The way we see it
We get a kick out of sharing what we think, and even sometimes, what we know about health, fitness, and life. We hope you enjoy it.
I wanted to take the time today to piggy back on Paul's previous posts about nutrition and exercise. They were all the rage when everyone was obsessing over New Year's Resolutions last month and they are important.
I would argue that another important area, that is often neglected, is our emotional and mental health. We have touched on lifestyle factors and how they contribute greatly to our overall well-being, but we haven't really touched on our emotional and mental health. This can be the missing link to a healthier version of ourselves.
Over the past year, I have undergone some major emotional healing and every step I have taken, to heal myself emotionally, has led me to feeling healthier and stronger. I continue trying to figure out why I still have nagging health problems when I eat healthy, exercise, and find time to pray and express gratitude. Through my personal journey, I have recently discovered that I was harboring deep anger and pain that was leaving me broken and sick. As I dive head first in to addressing my anger and pain, I am noticing my body and physical health are responding in very positive ways.
It all started to come together this year on the 30th anniversary of my brother, Brian's, death. I think about him every day, but I never realized how his death changed my life forever and it has taken me way too long to realize I was stuck in an emotional web of anger and pain.
When you lose a loved one to suicide, there is a ripple effect that changes the course of your life. I did not realize how angry I was with him for leaving my family in such complete shambles. In some cases, like mine, you are left with no answers.... just a lingering question that haunts you. Losing him so suddenly and abruptly led me to wanting to control everything else in my life, hence the control issues I mentioned in previous posts.
I am so grateful that recently, several people and circumstances have surfaced to help me work on healing this area of my life. As I let go of all my anger and forgave him, I started to regain my health. Nagging health issues have started resolving themselves. I have found courage I didn't know I had, and I reached out to my brothers, so we could all heal together, after all these years.
This experience has helped me become a better trainer as I remind myself daily to step back and realize that everyone has their own story. We all have mental and emotional baggage that keep us from becoming who we are meant to be. Instead of getting angry or frustrated with someone for not reaching their goals or falling off the health wagon repeatedly, I meet them with compassion and empathy.
We are all here to support each other and sometimes putting the effort in to healing deep wounds, can be the missing link to health problems. If you are eating well, exercising regularly, and doing all that you can to manage stress, but you still feel like you are sick, stuck, or just can't quite break through a plateau, you may have to dig deeper and see what lies beneath the surface.
It is not always pleasant at first, but I can tell you first hand, it is worth it, and your health could depend on it. I can finally take the broken pieces of my heart (and health) and start to put it back together with the help of my family and amazing New Dawn Fitness community.
I have recently become obsessed with lighthouses and have them all over my house. I think I may finally know why now....."
"The scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rocks you hit." - Unknown
Whenever we start one of our clean eating challenges, which we now call “resets”, it’s an educational experience. I already have a strict nutritional protocol that works for me so this challenge is not really a challenge. However, I love the resets because I always learn something about myself that ends up getting me closer to feeling my best and I fall in love with cooking every time. It’s a win win and the reason why Paul and I still encourage them. What we should really call them are mental resets.
I have become a little jaded over the years with trying to help clients and friends reach their goals especially when I know in my heart that their nutritional practices are such a big part of what is holding them back and slowing them down.
I used to be over zealous and bombard people with nutritional information only to find that the person was not in the right mental space to hear any of it. They would try it…fight against it….try it….fight against it…repeat. I would get so frustrated and eventually decided to stop offering any nutritional advice. It worked for a while, but my intuition was telling me that there is more to it. I decided to take a different approach and focus on WHY it’s so hard for people to stick to a good workout routine and eat healthy. I started reading phycology books and listening to podcasts and found that much of the research shows that a lot of our “hang ups” about food are deep rooted in us. It could be a trauma (accident, loss of a loved one, abuse in any way shape or form, childhood angst or, family upbringing,) the list is endless.
To approach food with an open mind, people must heal from the inside out and find what triggers them to fight against what they know can help them lead a healthier more prosperous life. Some people get scared of the person they are becoming. The new-found confidence and change it brings with it will cause them to deliberately sabotage themselves. For others, it’s just plain hard and life is already hard enough so why add more to their already full plates.
