4 Easy Ways to Start Listening to Your Body

One of the most important lessons I have learned in life is to always listen to your body. What does this mean?

In life; especially the society we are in today, there is constant pressure to look and act a certain way. I believe everyone feels this in some shape or form. I urge everyone to take a step back and think about what pressures you feel and most importantly why. Most of the time, the “why” is superficial and adjusting some of your actions might be a great way to relieve stress.

Listening to your body is the most honest and easiest way to step back and really feel your best. Below are the four easiest ways to start listening to your body:

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1. Move your body in a way that you LOVE
Don’t wake up everyday dreading your workout. Find a class or a routine that really motivates you. This might require adjusting your idea of a “good workout.” Not all workouts have to be cardio driven or intense. Try out a yoga or barre class or get creative and try a dance or boxing class.

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2. Eat until you are 75% full
Most of us are guilty of over eating. We have this “clean plate” mentality; but really leftovers are also great to have! The best advice is to eat slower, really chew each bite and appreciate the flavors. Eating slower will allow your mind to catch up to your body sending you signals of becoming full.

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3. Do not be afraid to REST
We are all human and rest days are SO important. When you are run down and over tired take a day off from exercising! Your body needs time to relax and allow the muscles to heal – take the morning to sleep in or the afternoon to spend time with friends and family instead.

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4. Take away the pressure
Live the 90/10 rule or even the 80/20 rule; we can’t all be perfect all the time. Strive towards healthy eating and living habits 80-90% of the time and then allow yourself to enjoy WITHOUT guilt the wine and pizza 10-20% of the time. Life is all about happiness and enjoying the moment so don’t let your “rules” get in the way of having some fun!

 

 

Women & Weight Training: Five Reasons to Start Now

 

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“The stronger she became..the stronger she became”

Many women are wary of lifting weights at the gym. I have definitely been one of them; it is intimidating if you do not know what you are doing. Weight and strength training is becoming much more popular among many of the studio workout classes for this reason. Studies have shown that women who incorporate strength training into their workouts are not only more likely to gain confidence physically, but also mentally & socially. In my opinion, this is the best reason to start weight training now. There is nothing more rewarding than having and radiating self confidence. Recently, there have been many new movements by popular athletic brands to express this ideology: Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, Athleta’s Girls on the Run Program, and Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign.

Gisele Bündchen : I Will What I Want campaign. Photo from adweek.com.

 

Here are 5 additional reasons you should start adding some weight training into your weekly workout routine:

  1. Lean Body Mass
    Weight training allows you to preserve muscle mass which your body naturally loses and replaces with fat as you age.
    Fun Fact: 1 pound of fat takes up to 18% more room than a pound of muscle
  2. Burn More Calories & Increase Metabolism
    Weight Training works to eliminate body fat while building lean muscle tissue which then allows you to more efficiently burn calories. Weight Lifting spikes your metabolism long after the workout, because your muscles need energy to repair their fibers.
  3. Increases Bone Density
    Over time bone density can begin to decrease; strength training will prevent this from occurring as well as help prevent bone related injuries.
  4. Heart Healthy
    Decreases blood pressure and lowers the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases & cancer.
  5. Overall Lifestyle
    Studies have shown that weight lifting aids in stress relief, depression, improves sleep patterns, and increases productivity.

Check out my favorite local fitness blogger, Nicole Perr’s site, Pumps and Iron which has SO many easy weight routines to try!

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

A Health & Lifestyle Coach’s Guide through the Holidays

With the Holiday Season in full swing and the year coming to a close, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to sit down and talk to a new close friend of mine and women entrepreneur; Stephanie Ferisin. Stephanie is a health and lifestyle coach based in Boston, MA and is going to share with everyone a little about her journey as a woman in business as well as some key tips for staying grounded and healthy during the stress of all your holiday parties and festivities.

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Stephanie Ferisin; Health & Lifestyle Coach

 

1. Can you tell us a little about your business and the journey it took to get where you are today?

I help men and women make peace with food and feel at home in their bodies. Because everyone deserves freedom over food, health and happiness.

