Release Your Essence, Boost Your Performance

mudderOn October 8, 2016, I ran my first Tough Mudder with my friend Cynthia ( a Legionnaire 3X Tough Mudder participant). Due to my fitness level, I hadn’t seriously exercised since I had my third child. I knew that there were going to be a lot of obstacles, especially the ones that require upper body strength, and that I would have to skip those. The distance also worried me. Ten miles is a half marathon and I am not trained for it. I went back to running two to four miles per week in the past few months but not regularly to the point that I can pretend to be trained.

So I’ve been there for the past two months –because it was getting close–thinking, anticipating about where I can fit my training into my busy schedule. The day of the race arrived and I hadn’t done much, probably because I know the most powerful way to get through this. It is what I teach and practice most daily: mindfulness, connecting with the space within yourself where your energy consciousness lies, your essence, and anchoring yourself in the present moment. Plus my unwavering faith that I would do fine.

When you are in that state, you just go with the flow and that is the key to highest performance. Your body has already learned the movement with training.  The brain delivers the messages to your muscles, the mechanics behind the motion and the feeling of gravity to apply the right amount of strength. I also knew that the body follows the mind. Just an example: when I set a goal of running six times around the track, I notice my body gets tired around four to five rounds because I am close to the end and I am starting to battle internally, talking myself into pushing and going a little bit longer. The same happens when I set a goal of running ten rounds.  Around eight times I get the same self talk.

For the Tough Mudder, I decided not to look how long the distance was–it varies from ten to twelve miles–and did not look at the obstacles. So when we registered and they handed us a map, I shoved it into my sport bag. I was not interested in knowing. I will be in the moment and go with the flow of what was coming. The race started and that is exactly what I did. Even in front of the obstacles, I did not think twice about how I was going to get over it. I just went, and grabbed the first hand coming my way, the first shoulder. I was getting this done!

To my amazement, I stayed in that state of mind for the duration of the event. What seemed like a two and a half  hour race was actually four hours. In that state of mind, time took on another meaning. I ran about seven out of ten miles and did twelve out of twenty obstacles, which exceeded by far my own expectations due to my level of fitness. At no point did I feel exhaustion or that I had to stop. I had my mind set on pulling through, one moment at a time.

It’s when I finally passed the finish line, that my body felt heavy again, tired and cold . That cold rinse off outside didn’t help much. The next shower was the best shower I ever had and the two slices of pizza afterward: heavenly. Mindfulness is the secret to high performance and exceeding expectations.

Maintaining an Active Lifestyle

We just gave you a slew of information about how you can lose the baby weight. While this may appear to be something you do for you, you don’t have to go it alone nor could you. With a baby around, you are never alone anyway.

But don’t forget, the baby will soon be a toddler and then a pre-schooler. We suggest becoming an active family, something that not only helps you stay slim, but also sets a good example for your children.

We suggest:

  • Do the food shopping and cooking with other members of the family.
  • Plan family activities around exercise or events that require movement.
  • Choose one physical activity each weekend and take turns with other family members when making the choice.

By taking turns and engaging in the activities together, not only is everyone happier, variety is added to the routine. Above all, you are not only exercising happily, you are creating family memories.

Here is a list of ten FUN things you can do with your family:

  • Spend the day at a water park.
  • Take a walk on the boardwalk or just through the neighborhood.
  • Play paint ball.
  • Go sailing, kayaking or rowing.
  • Go to an indoor rock climbing center.
  • Go roller skating at a rink or just outdoors.
  • Spend time at a local playground and pack a healthy picnic lunch.
  • Go bicycle riding.
  • Participate in one of many public park activities.
  • Put on some music and dance.

What do you like to do?  Share your ideas with us! We’d love to hear them!

Losing the Baby Weight : How to do it (Part 3 of 4)

Gaining weight from pregnancy is perfectly normal.  When you are pregnant, you need the extra weight to nourish and physically carry a growing baby.

The amount of weight you gained during those nine months will dictate how much weight you will probably want to lose. Or if you were overweight to begin with, this is a great time to set new goals.

