In the middle of May I attended a weekend long Health Coach conference here in New York City put on by Institute For Integrative Nutrton.

The event was at Lincoln Center and people flew in from all over the world. It was, without a doubt, one of the most inspiring and fun weekends of my life-and I’ve had an awesome life. :)

The speakers were incredible-everyone from Dr.  Oz to Marie Forleo, and some of the biggest names in the fitness industry led workouts throughout to get the blood flowing and demonstrate  how you can get a lot-both mentally and physically-out of just 20 minutes. Yep. I was in my glory.

 

Loveeee all things exercise! Sunrise workout this morning!!

Loveeee all things exercise! Sunrise workout this morning!!

One of my favorite speakers (#boldstatement) was Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love.

Early on in his talk, Mastin puts out to the audience, “what if anxiety, exhilaration, excitement are the same thing?”.

Wow.

What a way  to take an uncomfortable emotion, an emotion that could hold us back from following our dreams, and turning it into a positive, action prompting emotion.

He continued on… “The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you’re comfortable with.”

Mind. Blown.

Think about times in your life when you’ve felt miserable.

Were you trapped in a miserable job but comfortable?

Were you unhappy in a relationship but terrified of being alone, read: comfortable?

Were you living someone else’s life but knew what to expect, and were thus comfortable?

The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

I know for me, my quality of life has sky rocketed since I got willing to be uncomfortable.

Since the level of uncertainty in my life has increased significantly, so too has my quality of life.

Becoming willing to accept uncertainty and face change (and fear), has been the best decision and action I’ve made in my entire life because it has directly influenced and effected every facet of my life, from health to career to relationships to friendships to self-acceptance.

Courageous action is doing things you’re terrified of.

What if when you are afraid to ask for that promotion, or leave an unfulfilling or draining job, or walk away from that toxic friendship or relationship, (or, hell it doesn’t have to be toxic, it could simply just not serve you-and that’s okay), you instead decide to view fear and nervousness as a compass guiding rather than a reason to avoid something uncomfortable.

Here’s my challenge to you. The next time you’re in fear mode-stop.

Take a breath.

Never stop climbing

Breathe Deep and Journey On

 

Ask yourself this: what is the worst thing that could possibly happen if I far this fear head-on?

Can you handle it?

Yes. You can always handle more than you think. Always.

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Live Your Dream-Barbados January 2014

There are 4 months of 2014 left. Are you happy with your quality of life? Is there a goal you have yet to accomplish? Or to start?

Get out of your comfort zone and go live your life, something beautiful always awaits when you take charge.

 

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Happy Tuesday!

Cheers,

L

 

 

One of my all time favorite movies is Good Will Hunting. I think the storyline is beautiful, the character development is so real and it is one of those movies that, to me, is entertaining while still touching on the human condition.

Maybe you’re perfect right now. Maybe you don’t want to ruin that. I think that’s a super philosophy, Will, that way you can go through your entire life without ever really having to know anybody.

~Robin Williams

People who know me really well know that I have perfectionist tendencies to a potentially dangerous extent.

People who don’t know me *as well* think I am care free, fun-loving, bubbly and even a little bit reckless.

Barbados 2014

Barbados 2014

I am both of these “people” depending on who I’m with, what is going on in my life and my current situation and circumstances.

I am someone who gets very close with people. Throughout every stage of life I have gotten incredibly close to people around me in every aspect of my life: school, sports, work… I am an open book about myself and challenges I’ve overcome and personal struggles I’ve had. I do not hide this nor do I feel shame about it, and, because of this I feel incredibly blessed that people approach me when they need an open ear.

Yet, because of this dichotomy of crazy Type A versus carefree social butterfly, very few people see what I consider to be me at my core, the difficult, even dark, side of myself.

Here’s an example, when I swam competitively, if I didn’t hit the intervals I wanted to for timed sets in every practice I would either stay late to get it right or I would go for a run or lift weights after practice to make sure I had at least made some improvement that day.

Yeah.

This had nothing to do with weight, either, it has to do with me setting a *goal* for myself (often times something not even realistic) and then beating myself up if I didn’t hit that mark I’d set.

I want to be perfect. I want to constantly challenge and improve myself. I want to have all my shit together, all the time.

Luckily, in the 8 years since graduating high school I have gotten way more balanced. Less and less people see this perfectionist side simply because I have gone through a lot of life experience since high school (who hasn’t?!) and am therefore significantly less hard on myself.

About a month ago I started a new job. I hadn’t had a traditional office job since December and I came into this job with an extraordinary list of daily things I must get done.

I had not been this rigid in a long time and I am still working through why I got so extreme after having not been for a while.

I think in part it’s because I had no set schedule for a good 7 or so months and now because I finally had one (I love schedules, shocking haha) I had to make it perfect.