I just listened to an amazing podcast on The Goop(a shout out to Celeste for turning me on to it!) It is an interview with Geneen Roth called, Why We Use Food to Shame Ourselves. I have already listened to it three times, picking up different bits of information every time. One thing she said that resonated with me is how she learns so much about people when she studies their eating habits and mindsets towards food. She gives the example of a client complaining about how she eats so fast and furiously without any thought to what or how much she is eating. As they began to unpack what was going on, they found that she was rushing through everything in her life especially time with her kids and husband and was missing precious moments. She had to shift her mindset and make one small step towards slowing down which caused a cascade of changes. It’s so fascinating to me and I have seen it play out in my own life.
I have will power that has served me well, but with that will power comes major control issues. This is one of my “hang ups” and recognizing and acknowledging it has been a blessing. I have been slowly unpacking my deep-rooted need for control and desire to take on everyone else’s problems and I have begun to heal physically faster than I have ever imagined. I have forced myself to slow down and spend more time doing the things I love with people who lift my spirits and reach an understanding that it will all work out.
This slowing down has helped me recognize that there are things that I can control and things that are completely out of my control and that is OK. It’s not just about exercise and nutrition. Even if you are not doing our 30 day reset, take these 30 days to try and find your “hang ups” they could be a piece of your health puzzle that could fast track you to becoming the best version of yourself.
What kind of training do you do?
It's a question we get all of the time and a seemingly easy one to answer, yet, we struggle with it. We feel really strongly that we have created something different with our approach to training. Something that is hard to put into words, but is definitely not just about exercise. Teaching people to move correctly and kicking their ass in a workout is pretty easy. Nurturing relationships and creating opportunities for intentional community around the benefits of health and fitness is a bit more intricate. If it were just about exercise we would all get our workouts in and wander around half naked, stopping by each mirror we passed to admire our chiseled physiques.
Unfortunately there is much more involved and the biggest roadblock to lasting improvements in health and fitness, for most of us, is fear. Fear of putting yourself out there and not being good enough. Fear of ridicule, rejection, pain, hard work, and failure. It could be one or all of these things. This fear can make the idea of walking through the gym door an untenable one. This is an all too common problem that holds so many back from even attempting to achieve what they really want, not only in fitness but in life.
Our ultimate goal is to hammer home the point that fear is not real. It is a projected emotion based on the idea of a worst case scenario of what might happen and it is not based in reality. Acknowledging this and joining a community of people who have faced these fears and done the work anyway is the way to reach your goals. We have that community.
Make No Excuses.
I saw this quote recently and it came right on the heels of an awesome workout with some amazing ladies who find the time to work hard, lift, and most importantly laugh.
The best part of running our own gym is the relationships that we get to build with everyone who walks through the door. We are so grateful for the amazing community that has grown over the past few years and look forward to sharing stories about the day, getting and giving advice, sharing new recipes, watching strength gains, and laughing. It's the short conversations during the warm-up, the subtle encouragement in the final minutes of a timed workout, the gentle nudging to put five more pounds on the bar; along with the friendly smile first thing in the morning or after a hard day, an ear to listen to your struggles and stressors both in and outside of the gym, the accountability of knowing that someone is relying on you to make their day a little bit better. This is what our community does for one another and this is what kind of training we do.
Getting a good workout is important, but building a lasting support system around an engaging and fun community is the key. We couldn't be more proud of the group of people who we get to work with and look forward to sharing the idea of this community with even more in the future.
It's about so much more than exercise.
The crazy spring like weather already has everybody thinking about warmer temperatures and summer time! It's like a switch goes on and the race to look good in a bathing suit and shorts gets kicked in to high gear. This switch has been turned on earlier this year due to the mild winter we have had and I am getting a lot of questions about how to lose the extra pounds or the last bit of abdominal or back fat before the summer frenzy begins.
There are multiple parts to the health equation, but here are my top 6 ways to prep your body for the summer. I use them all myself and have been testing them out on my closest family and friends and the results are amazing!
