Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What to Say When People Pressure You with Food

Everyone who's been personally victimized by Regina George, er, Food-Pushers, say "aye." 

You may have been on both sides of the game in this one, and if that's the case, then please leave your comments below. Nonetheless, striving to better yourself in health and wellness has its challenges when it comes to corporate eating. We've all felt the pressure to join in the break room cookies or the baby shower cake, even if we really wanted to pass. All to conclude with a giant side of guilt after splurging. Please know I'm not shaming the act of intuitively eating something less than 100 percent healthy every now and then, but there's something to be said if you feel totally out of control when eating around others. If that resonates with you, remember these four responses.

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"Who brought this vegetable tray? I love tomatoes!"
1. Express Your Gratitude.

Most of the time, people are looking to serve or show hospitality. "Can I get you a piece of cake?" or "How 'bout this brownie I just made?" (That one's a frequent phrase from my Grandma ...). Proactively express how delicious the salad was, and ask who made it. Describe how grateful you are for all the food available to you and how happy you are with your options. By the way, the more gratitude you have in your heart in general, the easier it will be to shake off the pressure to indulge in unhealthy food and drinks.

"Thanks for thinking of me, but I'll pass. I'm trying to get stronger and healthier today."
2. Remember Your Reasons.

Respond with values, not your outcomes. Respond in unexpected ways that turn the conversation into something centered around bettering yourself and holding yourself accountable. If someone's really pushy, like, "Come on, one more won't kill you," respond with "But I might not stop at just one, and I'm trying to establish self-discipline," or "I'm trying to practice a little intuitive eating and will power."

"Not today, sir. My body's craving something light and fresh."
3. Blame it on your body.

As you become more of an intuitive eater, your body runs better on whole foods, free of toxins, sugar and processed crap. Although you may not be exactly an intuitive eater just yet, practicing the discipline of listening to your body and training it to run on lean protein, unprocessed fats and fibrous fruits and vegetables is essential. When people hear you're listening to your body and eating what you want, rather than restricting yourself, they're less likely to ask you again and again. Some people prey on weakness, and when they see drool coming from your mouth when food's served, they might jump on it. If they know you're doing what you want, then they might not be as inclined to exploit your self-discipline.

"I've had my share of sweets this week, so no thanks. If you want one, it won't bother me!"
4. Empathize with the Food-Pusher.

Remember that change comes to everyone, and it's often something we don't come to easily. Your bettering yourself may cause someone else to look inward and ask why they're not bettering themselves. I've found my actions to instill self-discipline have sometimes brought out the worst of other people's insecurities. Try hard to not cast any judging eyes. Hold back any defensive comments (I'm still working on this). Instead, choose a response that speaks a sense of humility. Often, the food and drink-pushers are the ones who are feeling the most pressure, so if you can remember that, to see them like bugs (they're more scared of you than you're scared of them), then it will be easier to simply say, "No thank you."

For a complete guide to wellness, register for one of my 3 new Team A.M.Fit programs, each being a guide to creating lifelong habits of nutrition, exercise and positive self-image. 

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Team A.M.Fit Programs Available!

One idea you must learn to live with is that your body is like no one else's. This means that one program may work for you and another may work better for your friend. Obviously, the best way to determine a plan of action to help you meet your health and wellness goals would be to start a custom program or custom coaching plan.

For those of you who are familiar with the discipline of exercise but struggle with food, you may find one of the programs below helpful. These programs might also be wise choices before starting a customized plan for financial reasons. Like all of my coaching techniques, I'd like to steer you away from the diet mentality and encourage you to see every wellness endeavor as an opportunity to reflect on yourself physically, mentally and spiritually — for one without the other will only get you so far. 

Any guidelines or structure involved in the programs is meant to be adjusted depending on your intuitive needs. The structure of the program is extremely helpful in the beginning stages as long as you pair it with the reflection challenges. You must learn how to answer the "why" question in order to explore your eating habits, tendencies, restrictions, attitudes, and any other behaviors related to nutrition and exercise. In all things, I never want you to feel restricted, but instead, my hope is to introduce a freedom for you to know your body better than anyone else. 

I'm excited to introduce three of my latest programs. Please read about them below:

21 Days to a Healthy Home
This program is designed to unite families around the table, forming habits of healthy and intuitive eating. Combining simple yet delicious meals with quick and effective workouts for all ages, 21 Days to a Healthy Home is the best way to get all your family members on board to making wellness a priority. Complete the inquiry below to register for this program. A $100 registration fee is required to receive the program. Payment must be received via PayPal before the full program will be sent.

Register for 21 Days to a Healthy Home >>

14-Day Fresh Start
This program is designed to help those who know the basics of healthy and intuitive eating and who work out consistently three or more times a week but feel they may have plateaued in their progress. Combining simple yet effective tips to shed excess fat quickly before an event or to jumpstart a lifestyle of wellness, this program has the essentials. Team A.M.Fit’s 14-Day Fresh Start includes a 3-day detox, a series of fat-blasting workouts and a series of meal recommendations. This is the best program to get fit in a flurry. A $75 registration fee is required to receive the program. Payment must be received via PayPal before the full program will be sent.

Register for 14-Day Fresh Start >>
6-Week Strength Starter
This program is designed to help both men and women implement resistance training to build more muscle and get stronger in the gym. Team A.M.Fit's 6-Week Strength Starter will give you four in-gym workouts, four cardio routines and a glossary of exercises. These workouts will vary week to week. You will need free weights and several machines, but alternatives are given for those without sufficient equipment. The program also includes a list of supplements and how to implement them into a healthy nutrition routine, along with some suggestions on eating to build muscle. The idea is that you gain strength every week and are able to maintain the same routines for longer than the suggested 6-week period, having gained the momentum and understanding of your body over the first month and a half. A $150 registration fee is required to receive the program. Payment must be received via PayPal before the full program will be sent.