Alarm goes off at 5:10AM–>go to gym, get home by 7:00AM and get ready for work, out the door by 7:40AM, get to work at 9:00AM–>work til 5:30/6:00PM home by 7:15PM–>cook, clean, pack breakfast and lunch for next day, shower, in bed around 10:30PM, blog…bed by 11:30PM/midnight.

Ummmm does this look sustainable to anyone?

Yeah, completely insane.

But, you see, I finally had something to control. Something to put all my energy into and make perfect and feel a sense of accomplishment from.

This came to a stop just two weeks in when I freaked out because I didn’t get in a workout or blog before work. God forbid. I was yelling, crying, going on and on about how my whole day was ruined and now I had to cancel dinner plans with a friend because I had to get everything that day, and now clearly could not.

Luckily, all that self-awareness and life experience I have gleaned (combined with the most supportive boyfriend I could ever ask for, who calls me out when I need to be and knows what’s bothering me before I even do) meant that by mid-morning I realized I needed to take a step back and stop controlling everything.

David keeps me grounded...

David keeps me grounded…

Now I get all those things done *most days* but I am doing it in a way that is very sustainable and allowing me more than 5 hours of sleep per night (FYI, if I let myself, I’m a 9 hour a night kinda girl). And if one “task” isn’t completed that day? That’s okay.

The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.

~Brene Brown

While “levels” of “perfectionism” varies greatly from person to person, by nature humans want to appear perfect.

People want the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect bank roll, the perfect appearance, the perfect Rolodex, the perfect house.

I get it, I want those things too.

But I realized in the last 4 years since coming to NYC with no job, no plan and knowing very few people, that the best opportunities, friendships, relationships, self-discovery and moments in life are not the perfect moments when you have all your proverbial ducks in a row.

They are the moments when human interaction, human emotion, and life itself is raw, unplanned, dirty and eye opening.

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I have come to love the plan less side of myself, the part of myself that doesn’t have it all figured out, doesn’t know exactly what’s next, the part of me that is raw and maybe even a little bit sloppy.

And because of this I have had the most awakening, inspiring experiences these past 4 years and, the human connection, both intrapersonal (self-awareness, personal growth and change) and interpersonal, I’ve since experienced, is so real and raw that I no longer care about seeming perfect. I want to truly know people. I want to truly know myself.

Be your authentic self. You will find life so much more accepting, fulfilling and beautiful.

I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect-they are muc more interesting.

~Marc Jacobs 

Cheers,

L

Last Wednesday I get a text from a “Meg” in my phone (I have about 9,000 Megs in my phone) that says “hey! I might be in NYC tomorrow for one night!”. While I don’t know a Meg I don’t LOVE I was still slightly unsure who exactly might be in NYC. And for one night at that. Gotta take advantage.

Naturally, I went along with it and after just one text further I quickly realized it was my cousin Meg.

I was ecstatic.

Growing up I was incredibly blessed that I was able to grow up very close (geographically and otherwise) to both sets of grandparents and a few of the cousins. I was (am!) also very lucky that on both sides of the family my sisters and I grew up very close with our cousins.

But ten years have gone by since I last saw Meg.

Which means the last time I saw Meg she was 14 and I was 16.

Whoa.

I was stoked beyond belief to see her and unsurprisingly we fell right into our old closeness and spent hoursssss talking over dinner in Park Slope, Brooklyn as if we were girlfriends living and working in the same city simply catching up after work.

We were trying to give each other high level summaries of the past ten years in each of our lives which, um, #dauntingtask.

But we started the convo with “okay so what were we up to ten years ago?” Meg goes “I’m trying to think of what my worries, problems, hopes, dreams…were that long ago-it’s hard!”

She hit the nail on the head.

At any given moment in life, there will always be some pressing worry or challenge or even elation that feels like the biggest/greatest/hardest/most exciting/most daunting thing in the world. At the moment.

Ten years ago we were both multiple boyfriends back (she and I are the perpetual “girlfriend girls” of the cousins), I was starting to think about college, swimming in college (Division 1 or no? Haha, the “biggest” decisions at any given moment in time are so interesting to look back on) and sad about my boyfriend at the time leaving for college. She was like “ummm I was a kid?!”

This naturally led to a conversation of “wow, ten years ago what did we think we’d be doing at 24 and 26?”.

Ha-that is always a fun conversation. My 16 year old self had a vision that was a mix of living a Friends-esque life (read: somehow having tons of money to blow while simultaneously never working a steady job)/finishing my PhD or already having my JD/being married or planning a wedding. Yep. Apparently my 16 year old self thought my 26 year old self was not a human.

