Are You Being Too Negotiable with Yourself?

After teaching a fabulous workshop at Lululemon East Hampton, I felt the need to write a blog post about the six pillars of living Simple Clean and Whole. During the workshop, I spoke a lot about negotiable and non-negotiable rituals. What I’m going to share with you in this article is just a taste of my non-negotiable rituals. You can find the complete ebook, Back to Basics, here.

The Domino Effect of Being Negotiable with Yourself

When I started my journey on Simple Clean and Whole, I practiced many new rituals that became habits — thus, Back to Basics. Once I began my practice, I noticed that when I became negotiable with my rituals, then everything else that keeps me healthy became negotiable as well.

If I was negotiable with working out, then I became negotiable on my water intake. If I was negotiable on my water intake, I began to crave crap! Once I began to crave crap, my sleep was thrown way off. Once my sleep was off, I was stressed. And once I was stressed, my whole emotional being was shot! And I mean shot!

So how do you stop the inevitable domino effect when you become negotiable with yourself? It’s about going Back to Basics!

Going Back to Basics and Finding Your Truth

Most people think that when I coach, I’m coaching people on how to lose weight. The truth is that, yes, I coach on foods that nourish you with a side effect of losing weight. However, the real nugget is getting to your truth:

  • What makes you tick?
  • What makes you healthy?
  • What makes you strong, alive, and present?

Once you lay the foundation, the true work begins. Then, you can move into selecting the right essential tools that you need to lead a healthy lifestyle.

6 Pillars of Living Simple Clean and Whole to Become Non-Negotiable with Yourself

Ready to review the six pillars of living Simple Clean and Whole that will help you stop that negotiable domino effect? Here we go:

1. Emotions

Emotions represent a connection to yourself and self-love. Judgement, comparison, and self-doubt are all emotions that cause us to live below the midline in life. It’s these emotions that cause the symptoms of eating.

Think about it. A symptom like instant gratification is short-lived. It keeps you satiated for about a minute. Food and shopping are both symptoms of the bigger emotional story.

Challenge: My challenge to you is to start your “to do” list with a “to be” list instead. How do you want to be when you are doing?

2. Water

If you’re not getting enough water, you’ll feel dry, constipated, tired, and sluggish. You might experience bad breath and swelling. Most of my clients tell me they don’t have time to drink water. But we have time to overeat?

To be fully hydrated, you should drink half your body weight in water daily. Many of my clients tell me they don’t like the taste of water or simply want something more flavorful to drink every day. In my Whenever Cleanse, I offer a bunch of delicious flavor combinations that you can make using herbs and fresh fruit to change how your water tastes. A favorite for many of my clients is my all citrus recipe:

Citrus Fruit Infused Water Recipe

  • Slice one orange, one lime, and one lemon into rounds.
  • Cut the rounds in half.
  • Add the fruit to a 2-quart pitcher or jar with a lid and press and twist with a muddler or handle of a wooden spoon to release the flavor.
  • Fill the jar with ice cubes and add water.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

Challenge: Fill a 32-ounce water bottle up and drink it. Refill the bottle and drink the water three times throughout the day.

3. Breathe

Slow down! Make a practice of taking a breath before you eat, before you deliver a communication, while driving, and while looking at social media. Walk slower. Touch and hear softer. Trust me, it will change your breathing.

Practice your breathing throughout the day by concentrating on and becoming aware of your inhales and exhales. This is how to start a habit to relax.

Challenge: Practice breathing. Inhale for a count of four, hold at the top for a count of four, and release for a count of four. It’s easy and truly mind-altering.

4. Sleep

Get your zzzz’s! Hop into bed before 10:00 p.m. every night. It’s essential that you get eight hours of sleep. The first four hours of sleep (from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.) are when your body goes into its fullest repair. From 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., your body is undergoing emotional repair.

Think about new moms who are up with their infants during the second four hours when they should be sleeping. They’re missing the essential emotional repair hours of their sleep. No wonder there is post-partum depression!

Challenge: Turn off your electronics by 10:00 p.m.

5. Nutrition

Nutrition is so important, but it can be a hard battle to win. Remember, the Standardized American Diet is SAD with lots of CRAP (carbohydrates, refined sugars, additives, and preservatives).

You don’t have to deprive yourself of delicious but unhealthy foods as long as you’re making the decision to eat those foods on occasion rather than as a habit.

Challenge: 80% of the time, eat foods that grow from good soil, sunlight, and rain.

6. Movement

Movement is a mindset. Your body gets used to the same movement, just like it gets used to the same food. When you do the same activity over and over, your body won’t want to shift for you. That’s why you have to switch it up!

But remember, your mind and body must be aligned with the movement you choose or you won’t stick with it. You need to find the movement that truly nourishes your mind, body, and soul.

Challenge: Experiment with a new class, new teacher, or new exercise!

Developing Your Own Non-negotiable Habits

I’m happy to say that my non-negotiable habits are on track as I practice mindfulness, and I’m not alone with seeing the positive results of developing non-negotiable habits. Recently, my wonderful client, Samantha, sent me an email message describing her own transformation since we began working together. I’d like to share her story with you because I think it’s so inspirational!

“Throughout my life, I have struggled to find a healthy relationship with food. A month ago, desperate to find and live a healthier lifestyle, I reached out to Jen. Just 5-6 days later, believe it or not, I felt a shift. This shift was not a ton of weight loss or a magically toned body. It was ME — but with a less bloated belly, clearer skin, more energy, and a newfound confidence.

“Throughout college and the past two years, I found myself choosing erratic and extreme diets to lose weight. Nothing ever stuck. I found myself quickly falling back into old habits, because I felt deprived of tasty and satiating food. Now, I love the food I eat. Yes, sometimes I miss pizza, but I do not miss the way I used to feel.

