Unpack the mental baggage.

Woman-meditating-on-the-beach-at-sunrise

One of the most important things we can do to take care of ourselves, and in turn others, is to mentally “unpack”. Humans get jammed up with the everyday tasks, to do lists, problems and whatever else is taking up space in our heads. In order to function with clarity and walk with more confidence and grace we need to unwind and clear our heads.

Meditation is a wonderful way of doing this. I heard someone recently compare it to when you delete items from your phone or computer and it starts running a lot faster. A brilliant analogy. But, there are many other ways to accomplish this that you may find more effective. I am not that good at mediation. I try to do it for a 10 minutes (even 2 minutes makes a difference) each night but sometimes that doesn’t happen or I just can’t seem to relax enough to get into the zone.

Here are some other ways you can “mentally unpack” that might be helpful:

  1. Yoga. Focusing on different poses and breath work help to get your mind focused.
  2. Read a good novel. This is fairly simple, but getting your mind hooked on an intriguing story can make you forget about life’s problems.
  3. Acupuncture. Many people I’ve spoken to who have trouble with meditation find acupuncture to be a great alternative.
  4. Cooking. Find a recipe that you’ve never tried before and throw yourself into the process of making it.
  5. Exercise. My tried and true method, when all else fails getting in a good workout always makes me feel better about the world.

Practicing gratitude toward yourself.

img_5377I read this article yesterday on embracing your body and loving yourself just the way you are. We expect so much from ourselves and others. Often we want others to love us “just the way we are” but have trouble loving everything about ourselves, including our imperfections. We put ourselves down, body and soul. It’s human nature to be hardest on oneself which serves the purpose of helping us to be better people. But, as important as it is to try to be better, it’s equally important to love yourself.

The biggest inspiration for me to love myself and be confident in who I am is my children. I think about what I want for them and how I want them to feel. More than anything, I want them to have the utmost appreciation for who they are, where they come from, what they have to offer the world and most of all, to be confident. In order to teach them to be this way I realize I need to practice these skills myself.

A good way to kick off your day with confidence is to take a few minutes to appreciate YOU, body, mind and soul. Here are some mantras you can say to yourself when you wake up in the morning to kick-start your day with confidence:

  1. I am enough.  I do enough,  I have enough.
  2. I love myself. I am a beautiful, unique spirit. There is no one else quite like me.
  3. I let my happiness be visible to others. My happiness overflows from me. I can use my happiness to bring joy to others.
  4. I thank my body for taking such good care of me today. It is perfect and takes such good care of me.
  5. My body is a gift and I love and appreciate it just the way it is.

How do you practice appreciating yourself?

xo,

Hil

 

Week 2 of the 8 to Great Slim Down Challenge!

How did week 1 go for you ladies? As a review, I asked you to count calories, find opportunities to squeeze exercise into your day and performing a tabata circuit that I provided to you 3 times a day for at least 2 days this week (admittedly this was a tough one to accomplish as getting through it once was difficult for me).

Last weeks challenge was about self-awareness. Counting calories shows you how much you are actually consuming per day and hopefully will help you find places that you can cut back. Finding new ways to squeeze exercise in your day is a great way to get into the habit of thinking of opportunities for you to get fit. And the tabata challenge was to show you that you can get an intense workout in a short period of time, and once you get started it’s easier to keep going. You just have to start!

Week 2:

1) Eat breakfast. Many people skip breakfast, including myself when I’m in a rush! Before I had children I skipped breakfast regularly. Now I realize how important it is to keeping me energized, less anxious and content throughout my day. The weight loss benefits of eating breakfast are that it kick starts your metabolism and will diminish overall hunger throughout the day.

Of course I want you to choose a healthy breakfast. An example, whole wheat toast, organic preserves, eggs whites, fruit, yogurt and granola.

2) Meditate for at least 2 minutes per day. This will provide you more clarity, awareness, good sense and the ability to take pause when necessary (like when you’re reaching for that cupcake). If you are thinking to yourself that you cannot find the time or place to meditate that is absolutely not true. That’s why I posted a picture of a woman in a board room meditating, obviouly I don’t expect you to so this but the point is that you can find the time and place to clear your head for two minutes. No excuses!

If you need pointers check out my post on how to meditate here.

3) Workout. This weeks routine is going to be another Tabata circuit. In fact all of them are and it should get easier for you each week as your strength builds and you see the pounds come off. I want you to perform this circuit at least 3 times this week, that’s the only way you will begin to see results.

This weeks routine has a focus on your thighs, booty and arms. However, all of my routines will be full body workouts.

To review, I want you to perform each move in this circuit for 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for a set of 4. A total of 2 full minutes for each move.  The entire circuit will take 10 minutes. After 10 minutes rest for 2 minutes then repeat the circuit if you can. Try to repeat it up 3 times. Remember that this is a great calorie burning session so push yourself!

