Bringing Wellness Full Circle


Sometimes, quitting is absolutely necessary in order to have room in your life for other things. It is simply too crowded for new things when you hold on the old. Especially if you realize that that seaon of your life is over… that’s when you need to listen to your intuition and go for it. And if it’s just too hard to quit today, set a date by which you will quit, and work towards it.

But sometimes, we just want to quit because we want to. You know what I mean? We don’t want to watch our food intake anymore, or get up early to  workout, or study, or… you fill in the blanks. And for those days, here is my best advice: Quit Tomorrow. Because there is a very good chance that your strong desire to quit is being dictated by a right-now emotion that could totally change an hour from now.

When you repeatedly intentionally choose to not make rush decisions based on your emotions, you will create a new pattern of persistence in your life.  So your initial choice to not yield to “quitting” now changed your habit and shaped your character. We really are the sum of our habits, aren’t we? That is actually pretty cool.

Or really bad sometimes. Because being the sum of our habits works both ways. Instead of sticking to your workout today. , you could have chosen to quit and eat a donut–a little, unconsequential decision seemingly. But times fifty, and you have created another kind of habit…

Finish out today. You can quit or go for the donuts tomorrow. But there is a very good chance that tomorrow, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go. And even if halfway through you want to quit, you might as well finish out this one day, right? It’s just one day. One workout. One hour.

You can always quit tomorrow, right?


Coaching Relationship

The coaching relationship is interesting.  My client and I aren’t really friends, but we certainly aren’t strangers. Actually,  I honestly can’t help but really care for my client. At times, it actually seems that my client and I really have deep ties because of the shared struggles and success.

The coaching process typically begins with an interview to assess my client’s current opportunities and challenges,  identify priorities and establish specific desired outcomes. We do this interview in-person, on the phone or in written form such as email. Afterwards, I often challenge his thinking about the situation and together, we begin to  formulate a plan of action that he can live with and do well. The next coaching sessions will be scheduled weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly–depending on my client’s goals, and how much interaction is required to get there. I keep my client accountable between sessions and we both determine the how of the accountability.

I love that my client is really the one who sets the pace. I ask hard questions, I listen, I ask more questions and we take steps. One tiny one at a time. But he is the one who determines how far and how fast he/she wants to go. And in the process, thought patterns are altered, goals are achieved, and confidence grows.

So often, when trying to establish new patterns, we concentrate on what is wrong, and how it ought to be changed. I love life coaching ,because the coaching relationship is based on what works. We don’t react, we act.

As a coach, I:
○ Listen to what is really important to my client by understanding his values and beliefs
○ Honestly look at my clients’ current reality without judgment or criticism
○ Help my client to set specific, realistic and achievable goals
○ Guide my client through a step-by-step strategy to reach his goals
○ Facilitate a plan of action when obstacles get in the way
○ Provide accountability
○ Enable my client to make changes
○ Support and encourage my client through the changes and transformation

and I LOVE IT!

I share with my client the importance of being intentional about the process, exercise self discipline, challenge his existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones which will serve his goal.   I ask powerful questions that forces him to look at things as they are and help him focus on what he really wants. I create an awareness of where he is at. My client and I, we trust each other. There is a certain intimacy between us that is more special than words can express. We work together, we communicate, we listen. My client and I, we kick butt!

Insulin and Cortisol

You may not like the tummy fat that jiggles when you try to zip up your jeans, but it’s not the worst kind of belly fat from a health standpoint. The kind you really have to worry about is deeper fat that lies beneath your abdominal muscles and increases the risk of health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This form of fat called visceral fat becomes more common with age, especially around the time of menopause in women and in men as they approach the age of 40–no fun at all if you ask me! Let’s see what we can do about that, shall we?

There are two primary hormones that play a role in visceral abdominal fat and reining in these two belly-boosting hormones can help control a deep belly fat problem: Insulin and Cortisol.

Insulin, produced by the pancreas, regulates how your body handles glucose. Insulin has a lot of jobs in your body:

~it helps carry glucose into cells where it can be stored right after you ate

~it helps muscle cells take up amino acids, which is important for muscle repair after a workout

~it increases the synthesis of lipids and prevents the breakdown of stored fat to be used for energy

~it encourages cells to take up potassium

~it increases blood flow through arteries by relaxing blood vessel walls.

