think of your picture-perfect image of health, imagine the best possible version of yourself. How does this version of you feel? What do you look like? How far into the future will it be before you get there?
Remember to be realistic and specific to you.
2. Understand and State Your “Why”
If you were going shopping for a new outfit for an important business meeting, would you just buy the first thing you saw in the window displayed on the manikin? Even if the outfit looks great in the display, it might not look the same way once you try it on.
You need to have a goal in mind for what that new outfit is going to achieve. If the outfit on display is too flashy or too dull for the goal, it might hurt your chances for reaching that goal. So, you wouldn’t just go ahead and buy it anyway.
Think about your wellness plans the same way. Don’t just purchase a meal plan for the sake of purchasing a meal plan. Figure out what your BIG motivator is. Are you wanting to get healthy or to lose weight? Why is it important for you to get healthy or lose weight? Why is that meal plan so important for reaching those goals?
Once you figure out your “why,” you’ll be more prepared to customize a flexible plan that fits you and your specific needs. Without your “why”, you risk wasting your time on a plan that is miss-matched with your intentions.
3. Set Yourself Up To Take Action
Next, you need to set yourself up to take action. Are you a doer or a sayer? I have phone calls with sayers almost every single day. I want to talk to the doers.
Rather watch a 13 minute video with the same information?
The doers are the ones who are ready to take action toward weight loss, nutrition, fitness, and shifting their mindset so they can live their best life. If you dabble, you will only get mediocre results.
Stop and ask yourself, “are my words embodying my own truth, or someone else’s?”
Already set your SMART goals and identified your “why”, but you are stuck in taking action? Then it’s time to consider if you are using your unique strengths to their fullest capacity.
You can be a doer in many ways. You don’t have to do a workout at the same time as someone else. If you have more energy in the mornings, get your fitness in before work. If you have more energy after dinner, get in a bike ride with the family in the evenings.
Leverage your unique strengths and preferences to take action.
4. Take Clear Assessments of Your Results
Think back to item number one when I said you need SMART goals. My question for you here is… How are you measuring your progress? Are you measuring weight loss in inches or body fat percentage? Are you doing blood tests or other lab testing to see if you got rid of some of the pathogens that could be causing you pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea?
When we set goals, we must clearly assess the results to know if we are on the path to success.
The way you measure your improvements may be very different from how someone else measures theirs. That is totally okay. But the most inaccurate form of measurement comes when we compare our progress to that of others. This will not give you a clear assessment of yourself. Your journey is your own.
5. Be Ready to Change Your Routine
If you are giving it everything you’ve got and you are still not getting the results you want, then it’s time to change up the routine until you find what works. Everyone’s body is unique, and we are designed to adapt and change with the seasons. You must find what works for you and continue to listen to your body as your environment and needs shift over time.
Changing routine isn’t always easy.
But it becomes easier once we realize that many of the routines we follow do not actually serve us. Once we break free of routines that don’t serve us, we can open up to a healthy life that serves our greatest wellness potential.
Making a Serious Commitment to Yourself
Shift happens when you make a serious commitment to yourself. We shift when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the discomfort change initially brings.
So let me ask you… What is one thing in your life you can use right now as leverage to facilitate change?
Are you having pain in your legs and knees because of your weight? Are you feeling a lack of strength because of poor nutrition? Is your doctor warning you about diabetes or other disease processes that may arise if you don’t start eating right and exercising more?
Change starts with a decision. The outcome you receive follows the choice you make.
A one-size-fits-all fitness plan acts as a temporary Band-Aid for the things your body and soul actually need. There is irreplaceable value in working with someone like myself who understands the science behind creating a unique plan for a person, including nutrition, exercise, stress reduction techniques, supplements, toxin removal, and the ability to shift mindset.
That’s exactly why I do what I do!
I help people change their lives every day through this process.
You don’t have to idolize the lives of those you see online. You don’t even have to ask for their workouts and meal plans. Just get clear on what you want, find the leverage to change, take action, and tweak things along the way.
Start with the five steps I outlined and let me know how you do. If you’re ready to have a mentor who prioritizes you and your personal journey to wellness, fill out a discovery call form here. I’ve had years of experience identifying personalized approaches to wellness for others, and I’ll be so happy to do the same with you.
Is your body giving your
warning signs that something isn’t right?
Your body is such an intelligent
piece of machinery. What I’ve learned over the years as I’ve worked with my body to heal naturally is
this… If your body tells you no, the answer is no.
I know how it is to absolutely LOVE
things like sugar, dairy, bread, pastries, and all the other grain-filled
goodies. I know what it feels like for those items to make up the bulk of your
diet and wander “what in the world am I going to eat if I remove those things?”
The reality is, it requires a definite shift in the way we view our plate and
our food. I had to relearn that food is
The mental/emotional attachment
to food is real. Those feeling of “comfort” we receive from certain
foods is real. AND the addiction is
real. We actually receive a physiological response when we consume certain
foods. That means they alter the chemicals within our bodies that leads to
those feelings of euphoria. But I learned that this food-euphoria can come at a
advice? Pay attention to your body.
