5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Support a Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
It’s January as I record this but wait wait wait if you’re listening later, you just found Flipping50 and your binge-listening (I know you!) because there is never a time of year when we aren’t all conscious of the desire for better wellbeing, health and fitness in these times. So, stick around and give this a listen.
Better wellbeing goes so far beyond “how fit are you?” and can I just say that question rubs me wrong. Or the assessment, “so-and-so is so fit” … because really, who says? Based on what? Are we gaging this by an actual fitness assessment of your strength, muscle endurance, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and body composition? Or are you pretending that some skinny girl who put on a pair of tights is “fit.”
Stop the Scroll
Spend that Time Dreaming, Meditating, and Tapping into Higher Vibration Emotions. It’s addictive and it’s become compulsive for many. We check our cell phones something like 96 times a day according to a global tech survey in 2019. I would guess after the pandemic, it’s more since electronics became our lifeline to connection.
If you have work or you have a purposeful reason, of course you have the need. But I’m talking about allowing constant notifications from Instagram telling you someone went live. What about the endless scrolling, or half hour you can waste watching Tik-Tock or Reels? Inevitably you come across something that spins you into comparison mode or causes anxiety. Those kinds of things sink your vibrations. If you love it and want to socialize, limit your time and try setting a time other than the first thing that hi-jacks your time and emotions every day. I think it’s tough if not impossible to enjoy better well-being if you make yourself regularly feel less-than, or not enough.
No one wants a tombstone that reads, “She watched a lot of CNN, and was always anxious,” or “she lovingly scrolled social media in the morning with her coffee.” What are the most important people, purpose, and emotions you want more of in your life? Start and plan around those. Try a social media or news detox for a day, a week, or an “intermittent social fast” where you plan when and take in the highest quality when you do it. Track how your emotions, time and energy respond.
Feed Creativity & Positivity
When I was mostly mom, although also working, and I was all about the day-to-day care and feeding and the sports practices and games, the sleepovers, the birthday parties… I was into scrapbooking. It was a big creative outlet for me. It got me away from grading university student’s papers, writing exams, sitting mindlessly in front of TV. And I was consuming magazines and following podcasts (there were few but some), and social media of creative, crafty moms. I have an entire bookshelf of scrapbook inspo with the corners folded down or marked with post-a-notes. It’s what I did with my friends.
When I was a personal training director and business coach teaching customer service, sales, and marketing I was inspired by conferences and recordings from them. Twenty years ago, as I was speaking on stages more frequently, and hosting radio shows, before podcasts were a thing, there were audio recordings.
Then building Flipping 50, I would listen to cds for 20 hours during a round trip driving to Iowa from Colorado. Now, I listen to podcasts or catch up on call recordings or masterclasses every time I go for a walk or hike whether that’s for one hour or three. It may be about business or about women in business specifically, or how to create a work culture that creates a team that work well together with self-initiative.
The point is, I didn’t listen to the same thing for inspiration. It had to change. I needed something directly related to what I wanted. Now, there are so many podcasts that you can search for a voice, an influencer if you will. Or you can search by topic and find podcasts that support you. Sometimes you want short clips of quick tips and others like me, I crave a 60 minute podcast. If it’s by someone I really respect a 90-minute episode is awesome for a long walk.
Tell me in comments , what length of podcast is best for you? What do you love? And why?
Feed Your Energy
All too often “wellness” is associated with fitness, or a weight goal. The path to that is associated with punishing exercise and deprivation of pleasure in food. That of course backfires and it’s in part why the diet industry is a thriving billion-dollar industry. The seduction of what you really will never attain through starvation and overexercise is from marketing that’s truly damaging to the emotions, metabolism, and health for those that fall for it.
Exercise and diet that supports optimal weight and fitness, will boost energy, endurance, and strength, almost immediately. If you’re instead exhausted, sore, and craving, those are signs something is wrong. Diet culture has led women to believe they should suffer (be cold, lack energy, be constantly hungry) in order to reduce calories and get or stay thin. Not true. Have you tried consuming 35 -40 grams of protein at a meal? Almost impossible for women who first try it.
If you’ve been eating a Greek yogurt or having a couple eggs for breakfast, or collagen protein alone thinking you got your protein in, you’re respectively between about 15 and maybe 20 for the yogurt, 12 grams for the eggs, and not actually satisfying muscle’s protein need with collagen alone. It may help you stay full, but it won’t help you avoid muscle loss that comes with weight loss.
Feed Your Emotions
While the connection between better wellbeing and food is obvious. We sometimes starve our souls. You may actually need to start here. When you’re in love, or experiencing joy, you make better health choices. When on the other hand you’re grieving, depressed, sad – all human emotions we need to experience – it’s hard to make the choices that support you best. You’re not going to exercise your way out of depression, but you can support it. You aren’t going to yoga your way out of a need to grieve, but you can support it.