We talked about how interesting it is that we really had NO idea what to expect our twenties to be like (or our 30s or 40s but I am NOT thinking about that right now, haha). We had vague preconceptions misconceptions based on media’s depiction of “twenty somethings” and a “timeline” of when we should reach major life milestones/events based on the female role models in our lives- our mom’s generation.

I’m sure all my readers are well aware that comparing twenty somethings today with twenty somethings several generations ago is comparing apples and oranges thanks to the immense changes in society due to everything from the state of the economy to how today’s women view themselves in the workplace (read: I am working on my career and myself and THEN I’ll think about kids and marriage) to people living longer and having kids later-to name just a few reasons I don’t think women in their twenties should set expectations based on older generations (“but my mom was already married by 25!? That’s it, where’s the nearest cat adoption center!?”).

Meg and I discussed some crazy hard personal challenges and triumphs we’ve both overcome and experienced in the past few years and one thing is certain-while we both are not living lives we ever imagined, we are both building lives better than we imagined and we both are not about to settle for anything less than our dreams.

This is true for all my friends, family and colleagues in their twenties. We may appear to be floundering, “putting off” a career, on no “traditional” path to marriage and kids but we are sure as hell a determined, innovative, smart and resilient bunch. Better yet? We are so fortunate to be in our twenties during a time when innovation, thinking outside the box and exploration of both ourselves and the world is both encouraged and celebrated.

San Juans, Colorado

San Juans, Colorado

Take advantage. Dive in. Don’t put a timeline on it, don’t compare yourself to others, just live it.

Dreams do not come true on their own.

They require active involvement .

Now is when you can bring your own dream to life.

~Ralph Marston

Happy Wednesday, friends. :)

Cheers,

L

P.S. Yes, this post title is inspired by my favorite Led Zeppelin song :)

Even before I enrolled in Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Professional Health Coach Training Program, I was the go-to friend for nutrition questions and advice, simply because I absolutely love it.

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This interest sparked at the young age of 14 when I began to really get competitive in swimming. I was training (both in water and “dry land” conditioning) anywhere from 2-4 hours a day Monday to Friday and competing (or another 2-3 hour practice on “non-meet weekends”) on Saturdays.

Obviously, a 14 year old female who is that active needs to be especially “tuned in” to nutrition and fueling properly since this is such a significant growth stage. In my 8th grade year alone ( so, age 13-14) I grew 4 inches, gained 26 pounds and dropped significant time in the pool.

I attribute this healthy growth and rapid increase in strength and speed in the pool to becoming very interested in nutrition. I quickly realized how important it was to fuel my body well if I wanted to get to the competitive level I had set as my goal.

Love fresh produce-even on taco night it's gotta be fresh!

Love fresh produce-even on taco night it’s gotta be fresh!

Until graduating high school at 18, I was training hard and eating impeccably (especially for a teenager), but this all changed once college hit. Shocking, right?

While that is a story for another time, despite gaining and losing the same 20-30 pounds over the 4 years in college (andddddd first few years out of college-ugh my poor body hurts just thinking about that yo-yo phase) I never once lost an interest in nutrition and, despite being what my overly self-critical self would call “the chubby friend” , all my friends, colleagues and family still came to me for nutrition advice.

Fast forward to today, I am now 26, have a great fitness routine down, and eat extremely healthy 80-90% of the time while NEVER turning down foods I wouldn’t consider “whole” or “clean” (I honestly have a problem with the word “clean” when referring to food, implies the whole “good food, bad food” judgement, but I digress…).

Wednesday post work circuit workout

Happy after today’s post-work circuit workout

I don’t even think about what I “should” or “shouldn’t” eat or how much I should exercise, I just do it. While I haven’t been on a scale in years (literally, I never even look at the doctor), I fit in all my clothes from high school and more than that I feel healthy.

Friday Treat!

Friday Treat!

So, now, because my New York friends have seen me at my ultimate heaviest (and all around worst), and now see me at my fittest (being a fit, working adult in New York City is, to me, a way greater accomplishment than being a fit, competitive high school and college athlete), I get asked all the time “how to eat healthier”.

My number one suggestion?

Add in.

One of my near daily BIG salads

One of my near daily BIG salads

Do not even begin to revamp your healthy eating by taking out foods. Even for someone who has never had “food issues”, humans, by nature, want what they are told they cannot have-does not matter if it’s you telling yourself no or someone else telling you no, we gravitate and obsess over what is forbidden (oh heyyyyyy Adam and Eve haha).

After, oh 12 years of being interested, sometimes obsessed, with nutrition, a 6 year struggle with binge eating, a year long holistic health certification, and going on two years of no struggle with binge eating, I will tell you hands down DO NOT STOP EATING FOODS when you are starting out with a healthy eating goal. No elimination diets, no cutting out the foods or drinks that make your soul and heart happy even if they aren’t the “healthiest”.

