Cultivating Self-Love and Positive Body Image

Monthly Archives: October 2013

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
~Neale Donald Walsch

 I have noticed a theme lately in my life, I keep hearing these words through other coaches, bloggers or friends.  It’s always about stepping out of my comfort zone which is where the magic begins.

I actually believe this, I’ve seen it happen with myself and with friends, yet it’s still a struggle to get out of the comfort zone. You see as long as I’m in the comfort zone I know what to expect, nothing changes much which in itself can be very comforting.  We even get used to bad situations in the comfort zone.

This was my experience right before I got sober, I lived with a man who drank, we were both heavy drinkers and our relationship was volatile to say the least.  I stayed because in spite of  our rocky relationship I knew what to expect.   By the grace of God he ended up leaving me after 5 years for another woman he had met one night in a bar.  I was heartbroken, I was quickly thrown out of my home and out of my comfort zone (as negative as that was).

I continued to drink hard but the drinking just didn’t seem to fix the heartbreak, misery and fear that enveloped me.  I decided it was time to get sober even if it was just for a short time as I had developed pneumonia and I was exhausted from all the drinking and partying I had done after the breakup.  I went into a 6-month in-house treatment facility and about 6 weeks into it I lay in bed one night and I started to cry, I cried hard tears of joy because I realized I was finally free of that life with him and all that it entailed.  I was finally free and on my way to a new journey.  I was so grateful that he left me because I would have stayed till who knows when and maybe I would not have gotten sober or lived the life I live today.  Who knows what the outcome would have been had I stayed but I am relieved that it turned out the way it did.

Our First Date

Our First Date

I also stepped out of my comfort zone when I met my husband online 7 years ago and I decided to meet him in New York City 4 months later for our first date.  Please note that it took 4 months of daily calls, skype and emails to feel like I knew him enough to take the chance and I felt safe to go meet him in person.  Yes it was a risk but he was so worth it.  Had I not taken that step out of my comfort zone where would I be? I’d never have the blessing of stepchildren and grandchildren whom I love all my heart and they all love me back.  Nor would I have the wonderful relationship I have with this man who makes me laugh, feel loved and treasured every single day.

I could go on and on with examples on how I stepped out of my comfort zone and the rewards I reaped from it.  Not only in love but in my career as well, heck even how I lost weight was stepping out of my comfort zone and going against conventional wisdom.  If I were to take the time to actually write down every time I stepped out of my comfort zone and the success it’s brought me I’m sure I’d do it more often… How about you? Do you have a story about stepping out of your comfort zone and how it brought you success? Please feel free to share it by either hitting reply in the email or posting a comment below.

I would love to read your stories!

To your health with love

~Robyn

Drop the D word

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

This quote from Mark Twain is something I couldn’t disagree with more, however, this does make me wonder if this kind of thinking is why some have such a hard time getting started on eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.  Sometimes it’s just plain hard to get on track, to commit to starting on a healthy weight loss journey.  But you don’t need to suffer in order to achieve your weight loss or health goals.  So I am sharing some of my favorite tips with you so that you can get on track and start on this wonderful healthful journey.

First let’s dump the “D” word.  Diet in itself is not a bad word, one can eat a diet of healthy foods it’s just that when used in the context of “I’m dieting to lose weight” that conjures up all sorts of emotional things.  It’s not just a word, it’s how it triggers your thought patterns, you put diet in your head you start approaching your weight loss plan differently.  Dieting for most means we will be doing something for a short period of time in order to achieve our weight loss goal and then history tells us that we will most likely return to our old eating habits, risking weight gain.

Plan what you will eat for the day: Personally I like to plan out my three meals and any snacks that I might need throughout the day.  Usually we make poor decisions when we are not prepared when hunger strikes i.e. if you don’t know what you’re having for dinner and you’re home and feeling hungry you might think why not order a pizza instead, whereas when you already know what you’re eating it’s easier to stay committed and stick with your plan.  It’s also smart to plan your snacks for the day.  More often than not I have at least one snack a day and for me it’s natural almonds, I love their flavor and I always feel satisfied after I’ve eaten them, therefore I’m less likely to go overboard and eat something that I shouldn’t.  Even when I’m on the go I’ll take a handful with me in a container and I will usually munch on them if I feel a pang of hunger in the afternoon.  Choose what works for you just make sure it’s a real food.

Move that body : There are so many different benefits to moving our bodies through exercise that they are hard to ignore. You end up not only doing your heart, lungs and body good but you also end up feeling really good about yourself too.   Now depending on where you are on your healthy lifestyle journey you might consider starting small, but no matter how small you start remember to be consistent by doing it daily or 3 times a week.  You might consider going for a walk, I really love walking, I think it’s great and a wonderful escape and it really helps me recharge mentally and emotionally and add all the physical benefits and it’s a win-win for me.  However, choose what works for you, what you feel you can stick to on a regular basis.  Just be consistent and move that body and you will reap many healthy rewards.

Eat whole foods and avoid low-fat/no-fat products: The first thing I noticed when I started eating whole foods as compared to low calorie or low fat/no fat foods was that I was a lot less hungry.  Yep, true story.  I noticed almost immediately which meant I was actually eating less and the bonus was that the food tasted great and I was still losing weight.

Be aware : I think part of my own success has been a result of being open-minded and aware.  Throughout my own journey I would notice what foods triggered cravings in me, what situations caused emotional eating.  At first it didn’t always stop me from emotionally eating but the awareness of the triggers helped me arm myself with tools and as the situations occurred I would start using the tools and stop the negative behaviors.  This is why I call this a journey, I couldn’t change overnight even though I stopped eating my trigger foods, even though I was losing weight because I had to change behaviors which I could only do by being aware of them.