Register for 6-Week Strength Starter >>

How to Handle Holiday Stress

Does the thought of Thanksgiving and Christmas bundled together make your heart warm and fuzzy — or are you one who wants to warm up to the thought of the holidays, but really, thinking about it makes you feel overwhelmed? Unfortunately, our already-packed to-do lists multiply this time of year. Meals to make; gifts to buy; cards to send; lights to hang; trees to cut; parties to plan .... Learn how to prevent post-holiday depression and stop the seasonal stress in its tracks.

1. Get More Sleep.

Sleep is vital for your body to recover, especially in the midst of a stressful season, whether that's during the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping or something as simple as a change in your schedule. The value of rest baffled me, as I used to think the longer I was awake, the more calories I burned and therefore, the more active I was, which was always better. Wrong! If driven too hard, your body produces hormones to store fat and survive on as little energy as possible (be thankful for this). The only way to ensure you don't send your body into overdrive is to make sure it has time to reset and recover.

I recommend trying to get at least six hours of sleep. If you can get eight, even better. Don't underestimate the value of a power nap, either. Stop drinking caffeine past 3 p.m. Start drinking magnesium powder before bed. Stop watching TV or any screens at least 30 minutes before bed. Start reading or listening to soft music to lull you to sleep. Start paying attention to what makes you feel at peace and what makes you feel alert.

2. Plan to Prepare Healthy Dishes.

I used to get so anxious about going to family dinners or parties, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'd lose my joy about being there because nobody understood how to eat healthy like me (get off your high road, Amber ... I know). Now, I look at it as an opportunity to let my intuitive eater out to play. I always bring at least one dish that I know I want to eat, a food or meal that not only tastes good but will make my body feel good. Sometimes, that's a hot chili, a big tossed salad, a roasted vegetable or GoPro Balls. The ideas are endless. Use your healthy dish as a talking piece for declaring your goals to live healthy and maybe encourage someone else. Try not to be offended if someone doesn't understand. They may be fighting an insecurity themselves. Instead of restricting yourself from enjoying the rest of the food there, allow yourself permission to eat what you want, knowing that your own dish is there if you find you're not satisfied by the other options.

3. Supplement with Extra Energy-Boosters.

There's a reason people get sick this time of year. Aside from the weather and allergies, people are just too dadgum busy. If you can't slow down, at least supplement up (I'm preaching to myself here). Start taking Zinc, Echinacea and Vitamin C. A liver detox or aid can help your liver process the extra stress hormones you may be producing. A probiotic promotes a healthy gut, which is often affected when stressed. Be sure to get enough green superfoods like kale, spinach, spirulina, and kelp. My favorite greens blend is the chocolate silk kind by Barlean's. Again, the magnesium powder is a natural tranquility supplement to help you sleep better because it ensures your body has enough magnesium to make muscular contraction and relaxation more efficient. And another thing is to add some essential oils (good all year round). Lavender and peppermint oil are two that can help alleviate throat/sinus soreness caused by colds or allergies. If you don't catch it in time, and you get sick, Singer's Saving Grace will really save your grace (for throat), and this natural cough syrup with wild cherry bark. And I can't talk about saving energy without mentioning you eat whole foods (one ingredient) as much as possible, and drinking tons of water with lemon.

4. Keep a Record of Right's.

You've heard about not keeping a record of wrongs, which is just as important as keeping a record of right's. Try to find the good in people before you criticize their flaws. One thing I'm trying lately is to compliment every person I see. It could be something as simple as, "Hey, how are you? Oh, I like those shoes." Again, being this nice doesn't usually come naturally. We were wired for selfishness, so you have to work to be gracious and humble. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with you; it just means you have to be intentional about it.

Another way to record your right's is to write them down. The idea of keeping a gratitude journal is not far-fetched; that's for sure. Then I have to ask, why do so few people actually do it? I started journaling my prayers about six months ago, and I cannot tell you how my heart has softened since. My spirit is sensitive to every time my mouth complains, every little blessing I experience, and I'm acting in more compassion (thanks to God) than ever before. I'll tell you, it puts life in perspective if you carve out enough time (think 5 mins) to thank God for a few things.

5. Dismiss the Fear of Missing Out.

Here's another fear-based feeling I used to act in without knowing it. I call it FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Do you often find yourself at a crossroad? Not knowing which decision to make? Indecisiveness is a huge indicator you may suffer from FOMO too. The good news is that you can be cured! Don't get caught up in how the world says to celebrate the holidays. So, you don't get around to putting up the indoor Christmas decorations ... Does that mean you can't enjoy Christmas? No. So, you waited to late to send cards, and now they're going to arrive to your friends and family three days after Christmas. Big deal! It just means Christmas is going to last a little longer.

One of the biggest lessons I'm learning is that it's not about making the right decision. It's about surrendering whichever decision you make to God, knowing that if you seek Him and trust Him, praying for His will instead of your own, He will bless that decision and make it the right one. Try not to sweat the small stuff. Make a list of things that are the most important to you this time of year. Prepare your mind to not get all uptight and upset if everything doesn't get done. Instead, set your mind up to be happy even if none of those things actually happen. Choose to embrace the spontaneity of each moment. Choose generosity. The best medicine for a wounded heart is to help bless someone else.

Want some ideas for gifts (for a friend or for yourself)? Read some of my top picks for a health-conscious holiday gift guide.

For a complete guide to wellness for the family, register for 21 Days to a Healthy Home, your guide to creating lifelong habits of nutrition, exercise and positive self-image. 

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out. 
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