My latest coffee obsession-cortado with almond milk and a side of draft kombucha

My latest coffee obsession- Cortado with almond milk and a side of draft kombucha

Instead? Add foods in.

Add a big salad a day.

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Start ordering sides of veggies at restaurants.

Eat fruit with breakfast, and at the end of dinner.

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Drink more water. Dehydration is often mistaken for hunger and water helps with every system in your body. It’s so important to sip water throughout the day.

Add protein to every meal and snack. In a study where scientists changed nothing between two groups of people (both people had the same diet and exercise during the study) other than one group eating 1.5-2 ounces of almonds daily (1 oz of almonds=22 almonds), the group eating almonds (ie more calories each day) lost more abdominal fat. So awesome, right? Not only do people want to lose abdominal fat for vanity reasons (hey, not judging, I’m human too), this abdominal (visceral) fat is also the most dangerous from a health standpoint.

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If any of you are looking to revamp your health to finish Summer ’14 strong, or kick off Fall ’14 at your healthiest, try this tip.

And remember, my door is always open if you want further advice (email me! laura@tchealthcoach.com). When it comes to eating (extremes, “issues”, balance…) I’ve been there, done that.

Over the hump baby!

Cheers,

L

By nature I am a color inside the lines kinda girl.

I like to please people, sometimes at the expense of my own mental and emotional health.

I like to overachieve for the sake of needing to feel mentally/physically/emotionally stretched to a point where I feel like I have been “productive” every.single.day.

I like to have a plan-from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, week- to-week and year-to-year.

I like to do what society, friends and family will approve of and deem “successful”. I constantly struggle with “well, how will it look if I follow that path?” Spoiler alert: everyone else is so busying worrying about themselves and their own lives they really will not notice or care one way or another.

And yet…I have been somewhat plan-less and directionless for the past 4 or so years.

My first real experience ditching my “plan” (and thus very much stepping outside of my perfectly planned-out comfort zone) was switching majors from biochemistry (much more marketable and clear cut career path, in my mind) to government. I switched to government because I realized my afternoons spent in lab were taking away from the Constitutional Law and public policy classes I wanted to take. This was the first time I had no plan down the road-all I knew was for the next 2 years as I finished my Bachelor’s this is what I wanted and needed to study. It was the first time I can remember making a choice based on two things I tend to ignore: a) my gut instinct and b) doing what feels right in the moment. I have a tendency (not sure yet if it’s a blessing or a curse) to always, always be thinking ahead and how any given choice at any given moment might affect the future. Switching majors with no idea how it would turn into a career path was the first time I did something for the now.

The next big step was when I left grad school at the young age of 23, after just a semester, to take a step back and figure out more what my “purpose”, dreams and goals were. This was a giant step for me as I literally had no plan (read: no job or anything). A Type A personality with no plan is the ultimate step outside of the ol’ comfort zone, let me tell you.

Since then (nearly 4 years ago), I am still uncertain what one day to the next brings. I still have no *clear* career path or idea of where I’ll be one year, five years, ten years from now. I know where I’d like to be at some point, but I still struggle to come up with action steps that will get me there or help me to get a better sense of a timeline for getting from Point A to Point Z.

I also am possibly The Comparison Trap’s biggest supporter.

I see all my peers and colleagues and friends and people I don’t even know (thank you, social media) and everyone seems to have their personal or their professional life completely in order. Except for me. Naturally. Isn’t that just the way it always goes, though? We as humans are SO good at thinking everyone else has the perfect life, that everything comes easily to everyone else, that we are the only person in the universe in all of time who has ever struggled with whatever personal challenge we are dealing with at that moment.

When I look at myself compared to others, I am directionless and floating along not quite sure what the next step is *supposed* to be.

Here’s the thing, though. NO ONE is “as together” as he or she seems. EVERYONE has their “thing” or, hell, a whole lot of “things”. But everyone is doing the same thing-hunting for the right job, the right partner, the right fitness and eating plan, the right budget, the right… life they’re *supposed* to live.

But (and I’m totally talking to myself right now), comparing yourself to everyone around you is the LEAST productive thing you can do. Period. For starters, like I said above, you really have NO idea what someone else is going through-ESPECIALLY now that everyone can Tweet and post and Instagram the shit out of every detail of his or her day, making it seem as glamorous and successful and ballin’ as he or she wants to appear. But what makes it even more unproductive? When you (ahem, Laura, listen up), are focusing on how successful and financially stable and in love and fit and “put together” everyone else is, what are you doing to build the life you want? Nothing, you are doing nothing.

So, here’s a little exercise for anyone like me who still has zero idea what she wants to be when she grows up and sometimes worries that 4 years removed from college will turn into 20 of simply “floating” along. Hell, it’s a great exercise even if you do know exactly what you want to do and you’re already doing it-we all have at least one aspect of our life (health, budget…) we can work on.