Don’t look for quick results, instead look for lasting results.  This is really important, because sometimes people want to lose the weight right now and as I mentioned in the “Diet” paragraph when you rush into this with that kind of attitude  you risk gaining the weight back.  When you start incorporating small healthy choices in your life on a continuous basis you cannot help but get results.  In some it happens quicker than others but the results will come as long as you remain consistent in your commitment towards changing yourself and your habits.

I hope these tips will help you get started on your own healthy journey, please remember not to be too hard on yourself, since change can be hard, but remember it’s possible.  I don’t expect you to take all these changes on right away, even if you just start with the first one and start incorporating the rest as you progress.

Please feel free to comment or share any tips or ideas that you may have.

Have a great week!

To your health!

Robyn

happy-thanksgiving-canadaIt’s Thanksgiving Day here in Canada today!

I like to pause throughout each day to thank the Universe for special moments that pop up throughout the day, like tears running down my face from hard laughter with my husband, my dog’s wagging tail whenever he see’s me, the sound of my eldest cat’s purring (he purrs so loud), my youngest girl kitty’s need to sleep on my feet at night (it gets cold here in Canada eh), having conversations with Mom about everything and nothing, clients who have let me in their lives as we grow together and the list goes on and on and on…

I clearly enjoy those special moments in my life and I try really hard to show an attitude of gratitude.  There are times when I’ll create a list of the things I’m grateful for about myself and what I’ve accomplished; it’s sometimes about physical accomplishments like walking 2 miles to Leslie Sansone’s Walk away the Pounds DVD, or doing perfect form squats or being grateful for my body and it’s ability to perform those physical actions and keeping with the physical theme I will write about my long curly hair or pretty eyes.  Sometimes it’s about the emotional accomplishments like being proud of myself for completing a task or appreciating that I do have a determination to succeed.  It can sometimes be about being grateful for the roof over my head and that my family can count on me.  It has no rhyme or reason, it’s just about self-love and being grateful for me.

I have noticed that once I start I almost cannot stop and it gives me a huge boost of self-esteem and self-love.  Now of course this didn’t come overnight, I had to work on it, and that’s where that list came in handy.  You see by me concentrating on what I was grateful for in myself it reminded me of all the good things I have accomplished, all the good things that I am and it helped me create more positive feelings towards myself which made me kinder and more loving towards myself as well.  This in turn made me a better wife, daughter and friend.  It’s a healthy step towards a healthy relationship with yourself.

Have you tried a self-love gratitude list?  Just take a piece of paper and a pen and start.  Remember there’s no right or wrong, it’s about you and what you love/like about yourself.  It can be your hair, your eyes, your smile, your sense of humor, your educated mind, just write what you like/love about you.

Would you mind sharing what you are grateful for about yourself?  If you want you can comment below or send me a message!

Have a glorious week, I know I will!

To your health with Love

Robyn

swc fitness walking shoesToday I want to talk about my favorite form of exercise, it’s been my favorite for as long as I can remember.  From a teenager to this very day I’ve loved to walk.  Now there are days where I don’t feel like putting on my walking shoes, I just want to sit on my pretty butt and do nothing.  I can even talk myself into believing that me taking a day off from my regular walking routine might be good for me, no need to be so rigid with myself after all.  But then I think of the obvious reasons why I love to walk.

1. Walking does my body good

2. Walking does my mind good

3. Walking nourishes my soul

I’ve always had a lot of internal energy and walking has helped me burn some of that energy.  Not all my walks are the same, depending on my different needs my walk differs.

Music Escapism

Sometimes I go out with my mp3 player/smartphone and listen to music, I load up my player with my favorite songs and when I do that I can walk for what seems like forever because I get lost in the music.  There is nothing like your favorite songs to help you keep up the beat and move forward.

Book Escapism

I love stories, I love to read a great book, I think I would be lost if I couldn’t escape by reading or listening to a great book.  I am now in the process of re-reading a book from Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) one of my favorite stories ever.

Positive Affirmations

I love listening to positive affirmations during my walk and what a wonderful form of escape it is for me as I nourish my soul with positive thoughts as opposed to some of the heartbreak songs I  like to listen to.

Self Connection

Sometimes I don’t listen to anything at all, the walk is a time for me to reflect on my life, sometimes it’s about decisions that need to be made or I play a gratitude list game with myself and start thinking of all the things I am grateful for.

Body Awareness

Sometimes I don’t think of anything at all but I choose to concentrate and feel every muscle in my body as I move while I walk.  It’s a really great feeling to tell you the truth, the whole body awareness, that body connection, I can feel my body thanking me for every movement.

Then there’s the obvious fitness, I walk for good health, but I add one of the above points and the walk ends up being a huge benefit to my body and soul.

If you want to share what your favorite thing about walking (or any form of exercise) is please share in the comments, I love to read how people implement different ways to do things that benefit their health.

Please remember it’s not too late to join our fitness challenge, all you need to do is join our Facebook group and we do our best to keep ourselves accountable.  You don’t need anything to join, you can either walk in the fresh air or do one of Leslie’s videos which she has online for free for people to do.

Last week I offered a free strategy session and  so many of you took me up on the offer and it went really great!  So if you missed out I am offering the free 15 minute strategy session again, we can work on tweaking some of the things that are holding you back from feeling good about yourself click here to schedule:  http://www.vcita.com/v/robynbennett/online_scheduling

That’s it for me for today!  Have a great week and don’t forget to comment below or send me a message if you have any questions or if there’s something you’d like me to talk about in a future post.

To your health with love

~Robyn