How to Eat

If you are nursing, know that nursing burns extra calories so even if you feel like you are not doing very much, your body is working extra hard. This does not mean you should overeat. On the contrary, use this time to burn those calories so you shrink down to your normal self naturally.

Start by eating as healthfully as possible. In order to lose weight, you will also need to cut your calorie consumption, unless you are breastfeeding.   If you are thinking you can’t do this because you don’t want to give up your favorite foods, it is not a problem. You won’t have to. Just eat smaller portions of everything you normally consume. But if you want to make a more significant nutritional change, our book Change Your Mind: Lose Weight can coach you through the transition.

 How to Exercise

Your body has changed and it is your core that has mostly been affected. You want that flat stomach back, but targeting only one body part never works.  We touched on this in a previous post titled “Attaining the “Perfect” Body is All About Changing Your Mind.” Basically, you need a holistic approach in order to get to your new healthy normal, and getting your pre-pregnancy shape back will require more than a walk in the park.

So you will need to do an all around good workout that includes stretching, aerobics and strength training.

There is No Hurry

If you just had your baby a few days ago, you are not ready to implement anything. Relax. Read Part 1 of this series where we talk about the necessity to nurture the self.

When will you be ready to get back to it? There is no magic formula.  Listen to your body, and follow your health care provider’s recommendations. You will soon be at a place where you can start to get your body back.

Losing the Baby Weight : Getting Your Mind Ready (Part 2 of 4)

In order to prepare yourself for weight loss, you have to know where you are. This means we are going to ask you to step on the scale.

 It’s scary. We know. Whether you just had a baby or you gained a bit of weight, the scale can seem like the enemy.

It is especially a unique experience after you have a baby because you have been purposefully carrying extra weight, eating more, and exercising less in order to grow the little human being inside you. But once that process is over you want to get back to your normal self, and that can be frightening, especially when you have no idea what you weigh.

We say, just do it. Get your number. Then ask yourself a few questions to prepare your mind:

    • Am I ready?
    • What are my strengths?
    • What happened the last time I tried to lose weight?
    • What obstacles stopped me from losing weight?
    • How am I going to overcome obstacles this time?

Revisit those questions daily.

And remember, if you fall off track one day, you did not fail! It is a temporary setback. Simply use it as a learning experience and do plan to do better the following day! 

Eating better and exercising works as long as you make it a routine. Consistency and perseverance will give you the results you desire.

For more on getting the mind ready, read our book Change Your Mind: Lose Weight. Not only will it provide tips on how often to weigh yourself but it will help you to design a game plan to lose weight at any point in your life. 

Losing the Baby Weight: Before You Lose the Weight, Nurture Yourself (Part 1 of 4)

babypost1Congratulations! You had a baby! And we know you want to lose the weight, but first, it is important to nurture yourself.

You are nurturing your baby, doing what is best for him or her, sleeping when you can grab a few minutes, and probably not cooking as much as you had in the past. So your nutrition suffers, you are tired from lack of sleep, and when someone tells you to exercise, you laugh. Who has time to do that?

And it would be too much of a surprise for your body after all it has been through to rush to the gym once the doctor gives you the green light. It took you 9 months to get there, so it will take time to get your body back.  So what do you do now?

  • Take a walk.
  • Meditate.
  • Take a nap when the baby does.
  • Revive an old passion.
  • Sit outside and soak up the sun.
  • Read a book.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get a massage or a manicure.
  • Do anything that makes you feel good.

Whether you just had a baby, or you are experiencing something else that takes you off the path of good nutrition and exercise, slow down first. Examine your life and daily routine.

Instead of thinking about “losing weight,” think about “feeling good.” Eating clean and drinking more water will result in increased energy. And above all, don’t attempt anything until you are caught up with your sleep. You must take care of yourself before you begin to reshape your body.

Of course, we will hold your hand every step of the way. For now, just focus on wellness and enjoying these first memorable weeks with your new baby.

Our next post will focus on getting your mind ready for weight loss!