Oh, and it’s also a much more productive way to spend time than staring at your Facebook Newsfeed and questioning why you are the single-most unsuccessful person on the planet. #bonus.

Draw three columns on a piece of notebook paper. On the far left column write “Where I am Now”. On the far left write “Where I Want to Be.” In the middle write “Action Steps”.

Where I Am Now

Action Steps

Where I Want to Be

Financials…

Exercise…
Healthy Eating/Diet…
Career…

 

Start with the “Where I Am Now” column and start writing down every aspect of your life that you want to work on: financials, exercise, diet, career, self-care (meditation, journaling, massages, mani-pedi), sleep, relationships…go into as much detail as you can and really let your mind flow.

Then take a step back for a minute and visualize what your life would look like if all these variables were in line with what your “dream” life is.

For example: not saving any money right now? Maybe you want to start saving $50/month (hey, gotta start somewhere, right?). Or maybe under “diet” in your “now” column you buy breakfast and lunch M-F but you want to start packing your own food to avoid unhealthy convenience snacks and meals, so in your “Where I Want to Be” column you put “pack breakfast and lunch Monday-Thursday, Friday is “treat” day”. Maybe you are starting your own business on the side while still working full time and you never make the time to work on it, so you write down to work on building your business two evenings a week.

Then, once you have a tangible chart showing where you ARE and where you WANT to be-write down steps to get you where you want. Again, going back to financial example of going from not saving any money to saving $50/month in your “steps” column you might put “open savings account-move $25 into savings account each paycheck.”

Do you see how detailed you can make this? By completing this simple exercise you can really take a look at every (or one!) aspect of your life and create a road map for getting from the life you’re currently living to a life you want to be living.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Type A, control freak like me or not, all humans want to feel like they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to his or her own life.

Why not take a few minutes out of the day to create a road map? We all are on this planet for one life, why not architect it to a life you want to live.

Follow your passion.

It will lead you to your purpose.

~Oprah

Cheers,

L

Happy Wednesday, friends!

I have always had an incredibly supportive, close, connected and loving family-something which does not go unnoticed, especially the older I get, nor is it unappreciated.

In part because of that, and in part because of studies and lectures I’ve listened to, I truly believe that family and a supportive network of loved ones (all kinds of love, all kinds of relationships) is what ultimately leads to a healthy, fulfilled life.

Lissa Rankin was one of the speakers I got to see over the weekend and based on what I just stated, I am a huge fan of hers.

She shared a story that I found profound, so I want to share (my very paraphrased version of) it with you.

Back in the 1950s/60s this little town in PA called Roseto, was populated by Italian immigrants from one particular town in Italy. Move forward some time and a cardiologist from NYC was at his vacation home in the Poconos when he was at a bar one night and met another cardiologist, from Roseto, PA. This cardiologist was telling the NYC doctor that he couldn’t figure it out-he had never seen any cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Roseto, while it  was rampant throughout the rest of the population in the U.S. In all the history of this town, though, there were no reported cases. The doctor from NYC, of course, didn’t believe him so he went to Roseto himself. Sure enough, it’s true. No CVD to be found. “Well, they must eat a healthy Mediterranean diet-it’s all that olive oil”. Nope. The people of Roseto are blue collar workers-very poor, they couldn’t afford olive oil. And? They live off a diet of meatballs fried in lard, tons of pasta and bread, bottles of red wine-oh, and they all smoke. “Well, it must be genes then.” So they study the people in the small town in Italy, and they study all the immigrants they can find across the U.S. from this particular town in Italy and…they all have the same prevalence of CVD as the rest of the U.S. So they start testing environmental factors and other lifestyle factors. Nothing makes sense. Of course by now the interest of just what is going on this town has piqued the interest of plenty of cardiologists and when they find the only answer-none of them believe it. As Lissa mentions, it’s tough for “us doctors to go through 12 years of school to realize there’s more to health than Western medicine.”

What’s the secret?

The people of Roseto have that familial, supportive, nurturing community that has been lost with the American Dream. When someone in the town is having a rough time, the rest of the town pitches in and supports them. They don’t know what welfare is. When someone needs childcare, the community helps out. Generations all live near each other and share meals and holidays together.

Well, eventually the first generation of Americans go to college-the first of the town. Guess what happens? They realize “Roseto kinda sucks”. It’s poor and blue collar and uneducated…they don’t come back after college…fast forward to today and Roseto has the same rates of CVD and every other preventable killer out there as the rest of the States.

After 8 years in a conventional medical setting, Lissa (who has a very conventional education from Duke and Northwestern, and who’s father is a doctor as well) went to Marin, CA in the Bay Area, where she worked at an Integrative Medicine clinic.