1) Skaters. Modifications: Jump side to side for more intensity, if you would like less intensity step it.

2) Push ups. Modifications: For less intensity out your knees on the ground, for more intensity knees off the ground and try and lift one leg up for 10 seconds and then switch for 10.

After these 2 moves rest for one full minute and move on…

3) Jumping lunges. Modifications: Remove the jump and simply step and lunge.

jump lunge

4) Side to side planks.  Modification: Bring the plank to your knees and simply hold it for 20 seconds on one side, switch sides for the next 20 second interval.

side-plank-turn-400x400
That it! Good luck everybody! And let me know if you have any questions about diet or exercise at Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.
 
Xx,
Hilary Ann Lambert

Basics of weight loss…

 

I’m really excited to get started on our “8 to Great” slim down challenge starting this Saturday! To gear up for 2 months of intensely focused health & wellness, I wanted to go over a few basic facts about weight loss.

1) Start by counting calories. This is not something you need to do forever, but it’s a good way to gauge how much you’re actually consuming. When you realize your calorie intake per day you will be encourage to cut back on some things.

How many calories a day should you be consuming to lose weight? Here are some numbers that will be helpful for you to achieve your goal:  1,200 / day = 15 pounds, 1,500 /day = 10 pounds, 1,800 / day = 5 pounds

2) Recognize your “triggers”. For example, I always want sweets at night-time after I’ve put the kids to bed. Many a night I have devoured a large ice cream sundae as a way of “rewarding” myself for getting through the day. I know this is a tough time for me so I need to figure ways of combatting it. Sometimes I actually just go to sleep in order to avoid tempation! And that’s perfectly fine, I get good rest and wake up feeling great that I didn’t eat a ton of calories in sugar the night before.

Here are some ideas on how to control binges: 

Workout instead. Go to the gym, take a walk, perform some yoga poses to get your mind off of food.

Meditation. This practice is so good for you for so many reasons, check out my post on the benefits here. One being that it’s a way of clearing your head of distractions, like food.

Substitute. Find foods that are healthy and low in fat, calories and sugar to substitute the unhealthy craving. Since I have such a sweet tooth I’ve been buying a lot of dried fruit to keep in my house when I’m itching for something sweet. Dried cranberries, mango and pineapple are delicious and satisfying.

2) Invest in a food scale. I know it sounds daunting, but weighing things like fruits, vegetables and meat are a good idea to know exactly how much you are consuming.

3) Get a pedometer. Start implementing some moderate exercise into your day. A good way to know you’re getting the right amount of exercise is by having a pedometer on you to keep track of your steps. It’s suggested that you take 10,000 steps per day to maintain good cardiovascular health and burn a fair amount of calories.

4) Plan ahead. Many people want to lose weight for a special event and attempt to crash diet and rely on very unhealthy ways of losing weight in order to do so. Here’s an idea, plan ahead! Look at your calendar and see what you have coming up so you can be prepared for those times when you want to look especially fit. Crash diets play a number on your health and have a very negative affect on your metabolism.

5) Prepare yourself to make permanent changes. It’s been said over and over again that if you want to lose weight and keep it off you need to make lifestyle changes.

The next 8 weeks I’m going to show you ways to live a healthier, thinner and happier life. These are all suggestions that if taken seriously and implemented into your daily activities as “habits” will make you look and feel your best everyday.

Do you have anything to add to this list? Do you have any questions for me or my nutrition consultant before we begin our 8 week slim down? 

 

A great way to start your day happens the night before…

Meditating By The Sea

Meditation is so important to help maintain balance, patience and happiness in our everyday lives. It only takes a few minutes to get some of the benefits. I’ve been meditating for about 5 minutes before bed every night the past few weeks and it has made a huge difference in how I feel in the morning. I feel more energy, less stress and not as much negativity or mental blockage.

If you’re new to the process of meditating here are a few tips:

1) Pay attention to posture. Sit straight up in a chair or on the floor with legs crossed.

2) Eyes open. The inclination is to close our eyes but it’s easier to stay focused when your eyes are open. Pick a spot on the wall and keep your eyes pinned.

3) Pay attention to your breath. Breath in and out slowly, focusing on your breath. When your mind wanders bring it back to the feel and sound of you breathing.

When I meditate I imagine myself in a place like a desert or a forest with no one else around me. I have no needs or wants. I’m not hot or cold, not hungry or thirsty, I have no pain and for that matter no joy. It’s a state of complete peace.

For more tips on how to meditate successfully check out this article from Good Life Zen.

Do you have some tips to add? How often do you meditate and for how long? How does it make you feel?

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert