Addiction

Work And Wait For It

Hello, How long have you abused you?  How long have you taken drugs, eaten like sh*t, lived a sedentary (or close to it) life, thought jacked up thoughts about yourself and everyone else, judged everything, allowed others to take advantage or taken advantage of others?  Are your firm, muscular.  Do you have quick reflexes?  Are you alert?  Do you sweat daily?  Do you have any addictions?  If you can say yes to any of the above questions you have work to do.  The work isn't temporary; it will take some time to undo what you have done so well and so consistently.

I have to remind many of my clients that it took them many years to get where they are and it will take 'some' time to get to a place that they have possibly never been or haven't been to in a long time.  In all honesty, it is amazing how quick our bodies, hearts and minds are when it comes to recovery.  A smoker can smoke for 20 years and undo a huge portion of the damage by quitting for less than a year.  Our bodies want desperately to be healthy, feel great and carry us to and fro.  As soon as we show a sign of wanting to actually care for them (our bodies), they work overtime trying to rid themselves, you, of the mess that had been compounded for years.  Think about it like a neighborhood that just keeps getting dumped on.  After years of neglect all sorts of mayhem sets in.  Critter infestations, rot, mold, mildew.  To clean up a neighborhood would take a lot more time than a week, or two.  The manpower and patience alone would be intense.  Cranes may be needed, teams of folks might volunteer to assist.  All in all it would not be an overnight fix.  It could be months before the smell of old, mildewed materials is lifted.

Our bodies are the same way.  We need to give more than two weeks, one month, 6 months to heal the damage we have done.  We have to get it out of our heads that we should feel better after a few days of ridding our daily intake of allergy causing, inflammatory substances.  You have to understand that we are a very complex system.  Our bodies cannot always get rid of the "poison" we ingest in the form of 'food, medicine and libation.  It may be a long process to get ourselves back to a point before we began the slow and methodical destruction of our bodies.  So next time you want to see immediate results from a quickie cleanse/diet/exercise routine ask yourself those same questions I asked you.  How long have you abuse you?  How long?  How long?

xo

a

Brace Your Coffee-Loving Selves

Hello there!!! As a personal trainer I am hired to help others reach various fitness goals and as a life coach I am hired to help people sort out all the rest and sometimes including fitness.  More often than not I am asked to assist with weight loss, energy levels and overall well-being.  Most people who I work with have one thing in common, and it is often what I suggest they approach first (and it is often what they say they cannot give up), they are addicted to caffeine.

I have a lot of energy, true story.  I have always been known to be active and full of life.  I attribute my energy to being generally happy and content, doing what I love, eating well and staying away from drugs.  Caffeine is the world's most popular stimulant.  4 out of 5 people in this country take caffeine daily.

Ok, you may not enjoy this part but I believe it is very key to understanding what the hell you put in your body on a regular basis.  Honestly, we wonder why we don't feel good, why we gain weight, why we are exhausted.  Let's see shall we…

Caffeine is a powerful substance.  There are a million studies that will show you all of the wonderful things that come with being addicted to coffee.  Does it make sense to be addicted to anything that is a drug?  Does it make sense to not expect people to defend its use who use it?  Don't addicts make up any reason to continue to use?  Wouldn't you try to get it at all costs.  If you were a scientist and the drug you took helped reaction time, wouldn't that be what you discussed and not the fact that it decreases iron absorption, causes gastrointestinal problems (think about the increase of coffee consumption and the amount of gastritis, colitis or stomach ulcers), causes anxiety and irritability, raises cholesterol levels, can cause insomnia and or narcolepsy, and is linked to coronary artery disease.  I haven't mentioned fertility issues and birth defects, or headaches, nausea and diarrhea. If you are interested in more info on the effects of caffeine on your health please let me know, I will give you the total low down.  Not a pretty picture people.

The other part that isn't discussed is the fact that it sucks all of the energy out of you and replaces it with fake energy only to have you crash later on.  Caffeine causes an increase, temporarily, in blood sugar, followed by a decrease.  It stimulates the release of adrenaline and causes the body tissues to turn into sugar and fat.  Too much insulin is released and the blood sugar falls.  Then you reach for that next cup…

Withdrawal sucks.  The fact that you have withdrawal, actual physical symptoms tells you just how powerful caffeine is.  It is seriously difficult to quit.  However, if you decide to, I guarantee a new world awaits!  I know, it sounds crazy, but we actually don't need outside stimulation.  Our bodies are equipped to wake up, move about and do it with feeling!  During the process and after you are off of coffee you will need to journal a bit to see how you see the world differently, how you feel, what you think.  The changes may be that you are more even keel emotionally.  You wake up easier.  You don't have tummy aches and you realize that you actually lived with having them.  You have more energy and you are suddenly RICH.  No more $5 lattes.

