Triggers can result from a situation that has or will happen and are usually associated with a negative emotional reaction. A trigger can be a flashback that sets off a memory that can send a person back to the moment in time of trauma. It’s a reminder. This reminder can cause an overwhelming feeling that produces anxiety, sadness, or even panic. Triggers can come in many forms that don’t have to be physical. For example, the date of an anniversary can be a trigger. Sometimes we can predict what will be triggers. For example, watching a scary movie might cause a person to re-live a trauma in their head. Even smells can set a person off. Certain people can be very hyper-sensitive to their triggers. For example, a person recovering from an eating disorder, might be triggered by celebrities and Instagram models that are extremely skinny when they see them.
When the original trauma occurs, we are in flight or fight mode. During this time, short term memory is faulty. The moment in time gets shuffled around and de-prioritized. The situation doesn’t get filed as past event, rather it remains recent and in the short term. This makes the memory easier to recall. Then when similar situations arise, the brain senses the stimuli and recalls the memory. The brain also falls victim to habits. So let’s say someone always smokes while they drive. The brain soon starts to associate driving with smoking, the two go hand I hand, and hence the habit has been formed. The brain then thinks whenever you drive you smoke, and driving becomes a trigger for smoking.
When it comes to triggers that cause us to emotionally eat or avoid exercise, we have to stop and think about the associations. Are the triggers internal or external? Internal would be memories, emotions, or body sensations. Examples include feelings of anger, frustration, feeling out control, feeling vulnerable, pain, sadness or anxiety. External would be people, places, or situations. These include arguments, T.V or movie shows, car accidents, smells, anniversaries, holidays, seeing certain people, or the way relationships panned out. Whatever the case, our why has to be handled and controlled. This involves breathing, grounding ourselves, relaxing, being mindful, and finding support. A life lived by the fear or triggers won’t work. But if you eat like its Thanksgiving every time you see a certain person, then the trigger needs to addressed. We can’t deny what we don’t want to face or we can’t move forward. Our journey is about growth and change, and also diminishing triggers that aim to harm us.
BLOG 207 DENIAL
Denial is the self-belief that something isn’t true. It’s refusing to believe something is true that is being requested or that has been told to you. Denial is a defense mechanism. A statement made is just not true. The situation being faced is just too uncomfortable to acknowledge. Even if there is overwhelming evidence, it just isn’t true to you. Denying that something is wrong is a way to cope with an emotional conflict, stress, or with pain. Living in denial when it comes to your health leads to procrastination, worsening of conditions, and the inability to take proactive measures facing the truth.
Denial is the complete opposite of acceptance. It’s hard to deal with life when it doesn’t happen the way you want it to. It the biggest way we lie to ourselves. It is actually the first defense mechanism we learn and use. For example, when we ate the chocolate we weren’t supposed to and mom or dad asked if we did, we shake our head no even though we scarfed it down. The problem is that avoidance doesn’t make the problem go away. It can help the immediate emotional state of mind, but it can also do more harm then good in the end. Pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t apply to the real world because we can’t exist in an imaginative state.
When our sense of control is threatened, we go into denial mode. Common scenarios include addiction, eating disorders, illnesses, financial problems, or relationship troubles. It takes a strong character to face these realities and deal with them. Living in denial of a medical diagnosis leads to a race a against time for your health. Living in denial about an addiction leads to high risk for poor health and risky behaviors.
It’s hard. I get it. No one wants to hear what is wrong with them or what they need to do. Problems don’t just go away though without addressing them face on. Therefore, on our fitness journeys, we have to address our health circumstances face on. We have to get to the “heart” of the matter. When I read someone their measurements, it’s facing fears and telling the truth that has to be told. Denial is only a temporary band-aid. It’s time to let the wound be exposed, become the better you, and build the character to be strong, fit, and an inspiration to others who have yet to face their truths.
BLOG 206 CRYING
Shedding tears. Weeping. Wailing. The act of crying results from an emotional state which could be pain, sadness, anger, or happiness. There is a connection between the neurons and the tear duct (lacrimal gland) which comes from the current emotion. When we were babies, we cried to communicate, but as adults we often try to hold back the tears. We might feel ashamed to cry or weak shedding tears in front of someone else. Statistics say that women cry 3 times a month and men at least once. Humans are the only animals to cry tears. There are 3 types of tears.
1. Reflexive tears: contain chemicals
2. Continuous: keep eyes lubricated
3. Emotional: responding to happy or sad
But crying can be healthy. Sometimes letting your guard down is just what the body needs. When you cry, you release tension. Tears contain toxins, so you are releasing them. Crying then improves your mood. It has a calming effect. When we cry, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which helps you relax. We feel better after releasing these chemicals. Tears also help cleanse the eye. When someone else notices you are crying, it can be nice to be consoled. Emotional tears release endorphins and oxytocin which make people feel good and reduce pain. You can fall asleep more easily after a good cry.