Pretty serious stuff if you ask me.

Cortisol, produced by the adrenal gland, is the one hormone we often call the “stress hormone” because it rises during times of mental and physical stress. Here are some common conditions that increase cortisol levels: prolonged exercise (yikes!) , starvation, calorie restriction (bye-byestupid diets!)  and sleep deprivation. Cortisol has many functions, but one of its main functions is to simply maintain blood glucose levels in response to stress. One way it does this is by promoting gluconeogenesis, a process by which the liver makes glucose from amino acids. To supply the liver with the amino acids it needs to make glucose, cortisol encourages the breakdown of muscle tissue, which isn’t a good thing when it comes to health or body composition–triple yikes! Who wants to lose more muscle mass as they age? In addition, it suppresses the immune system and promotes bone breakdown – another not-so-good thing from a health standpoint.

So why are insulin and cortisol such a bad combination when it comes to visceral belly fat? Well, cortisol activates a hormone called lipoprotein lipase that stimulates fat storage, but it also increases the activity of hormone sensitive lipase, a hormone that breaks down fat. Taken alone, these changes might not be so bad since the fat storage effects of cortisol would be cancelled out by its effect on fat breakdown. But then insulin enters the picture. Insulin promptly turns off cortisol’s effect on hormone sensitive lipase, and the breakdown of fat grinds to a halt. Now cortisol’s effect on fat is to promote its storage, and it does so primarily in the deep abdominal region to form visceral fat. There you have it! The solution? Reign in these two hormones.

Here is some good advice to help you deal with the belly fat problem, you need to lower levels of these two belly-plumping hormones:

~eliminate processed carbohydrates and sugary foods that send blood sugar and insulin levels into overdrive. Choose fiber-rich carbs from vegetables and whole grain sources. The fiber in these foods helps to reduce insulin spikes.


~add regular, moderate to high intensity exercise program that includes both strength-training and aerobics. High-intensity exercise boosts release of growth hormone, which helps take a bite out of belly fat.

~ eat regular meals that contain lean protein and fiber-rich carbs to maintain blood sugar levels, and don’t overly restrict calories to lower cortisol in your body

~keep exercise sessions short and intense. Some research shows that prolonged endurance exercise boosts cortisol levels.

~sleep! Sleep deprivation raises cortisol levels.


~get enough B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium in your diet since these vitamins and minerals help to lower cortisol levels.

~limit caffeine

~find effective ways to manage stress

There you have it!

Healthy Feet and Exercise

Exercising your feet? Really? YEP! Exercising your feet is great not only for your feet (duh!) but it can also reduce your risk for injury.

Best exercise? Walking! When you walk, you put your foot through its full range of motion, from the time your heel hits the ground until you lift off with your toes. By the way, walking is one of the best forms of exercise for your entire body–if you do it like you mean it, it improves your cardiovascular health and can help your circulation, muscle tone, and mood.


As far as keeping your feet healthy, walking is not enough though. You also need to add flexibility and resistance exercises.

Flexibility exercises will help to keep your feet limber and therefore reduce your risk for injury. No matter how old you are, you can still improve your flexibility. The easiest way to build flexibility is through slow and gentle daily stretches, focusing on one group of muscles at a time.

Resistance exercises are important too because they strengthen your muscles, which then can provide you with better support and protect your feet much better.You do resistance exercises when your muscles work against some type of resistance, such as weights or exercise bands.

Foot flexibility and resistance exercises can be built it into your everyday routine, even while you are at work at your desk or standing in line at the check out counter. But before you do any foot exercises, be sure to take some time to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your feet. There you have it!

Who do you want to be?

There is so much pressure in today’s world about how we ought to look, behave, think… I am personally being told the best way to attain happiness and most of the time it involves spending money. Come on!I am happy and comfortable with myself; I am living intentionaly, which is so big these days.That’s what life coaching is all about, by the way: living on purpose.  Do not be bullied into being something you are not. If you are not happy with any aspect of life then it is up to you alone to change it. Life is what you make it and you can be the person you want to be.