1.Love your body. Show it compassion every day. Sounds simple, but women especially have a hard time doing this. When you look in the mirror, say thank you for what you have and get rid of all the negative thoughts. Replace them with positive thoughts. "Wow, my butt and legs are so strong, they keep my body moving all day." The more you show your body kindness, the more it will respond. Get your mind right and your body will follow your lead(more about that in number 5!)
2. Heal your gut. Your stomach is your second brain. If you don't take care of it, your body starts to rebel. If you have had multiple courses of antibiotics, prednisone, or any other bacteria destroying medications, you will need more than just a great nutritional plan which I will mention in point # 3. You need a good soil based probiotic(maybe more than one) and other gut healing herbal supplements to get your gut biome back in balance. An unbalanced or unhealthy gut biome leads to weight gain, chronic sinusitis (which I suffered from my whole life), asthma, allergies, skin irritations, leaky gut, etc! The list is endless. This is near and dear to my heart and is what has changed my life. Integrative medicine doctors are great resources in helping to heal gut dysbiosis.
3. Eat real foods. I sound like a broken record, but you can't out exercise a poor diet. Eating whole foods in their most natural state seems to be the hardest concept when I am helping people lead a healthier life. There are so many amazing foods available to us, yet we have a default button that sends us running to highly processed packaged foods that have zero nutritional value, but are convenient and easy. Think about what you are fueling your body with and plan ahead. There are so many amazing cookbooks as well as on line resources available that make meal planning so much easier and right at our fingertips. Two of my favorites right now are www.detoxinista.com and www.glutenfreegirl.com.
4.Move. Yes, weight lifting is my favorite form of exercise and is what keeps me on top of my game, but there are tons of other great ways to help you get a healthy body. Hike, ski, walk, ride a bike, yoga, pilates, trail running, sprinting, swimming, etc. Pick your passion and do it more often. When you are on the move a lot, don't forget to sprinkle that ever important good nights sleep in to the mix too.
5.Practicing Gratitude/Mindfulness. I have been talking a lot about this lately. It has changed every aspect of my life. We all have so much to be thankful for, but when we are bogged down by negative thoughts, whether it be about our bodies, our health, or our jobs, we stay locked in a loop of negativity. This loop is hard to break since a negative mindset only allows you to see all that is negative around you and blocks out the blessings and gifts that are right in front of you. Your body responds to positivity and you will notice some amazing changes when you practice # 1 on my list. Changes in your body that you have yet to notice since you have been locked on the wrong frequency for so long.
6. Sleep. Yes, I am telling you yet again how important sleep is to overall health and weight loss!! I need to hammer this point home for those of you who still don't believe me. Lack of sleep causes lack of motivation(energy), funky mood swings, constant hunger pains(you will crave all the foods your body does not thrive on), and memory issues just to name a few. One night of poor sleep can leave you as insulin resistant as a type-2 diabetic. This state sends signals to your body to store fat. I could go on forever. I am going to throw my friend, Heather under the bus. She was a night owl that had to drink coffee in the late afternoon to keep her eyeballs open and craved sugar. Now that she is working out at 5:30 in the morning, she goes to bed earlier, drinks tea in the afternoon, has decreased her sugar cravings, and feels great. I am so happy for her and I know it will just keep getting better. Love you Heather!!
I know it seems like a lot, but they all have a common thread.....they lead you down the path to health and happiness. You can start by incorporating one a week or jump in head first. Whatever floats your boat. Just keep in mind that we are not just made to survive, we are made to thrive.
"My Mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
It is getting close to the New Year and many are starting to think ahead to what their resolutions will be. We wanted to offer up a different approach to give you a jump start on any resolutions that you may be thinking about. We are calling it "Start by Stopping" and think it will help many reach the results they are searching for much faster.
We spent some time this Thanksgiving looking over old pictures and it reminded us of ththe journey towards health and fitness we have been on for the past 15 years. We feel like we have found the fountain of youth, with clean eating, exercise, and lifestyle changes and want to share it with all who will listen. The reminder was good for us and we hope it is for you also.
Assuming you have your health, being 40 now is like being 20 but with the wisdom and perspective that allows you to make the most of this time of your life. With that in mind we wanted to share with you ten things we wish we knew at 20 that we want to take advantage of in our next 40 years. They are in no specific order.