Look, I want you to be all that you can be… I think it may start with getting off of the junk (as a friend put it).

Good luck in your quest for wellbeing

xo

a

Find A New Love

Hi There! I love potato chips.  I love potato chips with vegan cream cheese.  Unbelievably delicious.  I have eaten my weight umpteen times over in potato chips.  I have gained weight eating my weight in potato chips.  I have stopped eating potato chips almost completely.  I don't know when I had them last.  3 months ago maybe.  I have had Pop Chips but that is the extent of my potato chip indulgence.  I feel great not being weak around potato chips and, honestly, not craving them either.

I gave them up because I was tired of eating things that didn't have a purpose.  I wanted to stop counting calories and eat what my body needed.  When we eat the foods we are meant to our bodies don't get heavy, sick, laden with fat cells.  So many of the things we eat have an ingredients list.  Often we cannot pronounce what is  in the foods we feed ourselves and our families.  It is scary.  We have been trained to look at serving size and calories.  We have to stop eating at a certain amount regardless of whether or not we are actually satiated/full because the serving size is a, b or c.  Wouldn't it make more sense to eat until we felt satisfied and not concern ourselves with the contents or calorie count?

So often I hear people say that they "could NEVER give up _________.  You can fill it in with cheese, meat, eggs, gum, candy, wine, coffee, or anything else you have heard or felt yourself.  They need to eat it.  They love the taste of blah blah blah.  I immediately think about what they are really saying.  When you say you could NEVER give something up (that isn't air, water or nutrition) I think ADDICTION.  Just an FYI.  Maybe you would prefer to always have it, but if you knew it was keeping you heavy, sluggish, irritable, weak, foggy and sick would you want to continue?  If you knew that without that thing you just needed to have, the quality of your health would increase, would the taste of that thing be enough to keep you attached to it?

Own what you do and what you eat.  Know that you have the power to let it go if it isn't serving you.  Learn about what you are eating.  See how what you put into your body affects everything.  Your moods, your nervous system, your digestion, your energy, your clarity, your ability to feel and share love are all either dulled, taxed or cleansed by the fuel you put into your body.  I am not sure how we aren't all clear on food being the number one issue in life.  When you eat something that has no life in it how do you expect it to nourish you?  When we are concerned about too much of some 'food' item being a bad thing maybe that thing needs to be looked at with an objective eye, or two.

Finding a new love around what you eat and how isn't awful.  When you align your food/fuel with what makes sense for your mind, body and soul your worry floats away.  You may find yourself wanting to sweat more, move more, and/or possibly look in the mirror more.  I have a lot of new loves that trump potato chips.  One of which is cashews and dates.  Mmm Mmm delicious.

xo

a

True North

"You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You're on your own and you know what you know.  And you are the guy who'll decide where to go."  ~Dr. Seuss Howdy!

So many of us have no idea who we are or what we want.  I have always had direction, even when it seemed like I was going in a million different directions.  Faith that I was exactly where I needed to be made it easy to accept my moments when I was in them.  Not everyone is ok with where they are and often haven't a clue about how to move on from it.

Being nosy, meddling, violating other folks' boundaries, overeating, under-eating, drugs, other addictions are signs that there is a lack of direction (as well as self-love) for some.  Being directionless can lead to relationships (with people/substances/things) being about finding that purpose, that true north in someone/something else.  It is easy to use relationships to numb out.  They take so much time and energy, they take focus and attention. Many times, due to a lack of direction, relationships become the point or focus of their world and they may begin to feel like they have the right to others' in ways that are inappropriate and lacking boundaries.  This ownership of those outside of their own person is evidence of the lack of ownership they feel internally.  Many people use relationships to avoid self growth or to dodge delving into their own wants needs.  The judgement can be so paralyzing, in fact, that they stop asking what it is they want or need… if they ever did in the first place.

Often we are judged for wanting something, for having a direct goal.  Many times we are told that what we want is wrong, bad, not a good idea, etc.  For those who believe that the judgements are true they can be devastating.  Many people without a true north find some way to numb out, either by using work, drugs, sex, food, or some other form of abuse that takes lots of time and focus off of what is actually happening for them.  They are desperately seeking their own connection to themselves by connecting to everything but. I have seen religion undermining personal growth many times.  Some religions can push people off of knowing their center, being connected to their internal knowing, and force them to look to something outside of themselves for direction, for purpose.  When you lose your true north you spend much of the time trying to find it in any way you can.  This can be a very dangerous search.