Here is how to start:
Take a good look at yourself. Do you like what you see? Are you happy with the person you have become? Is there anything you would change? Don’t ask the opinions of too many people because it is what you want and like that matters. If you feel it is time for a hair-cut, do it! If your weight leaves you feeling negative about yourself, then start doing the rigth thing with a healthy diet and exercise. No one can stop you from eating too much or exercising too little except YOU. If a fashion revamp is in order, then get rid of those pieces of clothing that really don’t fit or suit you. Wear those pink hot pants while cleaning the floor, if you don’t think they are appropriate for outdoor wear but you just can’t give them up. Wear what you feel comfortable in and what reflects your personality, not what you want other people to see. Dress for yourself. Are you starting to feel liberated?


Forget about the past, put it away, thinking about it won’t change a thing. Never mind  the future because it never comes and plans often go awry. Take time to think about what is important to you today.   Keep your thoughts and actions in the moment.

Think for yourself.

Be true to yourself.

Do not follow the crowd because everyone else is. Listen to that little voice inside called intuition and if something does not feel right, don’t do it just because others are.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  It is. The secret is in doing it!  Until it becomes a delightful habit.

Try it–you won’t regret it! And by the way, you are not being selfish. You are just being real. And that is very attractive. Just sayin’

Can you Coach yourself?

Step 1: Know What You Want
It’s very easy to identify things you’re NOT happy with and to get stuck in that negative state of mind. At this stage, coaches often hear comments like “No one at work takes me seriously”; “I need to lose weight, but I can’t”; or “My boss is so frustrating.” But if you want things to change, then you need to identify what you DO want and WOULD be happy with.
Unfortunately, while “know what you want” is easy to say, a surprising number of us really don’t know this – and simply telling us to figure it out won’t help. And if we don’t know the direction to take, where we end up may be no better than the place we left! Other people have only a vague idea of what they want, and they never take the time to be more specific. This means that they have a certain amount of success, but, because they’re never fully committed to one particular direction, they can only get so far. To get past this, coaches encourage their clients to explore this problem to find its real root cause. For example, Sally may feel that her career is going nowhere because “no one takes me seriously.” She might discover that this is because she takes on all of the small tasks in the team, and, because of this, she doesn’t have time to work on the big ideas that would show her potential for promotion. Often, people start out feeling that they’re “victims,” and that the source of their problem lies outside their control. For instance, a frustrating boss won’t go away, or weight can’t be lost. But these people may find that their own attitude or response is contributing to the problem. With the root cause identified, “what you want” is the reverse of that situation. Your new thoughts become “I am focused on important tasks”; “I am clear about what I should and should not do to lose weight”; or “I am relaxed about my boss changing his mind.”

Step 2: Set a SMART Goal
In “The Little Book of Coaching,” Ken Blanchard and Don Shula say, “A broad target that’s easy to achieve leads to the puddle’ of mediocrity.” So, the next step is to express “what you want” as a clear goal. This might seem like an unnecessary step, but it’s really important. A properly defined goal statement will act as a motivator. It will help you prevent yourself from backing out of things you SHOULD be doing, but perhaps don’t really WANT to do. Use the SMART acronym to help you structure a goal. SMART stands for:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Relevant.
  • Time-bound.

Setting a time frame is particularly important, because it’s easy to delay dealing with difficult issues. Choose one that’s both realistic and challenging: if it’s too easy, you’ll get bored and give up, and if it’s unrealistic, you’ll feel overwhelmed… and give up. The secret is to choose a date in the future that you know you can reach – this should be a date that will stretch you a little, but not add to your stress. Write your goal down. This helps you clarify your thoughts, and it helps you see your progress as you look back over the various steps you’ve set for yourself. This way, you can see if you’re on track or not.
For example, Melanie is frustrated by her boss. She might set this goal: “By the end of the month, I’ll have learned how to respond calmly and positively whenever Alex asks me to rework something. Then I’ll do the work, understanding that it’s an opportunity to impress him.”

Step 3: Take Action

Determine what needs to happen to move you toward your goal: Do you need to get a particular qualification, or sign up for a course?