Our journey has been a gradual shift from from an unhealthy lifestyle and food choices to where we are today. We were always active and exercise was always a part of what we did, but adding in the nutritional and lifestyle picece made all the difference in the world.
Setting our kids up for success from an early age is what we all want to do and there are definite ways that we can help our kids get off to a great start. However, there are also ways that we can be an obstacle to the natural growth and development of our kids.
Unfortunately we do this under the misguided notion that we are helping and the results can be the opposite of what we intend. I came across an article on Twitter,Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues. It was one of those articles where it hit at just the right time and connected a lot of dots for me and I wanted to share it with you.
Dawn and I said all along that we would be different from the families that over schedule their kids and run from activity to activity each night of the week and even more on the weekends. But sure enough, we soon found our schedules packed each night of the week and our weekends taken for months in advance. The little bit of down time we did have was spent arguing about how we needed to squeeze this in or get that done because things were going to get crazy again soon. We were finding what was supposed to be quality family time was often combative because we all needed time to decompress. This left everyone angry and not wanting to talk. Things were broken. Looking at the article it makes sense.
A few ideas from the article that stuck out to me;
We have tried to do this over the past year and have noticed a gradual shift in the amount of arguments that we are experiencing. We have set "down" time after school for the kids to play whatever they want. Sometimes we join them sometimes they play on their own. It is not easy at first. Kids will say they are bored and they have nothing to do. Wait it out and they will come up with something to do. We turn the TV off and limit our kids exposure to the gloom and doom of the days news. No matter what our schedule throws at us we protect dinner time with everything we have. We sit down together and eat and talk. We wait out the desire for the latest and greatest gadget and usually that desire passes in a week or so. We are far from having it all figured out, but have found that these small steps have put some fun back in, not just our kids lives, but ours as well.
To weigh or not to weigh, that is the question....
Growing up in a house full of boys had some positives. I didn't have to share a room or get any hand me downs. I was daddy's little girl and definitely got away with much more mischief than any of my brothers. They were easy targets and I could be very convincing. However, when I reflect on my life, I think one of the greatest benefits of being the only girl was the lack of attention that was placed on physical appearance. The boys were much more laid back and weren't obsessed with how much they weighed or if they looked good in their bathing suits. We didn't even have a scale in my house growing up.
Fast forward several years and my feelings about the scale have not changed. We don't have one in the house and I still don't think it's a good indicator of someone's overall health. Sometimes I think the scale plays games with our minds until we become obsessed with it. So many people who have made significant gains in strength and cardiovascular endurance still use the scale as their only indicator of success.This can lead to poor nutritional decisions that will only make matters worse. We need to change this way of thinking. Being able to back squat 150 lbs with perfect form should be a more important indicator of improvement than the number on the scale.
Completing a cardio workout complete with hill sprints and burpees without having the "barfy" feeling is a step closer to improved cardiovascular endurance. I feel like a broken record when I ask people how their clothes are fitting, how they are sleeping, how their energy levels are, and how they are managing stress.Those are important markers that should be tracked more often than the number on the scale.
Recently, my clothes starting feeling looser, but I wasn't doing anything differently. I thought I was losing weight and was not trying to, but when I stepped on the scale in the gym, the scale told a different story. I had gained 7lbs since our last spring challenge. Interesting. I feel great, my strength numbers are going up, my lungs feel good, and my clothes are loose. I was perplexed and then reminded myself why I don't check the scale. It's not the indicator that drives me. I quickly forgot about the extra 7 lbs and focused on how I felt.
Stop letting a number on a scale determine your idea of health and instead focus on what really matters. How do you feel, look and perform. Pay attention to these markers and you will likely make better decisions on your way to a more healthy life.
It has taken several books, seminars, and my own experiences, but I am now convinced that achieving our dreams and goals is all in our heads. We are often our own worst enemies, but can also be our biggest proponents if we make a serious mind shift.
I know I sound like a broken record, but a positive mind set can be life changing in so many ways. We notice that our clients who begin with a positive mindset of creating a healthier, more fulfilling life, reach their goals so much quicker than those who focus on negative aspects of what they don't want. They stress about losing a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time or focus solely on an aesthetic goal of looking a certain way.