All her patients were, unsurprisingly, the picture of health. They all worked out daily, they drank their green juices daily, took yoga three times a week, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink excessively…and? They had a laundry list of ailments. She of course was like “what is going on here? These people do everything right, if they are still suffering from the biggest ailments and killers in America, no one else stands a chance.”

She began asking her patients “what would you prescribe yourself if you knew how to heal yourself”. And they ALL knew. Immediately. She heard things like: ” I would quit my job”, “I would get a divorce”, “I would put my child into rehab”, “I would put myself into rehab”, “I would move to Santa Fe” (<–REPRESENT!! haha) at this point she goes “Santa Fe? Why specifically Santa Fe?” and this particular patient goes “I don’t know what it is about Santa Fe, but every time I’m there, all my pain and all my symptoms just go away”.

So then her next step is always “okay, so follow the prescription you just wrote yourself.” And guess what everyone says?

“ARE YOU CRAZY?? I can’t quit my job!! I can’t get divorced! I would never actually move to Santa Fe-I can’t leave my job here.”

What Lissa and a number of other doctors found is that people are more willing to live on 12 prescription meds and be unhappy than take a giant risk and follow what they KNOW would naturally heal them.

As some of you may be aware, studies have been coming out in the recent years showing that positivity and contentment actually change our biochemistry.

What does this mean?

Well, for one thing, to me it means if you’re genetically predisposed to something (breast cancer, alzheimer’s, CVD, diabetes) don’t for one second tell yourself you will develop it as you age and that it is out of your control.

But the main takeaway for me?

LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Surround yourself by supportive, loving people and let yourself develop meaningful relationships with them. 

Rid yourself of toxic surroundings, whether that be a job, a spouse or partner, friends, or a city that you don’t feel right in.

We all know what we truly want in life, but only the brave follow their heart and their instincts. 

Remember on Monday when I talked about Marie Forleo and painting your picture? Guys, she landed a job on the trading floor on Wall Street at 22. Do you know how hard that is?? And she was one of the only females. She spent her early twenties landing one “dream job” after the next, always leaving on her own terms because something didn’t feel right. One day, after a few years of this job hopping and worrying something was wrong with her, asking herself why she couldn’t hold a job (guys, this was like looking in a mirror-not bad when the person speaking is Marie TV herself ;) ), the HR department at her current job (she was working for Conde Nast at the time) called and offered her a promotion, to go work for Vogue. Dream job, right? Well, a few days prior she had been reading a magazine and read an article about some chick calling herself a “Life Coach”. Marie had no idea what that was but knew she wanted to be one. So she was at her proverbial fork in the road: Vogue or quit and figure out this “Life Coach” thing. We all know what she chose.

What would you do if you had no fear of falling?

Almost over the hump!

Cheers,

L

Happy  Monday!

OMG, you guys, I just spent my weekend at the most amazing conference hosted by Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

It was a weekend filled with 1,000+ like minded people (okay, almost entirely women) listening to arguably some of the biggest names in integrative medicine and holistic health and wellness (Dr. Oz was one of many).

It was the perfect weekend for me to geek out HARD over all things healthy living.

While I learned SO much and was trying so hard to both listen to every.single.word spoken while memorizing it-FOREVER, haha-some points REALLY stood out and I want to share them with you because I found them incredibly poignant and profound.

Marie Forleo totally blew me away.

I’m sure some (many!) of you have heard of her as she is THE woman behind B-School-which is huge. Her story is incredibly inspiring and she’s as down to Earth, inspiring, and REAL as they come. I strongly encourage all of you to check her out.

She discussed this idea of painting a picture of your life and business 3 years from now.

The idea?

Take some time out of your busy day (you DO have time, don’t even start ;) ) and actually sit down and write down every last detail of how you want your life and career to look and feel 3 years from now.

What does your life look like?

What does your life feel like?

What does your life sound like?

Where do you live?

What do your weekends look like?

Do you travel?

What do you spend your non-working time doing?

Are you married?

What does your schedule look like?

What does your bank account look like?

Do you have pets?

Do you have kids?

If you own a business do you have a staff?

Are you out of a bad relationship/marriage and single?

Write down every.single.detail.

Think Van Gogh painting. You all know what Van Gogh works look like, right? With all the “dots” of color creating one fluid, beautiful piece of work?

Yeah, well that is the kind of detail that should be in YOUR picture.

From this picture, create a yearly calendar broken down into a master project list, weekly priorities, and daily actions.

Guys, I love love LOVE this concept.

The next step?

Write down the top 7 excuses you always use to hold yourself back from living the life you want.

Here’s my favorite part: go through that list of 7 excuses and call bull shit on every one.