It isn’t easy to let go and show raw emotion for some people. For others, crying is just part of how they express themselves. Our emotions take a toll on us and crying is our body’s way to release. You have to let your body communicate and not be silent. I’ve seen a multitude of tears at the studio both happy and sad. Our fitness journeys are a whirlwind of emotion filled with joy, pain, truth, and realness. Sometimes this reality hits us and we are proud our ourselves, mad at ourselves, or just ready to change and be open to that concept. Don’t be ashamed of your tears. But hey, let’s aim for those happy ones. You deserve to be happy, and you deserve to shed happy tears. You are strong tears and all, so let that crying just happen. It’s natural to cry.
BLOG 205 PROCRASTINATION
Delaying and postponing. Stalling. Avoiding an issue. Procrastination is the choice to do what is more pleasurable rather than what needs to be accomplished. It is choosing the less urgent task over the more urgent task. It’s that last minute attitude. From everyday chores to an academic assignment, sometimes delaying the task despite the consequence, ends up being the decision. Some people are habitual procrastinators, other wouldn’t dare touch this uncharted territory.
Most of us procrastinate to some degree. We give into the impulse of ignoring a more important task. Sometimes we feel guilty about doing this, and other times we even pass up opportunities to reach our goals. For someone who procrastinates, a to-do list is just out of the question. Sometimes we procrastinate just because we think something is boring. Other times we just would rather do something else.
The trouble is that procrastination is often times associated with laziness. Since you aren’t acting, you aren’t doing. You really have to turn this behavior around and you can. Forget about past procrastination and forgive yourself for your old ways. Focus on doing, not avoiding and start being a committed person. Start having a proactive attitude. Maybe you need to ask someone to hold you accountable. Having someone to check up on you can help. Hey, I am your accountability for exercise. Think of it as peer pressure. Also, reward yourself for being timely and doing what you set out to do. Buy that new toy for a job well done. Think about how good it feels to actually finish something without stress. Choose don’t force yourself to take action right away. Change your mind set that you are now powerful by taking ownership on these tasks.
Your fitness journey is empowering no matter how long it took you to call me and sign up. for some, they say they took 6 months to make the call. It’s the realization that something has to be done….NOW. When we start acting more and doing more, we become more and start to live life. Don’t add more worry or stress that can be completely controlled by you. Procrastination is self-inflicted agony. You owe yourself and your body much more than that. So take today as your day and make the most of what is on your plate. This brings a fresh energy and the future is wide open to embrace.
BLOG 204 INTUITION
Intuition is your instinct. When you use your immediate feeling versus conscious reasoning, that’s intuition. We understand or feel something immediately. We don’t need proof or evidence because we just know. It can be a great gift as a human. When we have that gut reaction, hunch, premonition, or third eye, this magical phenomenon helps us steer through life. The brain is on autopilot. It is nonconscious thinking. But the question we have to ask ourselves is if we should go with our intuition??
For example, when a relationship is developing, we make hunches about how that other person is feeling about us or how we feel about them. When taking a test, we might problem solve better if we just go with our first thought. Intuition is like the first impression that we make. On the other hand, making impulsive intuition decisions when it comes to financial circumstances might not be the best. There may not be a right answer, but we feel we know what the answer is anyways.
Sometimes not having reasoning or proof and following our intuition leads us down the better path. Many people meet me and I have to trust that they will follow their intuition that I will help them. Yes, there proof in my testimonials, but how can I prove a certain number on the scale will appear?? You won’t know until you try and prove the result to yourself. I think every relationship starts and ends with intuition. However, when it ends, we sometimes have proof that the other person isn’t “the one”. We have to wait for good old intuition to finally kick in to walk away. I’ve found that listening to my gut usually turns out better. Facts are facts but sometimes, I know my mind is on my side and wouldn’t head me down the wrong path.
When it comes to your health, intuition tells you that you don’t feel right and need to do something about it. You don’t have to have statistical data to tell you that your chronic fatigue is the result of lack of movement for several years of sitting at a desk job. Your intuition for your health is like the yellow light before you hit the read. Then when you listen to your intuition you the green light puts you into action. Even when you aren’t being measured on your fitness journey, your intuition tells you that you need this and is working and serves its purpose. Your mind and intuition are on your team, so sometimes don’t fight the good fight against yourself. You are so much better and deserve so much better than that and my intuition told me that
BLOG 203 WORRYING
We are never certain about what the future will bring us. Our mind becomes occupied by worrying until the future unfolds. Left in a situation we cannot control or are unable to take action upon, we resort to worrying about the possible outcome ahead. Uncertainty is not easy to embrace. In fact, sometimes we envy other people who can be so non-cholent and care free. But working only makes us more anxious and miserable. Worrying doesn’t just have a simple off switch for some of us. Being overly concerned about a problem or situation isn’t going to make it go away or suddenly reveal the answer. We are overcome by a fear of impending doom. Suddenly we feel ultra-sensitive. All this based on “what might happen”. For some worrying can become completely irrational.