I know what it’s like to feel powerless around food. It doesn’t feel good. Especially when you know that if you could just get over this “eating thing,” you could step into your full potential. The thing that we don’t realize is that when you try to tighten your grip on controlling food, you swing in the exact opposite direction, eventually. You binge and you feel disappointed, like you lack willpower or control.

But I can tell you now that it’s only when we stop fighting to control our weight that food loses its power over us; we clear our minds of the constant obsession – the calorie-counting, scale-weighing, guilt-induced dieting – and we create more brain space to do what we love to do.

Trust me, I would know. After nearly ten years of battling my weight, I finally dropped my end of the rope. I’ve healed my relationship with food and my body and am now dedicated to helping others do the same.

In 2014, I founded Stephanie Ferisin Health & Wellness with the intention of helping men and women struggling with body image and weight management issues find freedom over food and confidence in their skin and their step. Since then, I’ve learned so much about myself. Being a female solopreneur is both scary (talk about stepping out of your comfort zone!) and liberating at the same time. Similar to my journey in improving my health and healing my relationship with food and my body, I’ve found that there is incredible power behind our mindset. Think about it: the way you do anything is the way you do everything, right? Better yet, the way you eat is the way you live your life. For me, that’s meant trusting myself when taking risks. I trust that I may make mistakes along the way (I’m perfectly imperfect. We all are.), but I’ll learn from them and grow from the experience.

2. With 2014 coming to a close, what advice do you give to your clients looking to make changes in the coming year?

As this year comes to a close, I’m thinking about all of the incredible changes I’ve experienced – I started my business, became a barre fitness instructor, got engaged and have solidified friendships with people who are more like family, who love and support me. With the coming of the New Year, I know many people start thinking about health-related (or really, weight-related) goals. Perhaps they want to lose weight, “slim down,” get toned muscles, you name it. But so long as they are preoccupied by the size and shape of their bodies, they will be fighting for control. And by now you know that trying to gain control over your weight is not the answer to achieving long-lasting health and happiness.

So as you prepare to set your intention for the coming year, consider the following: “When we decide the journey matters as much as the result and that we want to have a good time, most of the time, we radically change our personal definition of success.” – Danielle Laporte

It’s not about the goal, it’s about how you feel when you get there. So if you’re looking to make positive changes in your life — your health, your career, your love life, your social life — consider thinking about how you’d really like to feel along your journey. To help you get started, I’ve outlined the steps you can take to identifying your core desired feelings and getting crystal clear about what you want. Enjoy!

5-step exercise to identify your core desired feelings:

  1. In each of the areas of your life (listed below), describe how you would like to feel.
  • Lifestyle/livelihood, Body/wellness, Relationships/society
  1. Narrow down your core desired feelings to 3-7.
  • Stay away from bold words like confidence and success
    • Go deeper and ask yourself, “What is confidence?”
    • Ex: confidence is feeling acceptance
  • Don’t rely on outside forces to define your reality
    • If you want to feel acceptance, how can you set the rules up for yourself? Can you practice more self-compassion and find acceptance with yourself? Ask yourself: “What can I do to bring this feeling to the moment? How can I set up the rules for myself?”
    • Remember, you can’t choose what happens to you but you can choose how you feel about it
  1. Declaration of core desired feelings
  • Write it down on a piece of paper and place it somewhere visible. It’s your reminder when you feel like you’ve gotten off track.
  1. Question your motivation
  • Why do you want what you want? Who am I trying to please?
  1. Check-in
  • If you find yourself sliding back to old habits or thought patterns, ask yourself: “Am I moving towards or away from my core desired feelings?”

A big thank you to Stephanie for sharing these amazing tips on getting through the Holiday Season and beginning a new journey into 2015. I hope everyone takes something from her message and enjoys the next few weeks with friends and family!

If you want to work or learn more about Stephanie’s Health and Lifestyle coaching visit her website at www.stephanieferisin.com

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.