Not quite getting it? I’ll share mine:

1. I don’t have the money- BULL SHIT!

2. I don’t know enough-BULL SHIT!

3. I don’t know how to start-BULL SHIT!

4. I’m not experienced enough-BULL SHIT!

5. I’m a phony-other women are the perfect picture of healthy living and I like…well, living too much, how will anyone ever follow health advice from a girl who eats dessert and drinks beer?-BULL SHIT!

6. I don’t have the time-BULL SHIT!

7. I don’t have a clear vision-BULL SHIT!

See? Isn’t this fun? :)

5 years ago I wouldn’t have had the self awareness to call bull shit on myself, now I find joy and inspiration in it. ;)

Along those lines you HAVE to start doing everything in your life like a pro.

Marie talked a lot about the idea of pro versus amateur. She discussed that everything you do in your life you do it as if you’re a pro or as if you’re an amateur. She even asked us to think about how we make our breakfast or our beds in the morning.

Do you sloppily slap your breakfast together? Or grab whatever is within arm’s reach? Do you just throw your duvet up and call it good? What IS this, amateur hour??

Start owning everything you do and acting like a pro in every aspect of your life and that will carry over into how you view yourself as a professional and what you get out of both your personal and professional life.

Most of us, I’m sure everyone reading this blog, are incredibly privileged. We have the opportunity to truly follow and live our dreams because we grew up where and how we did.

There is absolutely no reason each and every one of you cannot live the life you want to live.

Cannot have the career or business you want to have.

Think about times in your life when you found a way to make something happen.

Marie used the great example of college and always using the excuses of “I don’t have money” or “I have way too much studying to do” to turn down all sorts of offers you weren’t interested in until the cute boy or cute girl ask you to do something with them.

All the sudden your calendar clears, you have all sorts of free time, you open a new credit card, you set your alarm for 4AM to study, you DO WHATEVER IT TAKES BECAUSE YOU WANT IT.

Relating to self-care and healthy living, I always think of the excuse I hear from people ALL THE TIME.

“I don’t have time to work out.”

BULL SHIT.

You won’t MAKE time to work out.

Okay, easy for me to call others out on that one because I make exercise a priority.

But what excuses do I use for myself all the time?

I don’t have time, I don’t have money, the time is not right (<–that last one is absolutely ridiculous, the time is NEVER right).

Bull shit, bull shit, bull shit.

I know it, you know it.

So here’s my challenge for you today.

Paint your picture. Write down the top 7 excuses you use that are NOT LETTING YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Come up with 5 action items that you can take to live your life starting NOW.

We ALL know what we truly want but in studies (this will be a whole other post, get excited! haha), people would would rather be miserable but safe , even though over and over when people are asked to write their own prescription for how to heal themselves (and their lives) they KNOW and can shout an answer instantaneously (spoiler alert: it’s things like “I would quit my job”).

The worst thing of all is to die with regret. Do NOT wake up 6 months from now with the same dream doing the same non-actions. Holding yourself back with the same excuses.

START NOW.

Cheers,

L

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey friends!

Long time no blog. As the weather gets warmer out here in NYC, I have been out and about enjoying it and not around to blog much!

I have also had a lot going on work-wise. I just got back from a week long conference in San Francisco! :)

I got in a couple of good runs along the water, learned a lot about the cloud, and ate some good food.

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Moscone Convention Center

Moscone Convention Center

 

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At the conference-break in between sessions :)

At the conference-break in between sessions :) The ServiceNow “guys” wandered around the entire time and happened upon my team

It was the first time I was in California since I graduated college four (!!) years ago. Felt so good. :)

The other day I was going over some coursework for a class I’m taking at Institute for Integrative Nutrition (it’s a 6 month continuation of the Health Coach Training Program I took 2 years ago) and while all the lectures are incredibly interesting to me, Danielle LaPorte’s was especially interesting.

While I found myself taking notes throughout the entirety of her lecture, her words on negative self-talk were especially inspiring to me.

Long-time readers know that in the past I’ve had a serious problem with negative self-talk.

In fact, that is one of the biggest reasons I started my first blog three years ago.

When I found that the more people I opened up to about what was going on in my head and body (which I of course thought I was alone in), the more people I would find that would say: “oh yeah, I have those (fill in negative thought) thoughts all the time about (fill in area of insecurity)”, so I decided to share my story in the hopes of making others feel like they are not alone.

I also found myself getting more and more surprised by the types of people agreeing with me and sharing their own feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy.

These people were people who I thought had it all figured out. Beautiful, athletic, smart, hard-working, friendly, compassionate, well put-together women and men all had some level of negative self-talk going on, in some aspect of his or her life.

Do you ever have feelings that you’re not smart enough, not pretty enough, not experienced enough, not educated enough, not skinny enough, not…enough?

I challenge you to stop the negative self talk.

We all struggle with negative self talk at some point in our lives, at least to some extent, and we are all so much more capable, qualified, intelligent and beautiful than we think we are.