“I now am determined to give my body the healthy food and fuel it needs. Jen has guided me through this process with patience, understanding, balance, and passion. With an abundance of health issues, Jen has helped me find the foods that help me feel my best.

“I truly feel this is only the beginning of my journey. I am dedicated to finding my best self over the next six months and creating a lifestyle with fewer ups and downs. Just like everything else, relationships take time and work. My healthy relationship with food and my body has just begun. I understand that there may be temptations and hiccups, but I refuse to fail. I promise myself, I will live my life, enjoy my life, and find a lifestyle that makes me happy and healthy.

“Jen is incredible! She is my cheerleader, and I am her biggest fan!”

— Samantha

When you make living a Simple Clean and Whole lifestyle non-negotiable, you’ll feel healthier and happier, just like Samantha. It’s a process that starts with practice. Over time, that practice becomes a ritual. The ritual becomes a discipline, and finally, the discipline becomes your truth!

Need To Lose Weight? Eliminate Your Daily Distractions!

Distractions. We all have them. They come in really handy when we’re consciously or unconsciously trying to avoid doing or thinking about certain things. Distractions are like big detour signs in our life stories. They cause us to default to behaviors that might not serve us well. For many of us, they’re a direct path to weight gain!

We all have stories in our lives — stories that we live by even if they don’t serve us anymore.

  • I’m lazy.
  • I’m a type A personality.
  • I’m an overeater.
  • I’m anxious.
  • I’m easily annoyed.

Sound familiar? Does your story truly serve you? Or is it a distraction?

Take a moment to think about what story you’re telling yourself that’s old, debilitating, and needs a refresh!

What’s My Story?

For the past year, I’ve been living a story that definitely does not serve me anymore, and the more I tell myself that story, the deeper I get stuck!

I’m an empty nester who has moved her life to two different states, and I’m in transition. I have to keep myself really business and bury myself in work to keep my mind off of the transition. If I don’t, I get really anxious!

My story felt really good for a while as it distracted me from me — from Jen, from myself. It gave me an excuse — a life excuse — a reason to give myself a break from working on myself, moving forward, and continuing my journey.

However, my story was also a big obstacle in the road. It was a detour that gave me the excuse to go back to old patterns and habits. I defaulted to my old storybook that actually needs to be taken out of the library and given to Good Will so someone else can learn from it.

What Did I Default To?

“I’ll start taking care of myself after the weekend.”

Have you ever said this to yourself as you allowed yourself to be distracted and default to your old story that no longer serves you? I’ve been doing it, but it never stops there. Most default stories include a lot of old habits and patterns that need to go.

I got distracted and fell back on my defaults. Suddenly, I was…

  • Drinking too much coffee (Ah, the 4pm latte break)
  • Overeating (and going for seconds!)
  • Telling myself it’s okay (“You’re going through a hard time.”)
  • Sugar (read more about that here)
  • Swedish fish became my good friend again
  • Giving myself that little extra treat
  • Believing an extra glass of wine won’t hurt
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Eating dinner and jumping into bed because I deserved to rest
  • Eating on the go or ordering in
  • Standing and eating
  • Skipping breakfast because I knew I’d have a big lunch
  • Getting too much or too little exercise to counterbalance my over-indulgence

And what was the outcome of these old habits and patterns? 8 pounds! Yup! It’s time to start telling myself the true story. It’s time to focus on my biography instead of fiction!

The Way You Do One Thing is How You Do Most

The paradigm “the way you do one thing is the way you do most” really set in for me recently. Not only was I defaulting back to a place of comfort with my food, but I was doing that in many areas of my life. And guess what that got me (aside from 8 pounds)? Tons of clutter!

If my food was cluttered, then my closet was overflowing! I began to overschedule myself as a distraction. You see, the truth is that we always look for a distraction when we feel discomfort. The secret in the sauce of life is to gather tools over time that you can keep in your “bounce-back” toolbox.

When you find yourself driving along the road of life and unexpectedly hit that big detour sign, which leads you on an alternate route, you can sit with the discomfort for as long as you need to. But once it gets too yucky, open up your bounce-back toolbox and get back on the route you were meant to be on which is growth, understanding, and self-care.

How I Got Back on Track (and So Can You)

The first step I took to get back on track was to focus on my six basic principles of living Simple Clean and Whole. You can review those in my Back to Basics Guide.

Next, I focused on my non-negotiables:

  • Drink half my body weight in ounces of water every day.
  • Get back to enjoying working out and do it 3-5 days per week.
  • Incorporate strength training into my workouts which helps me feel grounded. Plus, this is a must for women over 40 as we work on increasing bone density.
  • Schedule an hour a day of ME time whether it’s my morning ritual, lunch, exercise, or even bath time. I actually put my name on my calendar and block out that time!
  • Start my mornings off with a Simple Clean and Whole breakfast which is the smoothie included in my Whenever Cleanse.
  • Eat three nutrient-dense meals plus the option of two small snacks. I choose snacks from SHIFT 21.
  • No sugar!
  • Drink no more than one and a half cups of coffee per day.
  • Shut down all electronics by 8pm.
  • Limit social media to one hour each day even if I have to put a timer on to do it.
  • Get outside and take in the vitamin D.

See, even I go through the ebb and flow of life as I coach my clients. To be honest, no one is exempt. There is no perfection! If we don’t fall below the midline time and time again, we would never be able to rewrite our stories.

I have committed to my new storyline, and yes, at times I’ll be challenged — having dinners out, spending time with friends, traveling, enjoying celebrations, and just living life. We all have a choice, and you have the innate ability to choose your life of fiction or your true biography.

What’s your story?