It may not start with movement. Maybe it’s just breath. Try it right now. The very act of taking a deep breath in and then exhaling completely stimulates your vagus nerve. You activate your parasympathetic nervous system. You can experience a greater sense of calm. If you’re grieving, you may not think you need more calm, but more energy. I get it, I lost my mom last year and just prior to her passing I felt all the energy, the anxiousness, the helplessness. Then after I was drained, hit with the tidal wave of emotions. So, I was calm, too calm for my day-to-day activity. But that kind of calm put me in a place where practicing gratitude and experiencing the love and abundance of care I was receiving from people all around me, helped create more energy. That then got me moving a little more, gradually feeling a little more resilient and a little less fragile.
Experiencing emotions release hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. Those help us feel better. Mentally feeling better doesn’t mean we skip the necessary grieving or sadness we go through in life, but it helps us be able to function while we’re doing it. Try just breathing. Bring yourself to places and times in your life full of love and joy. Then express gratitude. Those are higher vibration emotions that you can tap into as often as you want to so that you can handle the other emotions too.
Find a Purpose
Working in fitness for nearly four decades I’ve heard everyone from teenagers to 60-somethings say they are passionate about fitness. That was often as they explain why they were at a job interview, or sometimes on a podcast.
Purpose, however is more. Purpose is not fickle or temperamental.
Passion sometimes fades in new fitness professionals when there’s a realization that every part of the job isn’t fun. When it’s not all about Lululemon tights (no offense, I like them too), or donning make up to teach in front of the class and in front of a mirror. When it’s not just about being bubbly and happy because you teach a couple classes a day or a handful a week, but you have to think about customer service, and pay the bills, and do the paperwork.
We lose a lot of passionate fitness trainers, let’s just say. In fact, 9/10 fitness businesses went out of business in the first 3 years before the pandemic. Of those that lasted for the first 5 years, a smaller but significant portion of those also go out of business. Post pandemic we know we’re somewhere between 20 and 40% of established fitness businesses haven’t survived or are threatened. Many smaller businesses never actually really start… it isn’t a profitable business, it’s a hobby.
Defining Purpose and Passion
Purpose, is different. With purpose, you’re committed to a worthwhile cause no matter what. You’re not ignorant of risks but you’re willing to take them and decide you’ll do what needs to happen to make it work. Decisions are made not based on what you “like” to do alone, but on what makes you excited and willing to get up and do what you know makes a difference.
Passion is close to needing to have friends and have people like you. Purpose is willing to say the things that creates polarity and swim upstream to make changes you think are necessary. Passion chooses social media posts to be popular. Purpose chooses to say what needs to be said and lets the chips fall where they do.
I’m sharing this with our fitness and health professionals, too. I challenge you that the passion you have may not be for fitness. Consider, if you were in an accident and couldn’t be the physical body you are now, would you still be passionate about fitness and teaching it? If you were financially struggling, would you continue to do this thing you’re doing in the same way you’re doing it, or would it be the first thing you dropped in order to make ends meet?
If you truly have purpose – in any arena – you’d be willing to take risks, do the thing. If it’s a passion, it is something you’re doing for now. Purpose may mean that your passion is just the vehicle. For me that has become true. My passion isn’t fitness. It’s about helping people become the strongest, most resilient in each of the roles they play or want to, and fitness & health is how I do it.
Stop Creating a Life That You Want to Vacate and Retire From
I remember one of the first semesters I taught in the department of Kinesiology. I was honored to teach at a university campus I’d been visiting since I was 7 years old. My grandmother had graduated from it in 1922. My mom and dad both attended. My sister, brother, and cousins attended… and then I attended.
But in the hallway after a day of classes a professor and colleague from a fitness business said something about the number of weeks left ‘til spring break and the end of the semester. I thought, how awful to have created a life you want to vacate and retire from.
In my journey as a fitness trainer who visited my clients in their homes and saw them in fitness centers, I realized there are more people who live like that than don’t.
Listen, no one can or should choose your job for you. In these times a business can be born from an idea and a computer, or even a phone. But if it’s just something that makes you want a day off, that makes waking up in the morning anything but looking forward to, think about what’s missing for you.
Maybe you did retire from that career and were so ready. The Pandemic changed many jobs. You may have experienced a desire to get out for many reasons. Is there however, something missing now? Could you fill that void by volunteering? Teaching others the skills you have?
What’s your take-away? Leave me a comment at /better wellbeing below
The Power of One
Looking to get started with exercise that you love. If you’d like to overhaul your routine, your fitness, sleep habits, way you eat and nail down priorities, consider spending 90 minutes with me. Before the first minute starts, I’ll send you homework to return to me, then after our comprehensive discussion about everything you, from your schedule, to goals to past, present, and future exercise experiences, I’ll follow up with a plan to start now and an indication of how to progress. You’ll leave with a weekly idea of how to incorporate enough protein, how to intermittent fast, and when to exercise. You’ll have an exercise plan for the week based on whether using videos, or following a list of exercises suits you best.