  • Do you need help from someone like a personal trainer or mentor?
  • Do you need to let go of someone or something?
  • Step 4: Be PassionateMake sure that what you’ve chosen to do is something you really care about, and really want to happen – otherwise, you know you won’t do it!
    Also, notice if you’re holding back a little. Sometimes, we can stop ourselves getting too excited about an outcome because we doubt we can do it. If a lack of self-belief or the fear of failure is holding you back, try the following exercise:

    • Think about how you react, feel, and think when you’re worried and uncertain. Notice how you stand, the thoughts that go through your head, the language you use, and the feelings you experience.
    • Think about how you react and feel and think when you’re certain of success.
    • Notice the differences between the two states – they will be very obvious!
    • Now think about your new goal. While you’re doing this, breathe, stand, and talk the way you do when you’re certain of success. You should find yourself approaching your new goal with much more conviction and determination.
    • Keep replaying memories of successes from the past, and focus on those while you plan your goal. Until you see yourself as successful, and until you remind yourself that you’ve achieved many things in the past, you’re unlikely to achieve your goal to the degree you really want. This is because many of us seem to have a natural tendency to focus on the negative, and on our perceived failures.

    Step 5: Be Persistent
    Do you often give up when you hit an obstacle? Do you see it as a sign that you’re not meant to continue, so you stop?
    If this is the case, then it’s worth remembering success stories from the past such as Colonel Sanders, who created Kentucky Fried Chicken. He didn’t fulfill his dream until he was 65 years old. It’s said that when he tried to sell his chicken recipe to restaurants, he was refused 1,009 times before he heard his first yes. And what about Walt Disney? He was turned down 302 times before he got financing for his dream of creating “the happiest place on earth.” So, if you hit obstacles and doubt whether you should continue or not, decide if your goal is worth having. If it is, then be persistent. If it isn’t, go back to Step 1.


What is it and how can it help you?

When you exercise, levels of various hormones rise, and some of these hormones play a role in fat-burning and muscle growth. HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is one of those. HGH is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain, and its increasecretion is stimulated mainly by sleep and exercise. Growth hormone doesn’t directly boost muscle growth but increases the size of the connective tissue, which makes the muscle look larger. It also doesn’t increase muscle strength, but it does increase the rate of fat-burning, so it helps with fat loss.

Growth Hormone Increases with Exercise

ropeHere is the good news: when you exercise, levels of HGH naturally rise. But moderate-intensity aerobic exercise doesn’t have the same effects that high-intensity exercise does. High-intensity exercise leads to the build-up of lactic acid., which in turn  boosts growth hormone secretion. Resistance exercise also increases growth hormone levels both directly and through another growth factor called IGF-1. A single high-intensity exercise session of 10 minutes or longer can increase growth hormone secretion by up to 300% and keep it elevated for up to 24-hours afterwards. A good reason to kick your workout up a notch!

The bad news is this: over time, training can reduce the amount of growth hormone the body releases during exercise–maybe because  tissues become more sensitive to growth hormone with training and less of it is needed. Growth hormone release also decreases with age, and this contributes to some of the negative effects of aging such as loss of muscle mass, increased body fat and reduction in energy level.

Can You Increase Growth Hormone Levels Naturally?

To increase HGH naturally, sleep and exercise–particularly do some resistance training and work out at a high enough intensity to tap into the anaerobic energy system. Interval training where you alternate periods of high-intensity exercise like sprinting alternating with recovery intervals is a great way to do that. Lifting heavy weights, especially compound exercises and exercises that target the larger muscles in the lower extremities will do it too.

The other way to maximize growth hormone levels is to get an adequate amount of sleep. Growth hormone secretion rises during deep sleep. This may partially explain why people who don’t sleep enough at night are more prone to weight gain…

What about diet? Insulin inhibits the release of growth hormone, so eating high-glycemic carbs that trigger a strong insulin response can reduce growth hormone release and increase fat stores. Eating carbs before bedtime isn’t a good idea since it can blunt the normal release of growth hormone during sleep. Protein foods increase the release of growth hormone.

So here is the bottom line:Growth hormone helps to preserve lean body mass and increase loss of body fat. Levels decline with age, but high-intensity exercise, adequate sleep and a diet that contains moderate amounts of protein and few high-glycemic carbs will help maximize growth hormone levels – and keep you leaner too.

There you have it!


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