If you are finding that you haven't a clue who or where you are, call 911, amnesia may be the culprit.  If it isn't that extreme you may need to spend some time answering the questions:

What do I want right now???

How do I want to life my life?

Do I deserve to have direction?

What makes me smile, giddy, happy?

You have all the answers you need.  Enjoy yourself!

xo

a

"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."  ~John F. Kennedy

Attached To It

"Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice.  Better than knowledge is meditation.  But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace."  ~Bhagavad Gita I am all about letting go of things except for the things I want to hold on to.  I think we may all be a little like that.  I realize that we get attached to how things are, no matter how much we aren't ok with how things are.  It is amazing how you can ask the universe to change or get rid of something, shortly thereafter get what you asked for and immediately begin to mourn your loss.  We are a complicated bunch.

I coach my clients to let go and cry about it.  I coach them to embrace the feelings that they have, accept them without judgement.  I encourage myself to do the same.  Attachment happens for most of us.  We get used to just about anything we are repeatedly exposed to or that we repeatedly do.  The issue isn't the attachment necessarily (though if you could do without it then woohoo!!), it is believing that the attachment means you cannot do without it or that you won't recover without whatever it is you are attached to.  We humans will run from pain much quicker than we will run towards happiness.  So if leaving something will cause pain we will choose to stay even if happiness is assured once the attachment wanes.

What if we chose to be courageous?  What if we chose to take the feelings that we associate with loss and assign different meanings to them?  What if the pain of losing something was associated with growth, development.  What if we didn't judge the pain of detaching as bad?  We could use it as a signal that we are on the right track, that we are becoming, that we are moving forward.  Life can be challenging and exciting and whatever you decide that it is.  Challenge pushes you to change.  Shedding habits, expanding ideas, transforming yourself… this is where freedom lives.

"Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached."  ~Simone Weil

xo

a

Your Responsibility

Sweat.  Daily.  Seriously. I know that my fitness routine (my life) is sometimes daunting and to many seemingly impossible.  I am never trying to get someone to move their body as much as I do, unless they would like to.  But, movement is what life is about.  There are all kinds of ways to get a good sweat and all you need to do is try various activities to find the one that works for you.  Self-care also includes what you use to fuel your body and your mind.  These are your tasks in this life along with whatever you decide is your work (spiritual or otherwise), however, many of us refuse to accept the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and instead make excuses as to why it doesn't or isn't happening.

One of my favorite excuses to staying stuck in stillness are not having enough time.  Enough time for what?  20 minutes?  You don't have 20 minutes?  Really?  Are you being honest?  Maybe your excuse is you don't know what to do.  Ok: Jumping Jacks, Push Ups & Sit Ups - Do 20 each, 19 each, 18 each, 17 each all the way down to 1.  Now you have something to do.  Next.  You don't like exercise?  Do you like looking and feeling good?  Sometimes you have to do things that aren't fun for your own good.  Next.  Maybe you don't think that how you think about something matters.  Ask others, pay attention, see how thoughts become reality.  If this is something you already know and you feel like having to pay attention is too much work, ok.  I think that living a life that you don't like is a lot of work.  Mastering your thoughts is hard but has a much better outlook.  It is your choice of course.

Let's face it, most excuses are not valid.  At some point you will matter.  What you use for your fuel will matter.  How you think about yourself will matter.  Whether your body moves regularly or not will matter.  Imagine waking up feeling ready to go without needing an outside stimulant.  Imagine not needing 10 hours of sleep.  Imagine having energy that allows you to dance, play, sing, enjoy your entire day.  Imagine that for yourself and really see it, visualize what that person would look like, feel like, speak like.  How would that person behave.  That person is you.  It is possible, but you first have to care about how you treat you.  How you feed you.  How you move you.

One day you will begin to stop making excuses and begin living a life you never thought was possible.  One day you will expect, from yourself, the very best and, one day, you will actually be able to give it.  It feels great to hold yourself accountable, to take charge of your life and to feel great in the process.  It really does.  We have been given this wonderful life to take care of.  We have been entrusted with our selves and most of us are abusive parents.

Get started, get going, get it done.

xo

a

I'm Stuck & I Can't Get Out!!

Yo! Is there an area that you are feeling 'stuck' in at the moment.  A relationship, a situation, a job?  Do you feel like you don't have any good options for getting 'unstuck' so you must stay put?