While I (like so many people!) have struggled with negative self talk around pretty much everything at one point or another, one of the things I’ve had the hardest time with (no surprise, long time readers!), is body image.

So how did I slowly stop? It sounds cheesy as hell, but I would thank my body for working so hard for me through everything-even as I trashed it.

I remember the first time I tried this “trick” was while I was running  slowly lumbering and heaving my body in what was supposed to be a jog. I was yet again 30 pounds overweight, having re-gained the weight for a FIFTH time, frustrated and angry at myself after vowing, as always, that I would never gain the weight back again.

I remember sucking air like I was dying, every joint and tendon and muscle in my body screaming in agony. The absolute worst part? My soul and my whole being just feeling incredibly defeated, incredibly embarrassed (“everyone I know must be saying ‘oh wow, Laura gained all that weight AGAIN?! Why doesn’t she have any self-control or self-respect?’ ” OR strangers saying “look at that fat girl trying to run!”). I looked down at my pale, chubby thighs (painfully) rubbing together and instead of the stream of negative self-talk that normally flowed from my mind, I consciously thanked my chubby legs for still moving forward, despite me putting on and taking off the same weight for 5 years straight (that is A LOT of pressure on your joints). I thanked my heart and lungs for keeping going despite the same yo-yo weight loss and gain.

Guess what? It was the start of a whole new journey.

Negative self-talk can be as minuscule and innocuous as saying you don’t like your hair color to something much bigger, like not applying for your dream job because you don’t think you’re qualified or smart enough, or, like me, struggling with disordered eating and body image issues for years.

The bottom line is that if you consciously focus on the POSITIVE, consciously list what you’re grateful for, and consciously distract your mind whenever the negative self-talk starts in-you will start to change your life.

Keep it going, and you WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Questions of the day:

What is an area where you consistently struggle with negative self-talk? What is some aspect of your mind, body or character that you are grateful for?

You show the world how to treat you.

~Maya Angelou

Cheers,

L

Happy Monday friends!

Hopefully the weekend was good to you-relaxing, productive, fun-hopefully a little bit of all three. :)

I love Ted Talks. They’re a total rabbit hole for me and I find such an enormous amount of motivation and inspiration from a number of the talks.

“It’s a fine line between having the grace to let go

of something you don’t have control over and just can’t beat…

and I could be in that place…except I had to ask myself,

is there a way?”

~Diana Nyad

Anyone that knows me will see it as no surprise that one of my favorite Ted Talks is Diana Nyad’s. Not only is her story insanely inspirational, but she is an engaging and humorous speaker.

http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_nyad_never_ever_give_up

Enjoy. :)

Cheers,

L

 

To be vulnerable is one of the most uncomfortable human emotions.

When we feel vulnerable we try any number of actions to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling.

We may avoid social situations, we may bury ourselves in work, we may avoid work, we may eat to distract ourselves, we may drink to distract ourselves.

We may procrastinate on taking action-whether it’s action toward a goal or action away from a toxic situation. Or maybe it’s an innocuous situation, but we need to make a change away from that situation because it simply is not working and needs to be changed.

The root of why we feel vulnerable might be that we don’t want someone else to see some part of us that is embarrassing, that is less than glamorous, the part of us that is raw.

Or maybe we don’t want our conscious selves to know something to be true about ourself.

Or maybe we don’t want to make a change because most people, by nature, would rather be just fine or even unhappy because at least we know what to expect, rather than to try something completely new and be removed from our comfort zone.

Or maybe we don’t know how to be alone.

Or maybe we’re embarrassed to admit our dreams and go after them because we think we are not knowledgeable enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough, not strong enough, not fast enough, not…enough.

Starting line of D.C. Rock n' Roll Marathon-People knowing they ARE enough

Starting line of D.C. Rock n’ Roll Marathon-People knowing they ARE enough

It’s easier to continue to ignore that part of you that makes you feel vulnerable, that part of you that you don’t want to admit, to continue to ignore the steps you have to take to make positive changes in your life-that’s work-than it is to first acknowledge that a) you feel vulnerable and b) why you feel vulnerable; and then make the necessary changes.

It’s okay to be vulnerable.

The more quickly you learn that-and accept it-the more quickly you will begin to make positive changes in your life and start taking risks. High risk, high reward-right?

People who take risks are not afraid to be vulnerable-taking a risk IS being vulnerable.

Whether or not you’re afraid to chase a dream because you don’t want to fail or you are afraid to leave a bad situation or change something about yourself (that’s okay-the unknown is frightening) I encourage you to do it anyway.

You have nothing to lose.

Except the very real, very human fear of vulnerability.

Never stop climbing

Never stop climbing

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.

~John A. Shedd

 

Cheers,

L

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