This single minded focus, leads to extra stress which equals higher cortisol levels which equals lots of lovely belly fat. This becomes a viscous cycle which ultimately leads to feelings of defeat and a return to old, bad habits.
There needs to be a serious paradigm shift. Becoming the best version of ourselves can be a long process. I am constantly saying "slow and steady wins the race." We all want to feel great in our own skin and wake up with energy and zest to make the best of every day. This does not happen over night, but is possible when you make it a point to envision the best version of yourself in the most positive light.
In the book, Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, M.D., F.I.C.S, the following passage hit home with me.
"Picture yourself vividly as defeated and that alone will make victory impossible. Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be." This helps to explain why our vision board night was such an enjoyable evening. We all walked away with a picture of what we wanted for ourselves.
This is often the missing link for many of us. We think we know what we want and how to get it, but we want it right away with minimal amount of work. When Paul signed me up for my first CrossFit competition, I had myself completely psyched out and was envisioning the worst possible scenarios(throwing up, dying, etc.) I didn't want to train as hard as I needed to and wanted to snap my fingers and be miraculously fit and strong. Didn't happen. I got scared, but luckily I found a work out partner who pushed me past my limits and I started envisioning myself crushing the workouts and my determination grew. Ultimately, I was so happy I got out of my comfort zone, envisioned myself as a competitive athlete and became mentally stronger. Little did I know that I was going to need that mental strength down the road.
Whether you have been on a fitness journey for a while or are just beginning your journey, remember that exercising and feeding your self wholesome foods is only a small part of a successful journey. You need to picture yourself at the finish line celebrating small successes along the way. I worked out 3 days this week! I tried a new vegetable and liked it! I rolled and mobilized 2 days this week! I am fixing my knees! My pants fit a little better! I spent 15 min of every day this week outside soaking up some vitamin D! I ate really well today!
Celebrate your accomplishments and let us know what little steps you have taken to better your health! Remember, it's never too late to start your own health journey and you never know who you will inspire or motivate along the way. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many people who never cease to amaze me! But, it all starts with you setting your mind to what you want and seeing yourself achieving your goals. Get moving and don't look back!
There was a time when I considered my self a real estate investor. It was the early 2000's, the housing boom was in full swing and I researched for weeks before purchasing a golf course property on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina in a town called South Port. I paid $60,000 and sold it a year later for over $125,000. Dawn was hesitant but with my windfall I was sure I was a true mogul. We reinvested the earning in two other properties that were sure wins(notice how it's "we" now) and we still own those properties today. They are worth a combined $140,000 less than what we paid for them. I learned two things form the experience. Dawn is always right and I know very little about investing in realestate.
Investing in yourself, however, is something we are both confident that we know a lot about and want to spend some time talking about today.
There are many ways you can invest your money and often times when we think about investing for the future our focus is mainly on how to make that money provide some kind of return on investment. With money it is easy to see the return on investment. Your savings is either growing or shrinking.
What we want you to think about today is the return on investing in your health. This type of investment is much harder to see and appreciate because, often times, the larger benefits of this investment are not seen until years down the road. Consider the findings of a long term study by the Cooper Institute of almost 20,000 individuals with a median age of 49 years old. Fitness levels were measured using a treadmill test. When the participants reached 65 the researchers tracked their health using medicare forms. Those who were more fit at mid life were less likely, over the course of the 26 year study to have died of coronary artery disease, heart failure, alzheimer's, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. More importantly, in the last five years of their lives, those who were more fit at midlife spent 50% less time with four or more chronic diseases than the less fit group and 34% more time with one or no chronic diseases.
We have seen this play out in those closest to us in scary and saddening ways. With a quality of life that is less than ideal. However, we have also seen the opposite. With clients who are vibrantly enjoying their retirement years. Which one do you want to be?
At the start of the New Year and the beginning of tax season, as you are looking over your finances, take a moment to think about how much you are investing in you and your health. It will pay great rewards down the road.
If you are ready to invest in yourself, we are looking to expand our community of health and fitness and would love for you to give our services a try. We have a supportive community of people who will help and encourage you to reach your goals. If taking a class seems a bit intimidating we offer one on one training as well.