Chronic worrying is not good for our health. The nervous system starts to release the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can raise blood sugar levels and triglycerides. Heart beat can race, a person can become dizzy, headaches and fatigue set in, you become irritable, the body starts to ache, sweating can start, and you are just filled with nervous energy. The immune system eventually becomes suppressed, digestive disorders can occur, and heart attacks can even happen.
As a queen of worrying, I’m working on coming to terms with the chronic trouble in my life. I have learned that worrying doesn’t change the outcome. I can’t worry to make the magic answer appear. For me, I’ve turned to eucalyptus and lavender oil to suppress these feelings. Melatonin at night helps. When I am not in control of the outcome, I feel terrible waiting and wondering. Keeping busy and building patience are also useful tools. Talking it out also helps. Sometimes having someone talk you off the ledge and being a voice of reason can help.
One thing we can try to not worry about is our health. Take the important measures to be active and to eat right and then you won’t have to worry about surgeries, doctor visits, and possible diagnoses. We can only control what we can control, and the rest we don’t need to worry about put rather let the scene unfold as it will. The outcome will come when it comes, but in the meantime, release positive endorphins from exercise, and take care of what business you can…. and that’s your body.
BLOG 202 INTRINSIC GOALS
We set goals to establish purpose and motivation for items in our life. Your why is what drives your goals. Intrinsic goals might include self-acceptance, affiliation, a community feeling, or physical fitness. They satisfy psychological needs such as growth and autonomy. Unlike extrinsic goals, they are not associated with receiving awards or compliments from others, financial gains, conformity, or popularity. Intrinsic goals are more about happiness and your well-being. Feelings and emotions are involved in their construction. They’re about doing something because it makes you feel good. For example, you go to college because you just want to learn. You learn how to cook because you enjoy cooking. You babysit kids because you like kids. You get good grades because you want to. If these same goals were of extrinsic association, you would go to college to get a degree. You would learn to cook so you can become a chef and get paid. You babysit for income. You get good grades so your parents will buy you something. Neither type of goal setting is good or bad, in fact they both contain pros and cons. I just want you to have intrinsic goals as well on your fitness journey.
When it comes down to it, I workout because it makes me feel good and I like the results that I see in the mirror. I’m not driven by a scale weight or body fat percentage. That is my day to day purpose. But I do have extrinsic goals too. I have a fitness studio to make an income doing what I love, and I do competitions for trophies and winning titles. BUT my intrinsic goals are the root of my being. When I ask clients what their goals are, I make it clear on the first day it doesn’t have to be a certain weight. I say they can be intrinsic and most people do not know what that means. I explain that working out can be about feeling good, having more energy, feeling like your clothes fit, and being able to perform daily life activities without pain. Those are great goals right?? Someone we have this notion that numbers, numbers, numbers, are the only thing that matter. Hey, we all like when the scale shows a lower number, but when it doesn’t, man on man, can it do a “number” on your psyche. My homework for you is to come up with 3 intrinsic goals when it comes to your fitness journey. Examples might include to meet new likeminded people in the small groups, to fight for my health, or to feel active again and able bodied. I would be pleased to hear them so email me your response Then I will know you read this blog too haha. My intrinsic goal for you is feel good, and I think I have the power to help you do so.
BLOG 201 OVERUSE OF SORRY
When you need to ask your friend or co-worker for help, why might you say, “Sorry to bother you, but…” When you aren’t feeling good because you have the flu, you say, “Sorry I’m sick”. When you arrive early for an appointment and tell the receptionist, “Sorry, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t late”. Are these instances truly worthy of an apology? An apology is an expression of regret or sorrow for having failed or wronged another person. We throw the S-bomb around when we have done nothing wrong at all. The problem is that being a chronic over-apologizer does take its toll on your self-esteem. You are reaching for approval and asking for acceptance from someone else. You are being a people-pleaser. Not only this, but crying wolf saying sorry all the time, means when the real word should be used, it has lost its merit.