You are never 'stuck' in a situation.  You may choose to stay somewhere, unpleasant or not.  When you deny that you are choosing where you are you miss out on being in charge of your life and owning the lessons that are designed specifically for you.  Whether it be work or love, being stuck is never true.  In reality we stay where we are because it serves us in some way or another.  When we are finished we are finished.  There is little that can be done when anyone has had enough.

I have had many jobs in my life and some I have loved and others I have loathed.  I have felt like I hadn't a choice, whether it was due to 'needing' the money or feeling responsible for my duties at the position.  I have spent long hours working for someone else's dream and resenting the lack of praise or support.  I have felt like I 'had' to do something and didn't have a choice.  I have been a victim in my own mind.  In reality, I was where I wanted to be.  As soon as I was done with a job that was no longer serving me the choice to leave came quickly and there was no wavering.  I was happy to move on without much care.  The same can be said for relationships for me.  Not that I don't care, but when I am no longer in a place where I am being nourished in some way survival instinct kicks in and the choice to leave becomes clear and doable.

Where are you feeling stuck?  Look at the situation/relationship and be honest about what you are getting out of it.  Maybe it is attention.  Maybe it is hope.  Maybe it is status.  Maybe it is money.  Regardless of what it is, knowing and owning it changes everything.  Once you admit that you are doing what you do on purpose you can, on purpose, do something else… when you are ready.

xo

a

Life is Movement

Howdy, When you stop growing you die.  Life ends when movement ceases.  Many of us search for stillness, for a reprieve from growth.  We use all sorts of things to basically numb, slow down, shut out, or to simply stop movement in any direction.  We look for security, stability, predictability.  We look for people to be enable us and call them 'kind' or 'loving' when they do.  I don't consider helping someone stay in an addictive behavior as being kind or loving.  Anyone who comes into my world will be challenged in the exact way they need to be.

"We find comfort among those who agree with us-growth among those who don't." ~Frank A. Clark

I am challenged every day.  I am challenged to do what I know to be the thing that I must do at any given moment.  I live purposefully and passionately.  I grow moment by moment.  I feel differences on a regular basis and I appreciate the 'struggle' that brings me to new territory within myself.  It is work, growth.  It is constant effort that can be attributed to growth.  Growth isn't about being still.  It is about movement.  It is about life.  Think about how we are created.  It isn't through holding of a hand or a touching on a shoulder.  There is movement that brings about life and movement that keeps it going.   Movement is key to life.

"All growth depends upon activity.  There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work."  ~Calvin Coolidge

I challenge people (and myself) to own their present situation.  To look at their habitual behaviors and discern whether or not those behaviors are actually helping them reach their goals.  I challenge people to actually look at themselves without the niceties of "being nice" and "being soft" in order to not hurt feelings.  Sometimes feelings need to be hurt in order for growth to be sparked.  Besides, when someone get's hurt it is information.  So often where there is pain there is truth.

Look into yourself, be honest.  See the places where you are 'stuck' or repeating patterns.  Watch yourself play the same tapes over and over in your head.  Do you want to remain here… this place or do you want to grow, move, live?

"I will grow  I will become something new and grand, but no grander than I now am.  Just as the sky will be different in a few hours, its present perfection and completeness is not deficient, so am I presently perfect and not deficient because I will be different tomorrow.  I will grow and I am not deficient."  ~Wayne Dyer

xo

a

Needs & Preferences

"Happiness happens when your consciousness is not dominated by addictions and demands--and you experience life as a parade of preferences" ~Ken Keyes, Jr. We tend to believe that our way is the way and that anyone doing it differently is wrong.  Our addiction to how we do things (and that is what it is) tends to lead us down a road of struggle, conflict, unease and unhappiness.  When you need something to be a certain way there isn't much space for it to be different and for you to be ok.  How many times do you get what you need when dealing with people who aren't you?  How often are you feeling offended that your needs aren't being met?  Whose responsibility is it to meet your needs?

Where does love come into play?  How do you love others when you want them to be other than what they are?  When you aren't ok with what is, what's happening for you?  Generally your emotional programming is being disturbed when the external world doesn't conform to your internal programming/conditioning.  When you let go of needing or being addicted to having things be a certain way you begin to see things as they are and simply, that they are.  You begin to see that we are all doing what we need to be doing, regardless of your own values and beliefs.  You begin to see how we are all creating the world we live in, whether it be based on acceptance, love, or addictions.

Where can you let go of the need to control what other people do or do not do?  How can you find the love and acceptance for yourself and then let that spill out to others?  How can preferences replace needs in your world?

Work from the inside out.  :)

xo

a