Fitness and Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Uncategorized

8 Weeks to Wellness

It’s that time of year again: the time where the New Year New Me thing happens. I love the energy that is created by the communal hope and goal-setting this time of year, it makes me feel like anything is possible!

But this energy fades, our motivation fizzles out, we finish our 21 Day Reset or Dry January and then what? We can often feel left to figure it out from there and with the first stressful day at work, condescending phone call from a parent, or fight with our spouse, we find ourselves “unstressing” with whatever “treat” is our favorite. By March we have reverted to so many of our old habits and these habits keep us stuck where we don’t want to be.

So how do we make sure that 2019 is different from every other false start that we may have had over the years? How do we hold ourselves accountable when motivation fades? How do we learn to recognize and more importantly break the patterns that are holding us back? How do we IMPLEMENT a goal instead of picking one?

… Enter Nutrition Coaching! Individualized coaching is the secret weapon that gives you the edge to make sustainable change. It will provide you with a plan that works for you to get to where you want to be. It is dynamic and adapts to your circumstances as they change. It gives you access to a trained coach who can help you cut through all the noise and confusion thrown out there by the diet industry.

This year, I am launching an online Nutrition Coaching Course: 8 Weeks to Wellness, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! This program is revolutionary in the way it helps women make and create sustainable changes for their health and nutrition. It doesn’t rely on products or quick fixes, in fact, the program is 8 weeks long specifically because this allows for enough time to implement lasting change. It also doesn’t require you to turn your life upside down – all of the shifts in the program are designed to integrate seamlessly with your lifestyle.

Over the last 8 weeks of 2018, I ran a group of volunteers through the program (that’s right, these ladies decided to invest in their health over the holidays) and they had incredible results:

“Before starting, I was hesitant about a couple things….a) that everything would be too much of a change for me to be able to keep it up and b) that I’d have to completely change my approach and way I grocery shop, start going to health food stores (which I’ve never done), and spend a lot more each week on food… both concerns which weren’t a reality.”

“Overall I’m eating way more veggies and drinking way more water, eating way less sugar and processed food.”

“I’m down inches, up energy, and still down pounds overall over the holidays!”

“Best part was simple, but thorough lessons… Plus your quick responses to questions.”

“I’ve seen an increase in my energy levels, I’m eating foods that give me more nutrition with less quantities (more bang for my buck), I’ve expanded my horizons in terms of trying new veggies, and I’m more able to make conscious choices about what I consume.”

“Alasen is friendly, non-judgemental, supportive, helpful, engaged, and wanting everyone to be at their best!”

“I’ve told so many people about my ‘program’ and how simple it is to follow. I would love to join a second round now that the holidays are over!”

If you are ready to finally make a sustainable change for your health and nutrition, the next 8 Weeks to Wellness course begins on January 20, 2019. Enroll in the course and personally see how powerful Nutrition Coaching can be! I can’t wait to get started. My reason for entering this field was to help as many moms as possible to cut through the diet hype and create affordable, sustainable, natural health for themselves and their families. 8 Weeks to Wellness is your key to accomplishing this.

To sign up, click here.

To read through some FAQ, click here.

If you have any additional questions, or would like to chat with me directly about the program to see if it is right for you, please contact me!

Health & Wellness

Self Improvement Burnout

Around this time every year, it seems like “life” gets the better of me and all of a sudden time begins to fly by. (Hey March, where did you go???) This is also the time when most of our New Year New Me endeavors (or resolutions, whatever you want to call them) start to fall by the wayside. You’ve been going hard for the month of January, but the initial glamor of your idea or new habit has worn off. In February, you may be able to dig down with determination and power through maintaining your change, but old easier habits begin to sneak in. “One slip up won’t hurt” turns into “once in a while is ok” which them morphs into “well on the weekends, I deserve to relax” and by this time of year, we’ve either stopped entirely or we are feeling totally burnt out with this Healthy Habits All Day Every Day thing.

So the question is: why does this happen and what can we do about it? I actually blogged about this (on my old platform) last year and these thoughts still hold true for me. It’s helped me to avoid the complete Burn Out that I’ve had in years past, so I thought it would be a good read for you guys too. Here it is:

“Around June of 2016, I hit a low point. It wasn’t tied to any particular event. There was just a slow decline over time where more and more dissatisfaction crept into my life until I was incredibly unhappy and burnt out. I knew that I needed to make changes, but they seemed to be too hard to do.

Taking the first step towards self-improvement is always the hardest. I think of it in terms of inertia: when you’re stuck in a place it takes a huge amount of energy to start moving. Think of how hard it is to push a huge rock that is sitting in the dirt. (Or even better how hard is it to start flipping that tractor tire over at the gym?) But the thing about inertia is that once you get going, the law makes it just as difficult to STOP the object you just had trouble moving. If you do manage to get that huge rock rolling, you definitely don’t want to be at the bottom of the hill to stop it! (Or using the gym example, have you ever tried to catch a weight before it hits the ground?)

In July 2016, I (unknowingly) took the first step to overcome my “stuck and miserable” inertia by signing up for a nutrition coaching course. I thought I’d be learning about macronutrients and serving sizes, but this course had so much more to it. They really dug into the lifestyle reasons for poor eating, as well as the emotional components that lead people to cyclically diet and regain weight. This course showed me how interrelated nutrition and the rest of your life were. You can eat all the kale in the world, but if you are miserable in other areas, you still won’t be healthy. Suddenly, I was confronted with admitting that I was unhappy and had the power to change that. And like they say “You can’t unlearn this stuff.”

Flash forward to January of 2017 and the inertia behind all of my self-improvement actions was really beginning to build up. I began to see all of the areas in my life that I wanted to change and fix. There were so many things I wanted to do: change jobs to something that I enjoyed, change my relationship with my kids to be better, work on relationships with friends, work on my health and fitness, make our house more organized and functional, let go of things that were no longer helping in our lives; the list goes on and on and on. I was suddenly beginning to feel overwhelmed with it all. I began to wonder, “is there such a thing as self-improvment burnout? Cause I’m totally there.” I wanted a break, and a small part of me wished I could just go back to not knowing that things could be better, because “ignorance is bliss.” HA!

Everything can’t be fixed instantly. It’s often a slow process, but we tend to see the end goal clearly and then get impatient when we can’t get there immediately. Then we get to the point where I was in January and our self-doubt kicks in. We see the long road ahead of us and decide that it’s just too hard. We end up with Self Improvement Burnout. We quit. And then we are doubly dissatisfied because not only do we know that we aren’t where we want to be, we’re down on ourselves for quitting. And the cycle continues.

So I began to measure progress differently. I committed myself to taking as least one SMALL step each day towards any of the goals I had. And it’s working. Here’s why: it made making progress sustainable, since I gave myself permission to not have to do everything all at once. It keeps the inertia going, so I won’t get to a place where it is a considerable effort to start again. AND by having so many areas that I know need work, it made finding a small step to take relatively easy and dynamic. If I ever don’t really know what the next step under the “Change Careers” goal is, that’s ok because I can take a small step towards another goal that day (like declutter a junk drawer for the “Functional House” goal). I’ve still progressed while giving myself time to figure out the next best step for the career change goal.

The important thing is to just keep moving forward. It doesn’t matter if it’s slow or fast. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fraction of an inch or a huge leap. Just be relentless with your movement. One action per day is progress, and for me progress is the new measure of success.”

Now here we are in March 2018. I look at where I was 15 months ago and there is so much that is different (for the better) now. All of those time steps each day have added up to a large change. They were the grains of sand that have turned into a 30lb sand bag. Looking back at this process helps me to keep going with the “just do one thing every day” path. Because in the end, I can see that it is working.

The grass is greener where you water it

Health & Wellness, Uncategorized

That NewYearNewMe Thing

When it comes to the New Year, I feel like there are generally two kinds of people: the I’m-Going-To-Completely-Fix-My-Life-With-This-List-Of-Resolutions type and the Resolutions-Are-Stupid-Let-Me-Gloat-When-Everyone-Fails-By-February type.

Neither of these types are great. On one hand, you have a group who is waiting on a date to “make everything better” and then trying to move mountains. On the other hand, you basically have cynicism at its finest, which may just be a mask for a fear of their own needed changes. I’ve definitely fallen towards the first type earlier in my life and I went through a brief stint as the cynic as well. Now I like to think that I’m older and wiser. I definitely don’t wait for a new year to set goals and I don’t charge forward trying to change everything on January 1st. However, there is a fabulous energy around the new year that promotes change and I love to leverage that when I can.

The new year gives me time to reflect on what has been going well in my life and on what I want to improve. A great friend of mine has perfected this reflection and goal setting and I tried her method this year. This really can be done at any point during the year, so you don’t have to wait to try it out! You make 3 lists (in this order):

  1. What Did I Accomplish in the Past Year
  2. What Are My Big Goals/Dreams for the Next Year
  3. What Do I Want to Leave Behind

The first list is a great truth finder, especially for those of us who have a nagging inner voice of negativity sometimes (um, me!). It forces you to think about the hard work you put in over the past year. That goal you crushed in February? On the list. When you needed to set new goals in July because you finished your the January set? On the list. There it all is in black and white. Conclusive proof that you DID do awesome things. (Take that Myrtle) This list puts you into the mindset of accomplishment.

Once you are in the mindset of accomplishment, listing out the Big Goals/Dreams is much less daunting. I found that those goals that were buried deep down because of fear that I wouldn’t achieve them were easier to bring to the surface. To actually write down as terrifying as it was. Now they are there, on paper, staring you back in the face. It’s a very “woah” moment.

Now you are feeling the “woah” and you see where you are headed. This is the time to write the last list. It takes some introspection, and some honesty that you may not like to hear, but it is worth it. You start writing out the things you have in your life that aren’t serving you. The things that won’t move you in the direction of those goals you just admitted to having. The habits you know you need to break. This becomes that things you leave behind. It’s the nonsense that swirls around in your life. If you know you don’t need it, if you know it’s hindering you, it goes on the list.

Now what do you do with these lists? The first one, post it where you can read it often. I like keeping it where I can easily access it when things are getting tough (like my desk drawer at work) or in a place where I will see it each morning (like in my closet). It will be a great way to pick yourself up over the next few months.

The second list gets broken down into mini lists (hey, I’m a trained engineer so forgive my inner nerd). You list the goal at the top. Then you break it down in to smaller chunks. Then you break those chunks down in to smaller ones. And you keep breaking it down until you have something you can do daily or weekly to move you to that goal. Once they are all broken down, do yourself a favor and start scheduling the time chunks into your day. Your future self will thank you for these.

Here are some examples of my Big Goals broken down.

Big Goal #1: Make Meditation a Non-Negotiable Daily Habit

Breakdown: Get to meditating for 30 minutes per day. Break that down into two 15 minute session per day. Break that down into starting with one 15 minute session per day. Break it down even further to one 10 minute session per day.

The Plan: 10 minutes of meditation per day in January at any time. 10 minutes in the morning per day in February. 15 minutes per day anytime in March. 15 minutes in the morning every day in April, etc.

You can break down exercise goals, nutrition goals, and life goals in the same way.

For accountabilities sake, here is a list of my 2018 Big Goals/Dreams (in no particular order):

  • Run a 2 hour Half Marathon
  • Race a 1:30 Sprint Triathlon
  • Keep Added Sugar Out of My Diet
  • Make Meditation a Daily Habit
  • Keep a List of 3 Happy Moments from My Day for 365 Days in a Row
  • Complete One Round of Decluttering for Our House
  • Practice Mindfulness, Gratitude, and Positive Thinking Consistently
  • Successfully Coach 6+ Clients per Month After Graduation from IIN
If you want a great way to record your gratitude daily, check out the Happy Feed app (it’s free)

There you have it. My NewYearNewMe thing in a nutshell. I plan on using this method to reassess where I am and where I am going every few months this year as well. Because when it comes down to it, you don’t need a calendar date to start moving yourself in the right direction.

Oh, and what do you do with that last list?

Burn it.