Apologies should be kept for special occasions, and hopefully the less frequent the better. You have to use your words wisely. If someone helps you, rather than saying sorry for taking up their time, say thank you for taking your time to help me. Surveys show that the average person says sorry 8 times per day (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2036719/Britons-say-sorry-8-times-day–233-000-times-lives.html). I mean isn’t it silly that someone else bumps into us and we say sorry?? You are not a side walk and meant to be walked all over so stop saying sorry for just being you. Don’t make yourself feel less than what you are worth by saying sorry to someone else for no reason. You are telling them they are higher up than you in that moment. It’s wonderful to be a caring and sympathetic person to others, but not when you are sacrificing your self-worth. Assert yourself and stand tall. Being sorry all the time sets a negative vibe for your emotions. Take a day and track how many times you say the S-bomb. Notice why you used the phrase. Don’t be sorry for taking the time to read this. Be sorry for saying sorry so much haha. But you get my point
We live in an information overload world, where it is human nature to believe everything we see or read. Just a fraction of a second after we read a sentence, we think it must be true. That is because we want to believe. The act of believing provides confidence, knowledge, affirmation, or proof, that the subject matter can exist in our brain space. That doesn’t make us gullible, rather, we become victims of myths, fallacies, and false claims. After all, what would the world be like if we generally felt that what we read, saw, or heard, wasn’t true?? Disbelief usually comes after belief. We need evidence to debunk, disprove, or negate something we have read. Our minds make us fortunate to have the ability to take in information, process it, and decide what to do with it.
Yet, a little embellishment here and there is readily available through this information. A story needs merit, spark, catch, in order to entertain us. The story might need a little decoration to be considered interesting or to pull attention. A magazine with no readers won’t be a magazine for very long.
This brings me to oh so popular phrase I hear from client, “You know I was reading about….” followed by, “So what do you think??”. Well an opinion is an opinion but if were talking health and fitness, then I can add value. Between diets, exercise methods, and the latest detox, the fitness industry has become bombarded with get fit quick schemes and supplements to reach any goal. Marketers prey on the vulnerability of believers. These believes have tried and failed before, each time believing that what they have read will be the grand answer they need. The lies from last time somehow get forgotten. This is a cycle.
This means we have to consider our sources for information, always look for credible research studies that are not monetary based, and understand that just because we want to believe, doesn’t make the subject matter true. A lie is a sin, but that doesn’t keep them out of life. I always say read a second opinion, look at the pros and cons, and then draw a conclusion based on the reliability and validity of what and where you read something. Those tabloids get us. We keep reading and believing, hence why you can read about anything on a good old Google search. But don’t Google your symptoms to the point of utter chaos in your life. Self-diagnosis can be self-destructive. Hold true to your values, listen to your heart, and don’t be fooled by claims preying upon your emotions for what you want to hear.
BLOG 199 ENVSION
Having a mental picture of what you want to achieve is imperative for success. I’m sure you have heard of vision boards, athletes doing this before games, or business leaders seeing themselves on top. You have to illustrate to your mind what is going to happen. If you can’t see yourself where you want to be, then how is the picture even possible?? It’s part of the reflection of realizing you can do something. If you aren’t able to picture yourself where you want to be then you don’t have the confidence to be there (harsh but true).
One of my fondest memories of my mom was when I wasn’t able to sleep the night before a basketball a game because I was envisioning tomorrow’s game. I would play the plays in my head. I wanted to play well and win so bad. She would stay up late watching Lifetime TV so I would go tell her I was frustrated and couldn’t sleep. She would tell me that it’s okay my body is still resting if I just lay there and think about how well I’m going to play in tomorrow’s game. I had to rest my eyes and close them and picture tomorrow’s game. I would go lay back down and get up the next feeling fine. I still do this as an adult the night before competitions. I also use it on nights that I don’t sleep when I reassure myself that my body is still resting even if I’m not able to fall asleep. So when people ask my why I’m not tired, it’s because mentally my mom said I’m rested and mother knows best
The trick is that you can’t casually envision something. You are setting the groundwork and foundation that tells your mind to connect to this captured picture and put you there. The idea has made its grand entrance into your mind and now it’s the commitment to move forward.
Now that you see what you want, you have to envision the steps to get there. You want to take the most direct route, not telling yourself that eventually you will get there. The vision has a deadline. Focus and hone in. Practice and prepare. When we were kids we would envision very fun things like becoming a movie star or sports player. Now its about paving the path of what you really want to do, realistically. The scope on your lens needs to be focused on the picture and only adjusted along the way to make the goals met. Maybe the lighting or scenery needs to change. When it comes to your fitness journey where do you see yourself and your body?? Where do you see your health?? Are you slimmer, more muscular, in a certain size, being able to run around with the kids, or you tell me?? You SEE that picture and now it is your purpose for this lifestyle change. Have the confidence to makes these changes and continue to improve yourself so that the picture becomes complete.