Listen for clues. When you experience
symptoms in your body, it’s the intelligence of the human body calling out for
change. It’s as if your body is screaming, “WARNING, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT!”
If a food is making you sick every time you consume it, stop consuming it! It
doesn’t matter what a doctor or a lab test or even a minister tells you. If you
feel bad every time you have a piece of bread, then put the bread down and
don’t consume it. Back away slowly… and it’s okay to RUN!
I’ll go back to my initial
statement about the body being a very intelligent piece of machinery. The truth
is, the body knows when something has entered into its environment that is
causing harm. It actually elicits an attack in response to what it perceives as
an invader. This causes inflammation in the body, which can cause a range of
symptoms, but worse than that, it can cause a range of diseases.
Something that may seem very
innocent, like putting bread in your body when your body says, “no” is only
adding fuel to the fire. You deal with the consequences of how you may or may
not feel afterward, but it’s not as innocent as we’d like to believe. This
repeated inflammatory response can actually lead to disease states in the body.
When we listen to and respond to
our body and give it what it needs, we can enter into a state of thriving
– where we can flourish, prosper, blossom, and succeed. On the other hand, when
we continually put things in the body that cause inflammation and illicit a
response that puts our cells into attack mode, it creates stress on the body.
If this stressor is in the form of food, like some of the toxic foods mentioned
previously, it can begin to compromise the lining of the gut.
In a healthy body, the gut is
lined with tight junctions, allowing only things like nutrients in the form of
amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to pass through and be absorbed into the
system to bring us into a state of health. The gut lining can become compromised
because of stress, pathogens, or from continuous stressors/toxins from our
environment that are eliciting a stress response or an attack on the body.
What does this mean?
It means that these tight junctions, that prevent
larger particles in the gut from spilling into the body, actually lose their
strength to hold those food particles in. This is known as leaky gut –
or intestinal permeability – where the contents of the gut are literally
spilled into circulation, where they don’t belong. This is a process that
happens over time because of some of the stressors mentioned previously – food
being only one of them. When these tight junctions become loose, and larger
particles begin to spill into the body, they are seen as foreign invaders, and
the intelligent piece of machinery that we are walking around in begins to
elicit an attack on these particles that do not belong in the bloodstream.
This creates food sensitivities
or intolerances, and in some cases disease processes and can even lead to
things like autoimmunity. Autoimmune patients have one thing in common for
sure, and that is a leaky gut. Many times one autoimmune condition can lead to
another. Your body doesn’t hate itself. But it’s attacking what appears to be a
Food is only a small piece of the
puzzle. But many times it’s one of the easiest to resolve. Not emotionally,
because people are truly attached to their foods, but many times these
attachments are not our fault. Food companies create foods that lead to
addiction. If you’ve read my book Healed
His Way, I talk
about the reasons food, and in particular dairy is so addictive, and that’s
because it works on the same receptors in the body as morphine. So you
literally have a morphine-like response in the body when you consume dairy,
which can cause it to be one of the most difficult foods for people to eliminate.
Does this mean you can never eat dairy or grains again? Well in some cases, maybe! For some, gluten just doesn’t work. I recommend that you test in your own body if you want to know what works best for you. The body doesn’t lie.
I choose to do my best to keep certain
foods out of my diet after running several food sensitivity panels. I’ve also found
a common denominator in many of the foods that cause problems for most people.
So even without testing, I typically recommend removing grains, dairy, sugar, artificial
sweeteners, soy, and alcohol for a period of about time and if you decide to
reintroduce, then pay close attention to how your body reacts. After my last
food sensitivity panel, I noticed that there were certain food groups that
consistently showed up for me. When I decided to take that a little more seriously,
it changed my life.
In my case, I’ve dealt with
hypothyroidism for many years, and according to symptoms, for much of my life.
But I’m learning now that it’s possibly related to the fact that I never really
healed my gut completely because I compromised in certain areas a little more
than I probably should have. My gut is my week area and I have to constantly
work on that. But if I put inflammatory foods in all the time, then I know my
gut will never truly heal.
I do take support for my gut on a regular basis as well as thyroid support in the form of herbs and natural supplements that give the body what it actually needs to heal and repair. Will I ever be 100% without the help of supplemental support? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that it is a journey. And I’m working every single day to eliminate what’s causing me harm and including what is bringing me health. And as long as I do what I know I should, I live symptom-free. And you can too.
I encourage you to begin to examine some of the things in your life that are causing you stress. That can be emotions, food, chronic illness, relationships, too little or even too much exercise, and more!
The secret to my success in
almost every area of my life can be accredited to hiring and partnering with
mentors and coaches who push me to become my best self. Those are many times
people who want to see me accomplish my goals as bad as I want to accomplish
If that resonates with you, I’d
love to chat with you and possibly help to you dig a little bit deeper into
finding out what could be the cause of some of your symptoms. Or find someone
else in the field of functional health who will form a partnership with you, so
you can become your best self.
And if you know someone who could use this information, please
feel free to pass it along.
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