September 2010

In the spirit of David Letterman:

10. It’s perfectly acceptable for me to wear yoga or running clothes to meet with my clients.

9.  I get to spend my days sharing my passion for health and wellness with others.

8. It is incredibly inspiring and satisfying to watch clients achieve their wellness goals.

7. I now have an excuse to do as much yoga as I want.

6. I love helping others find solutions to their health and fitness challenges.

5. Did I mention, I get to wear yoga pants to client appointments?

4. It’s really fun to watch clients’ attitudes and approaches to health and wellness evolve over time. I have commented to more than one that s/he has become lighter–literally and figuratively.

3. I feel as though I’m truly helping to improve the quality of the lives of others.

2. Did I mention how comfortable yoga pants are?

1. My clients are amazing individuals and I feel blessed to be part of their journey to wellness.

Be well!


Disclaimer: If you find time to workout regularly, this blog is not for you. Keep on doing what you’re doing. This one’s for those of us who sometimes can’t find time for it.

During a recent midday visit, a client shared with me that she was failing (her word, not mine) at meeting her exercise goals. “The plan was to workout this morning, but I ended up at the doctor’s office,” she explained. “After meeting you, I pick up the kids. So there goes today. Another day I didn’t get a workout in.”

In her mind, her opportunity for exercise had passed. This amazing woman was feeling like a failure because the picture she held in her mind of a “workout” was not always fitting into her life.

Failure? Absolutely not! All she needed was a little nudge to think about exercise differently.

Another client’s wellness plan includes starting a running program. She told me recently that she needs to give up that goal because her schedule only allows running once a week. Her thought was that since progress would be slow, there was no point in starting.

Does slow progress cancel out the benefits of exercise? Absolutely not! When it comes to exercise (and most things wellness-related) something is better than nothing. And, when we’re coming from a place of no exercise or none of a particular exercise, adopting a more gradual approach allows our bodies (and our minds and schedules) more time to adjust to the new activity.

We’re all busy. Finding an hour block of time three or more times a week isn’t always easy or even possible (especially when we aren’t accustomed to doing so). Why set yourself up to fail? Instead, shift your thinking from “workout” to physical activity and try to incorporate some into every day. Most of us–even on our busiest of days–can squeeze an extra 20 minutes out of our day. Twenty minutes a day seven days a week will get you 140 minutes of exercise/activity per week. An hour three times a week will only get you 120.

While building endurance is certainly a goal, a “workout” doesn’t have to happen within one block of time–it can be broken down into smaller more manageable time spans. It also doesn’t have to involve a gym, running or exercise equipment. Perhaps a 15-minute walk in the morning and another at the end of the day. Or walking the stairs for 10 minutes over your lunch hour and taking a short walk with your spouse in the evening. Maybe some sit-ups in the morning and shooting hoops or playing Wii with the kids in the afternoon. Walk with a friend or coworker rather than meeting for coffee or drinks.

Once you start examining your day with an eye for activity, you’ll likely find lots of opportunities. One client has mastered this. She recently decided to park farther away from an event than she normally would have. Not only did she get a 15-minute walk in before and after the event, she saved money on parking too!

In the case of the client who was feeling like a workout failure, we determined some physical activities she could do with her children on days she isn’t able to exercise while they are at school–walking to the park, walking while the kids bike, and playing physical games with them. While these activities may not meet the exercise time and intensity goals she originally set for herself, they will undoubtedly help her become a healthy, active person. And, perhaps more importantly, will keep her from feeling like she’s failed at exercise.

Progress, rather than perfection, is the goal. Success is not dependent on how quickly you reach your health and wellness goals, but on whether you stick with them regardless of how long it takes. How will you incorporate activity into your day?

Be well!

Here I am. Turning my passion for health and wellness into a career as a wellness coach and consultant. Sharing what I’ve learned from my own struggles, breakthroughs and training, along with the experiences of my wellness clients. I welcome you to my journey and specifically to my blog.

I’m guessing that at some point each of my clients will recognize him/herself here (although wellness coaching is completely confidential and I would never share identifying details). In some cases, they will be correct. More often though, the experience or situation I’m describing could apply to any number of folks. The fact is we all struggle with many of the same challenges in our quest for health and wellness: time, money, lack of information, lack of energy, information overload, less than supportive partners and overall high stress to name just a few.

Much of what I’ve learned about wellness comes from my own experiences. Fortunately (and in some cases, unfortunately) I have a lot of experience in the area–from being a chubby middle-schooler to struggling with eating disorders in my teens and early 20s to getting healthy and fit only to lose  track of it after becoming a new mother. What I know is that I am happiest in ALL areas of my life when I am fit. I feel the least stressed when I am fit. I have better relationships with myself AND others when I am fit. I believe I do better work when I am fit. And, I believe that nobody can afford NOT to find the time to be healthy and fit. After all if you’re not healthy, nothing–job, money, house, family–can be fully enjoyed.

Through the years, I experimented with all kinds of diet and exercise programs before finding what works for me.  I believe finding what works for you is key. What works for me may not work for you. As a coach, my job is to help you determine what works best for you and support and motivate your implementation.

In addition to my own experiences in the area, I have read hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books on the subject, have participated in many workshops and seminars, am a RYT-200 yoga instructor, and recently completed training through the Wellcoach Institute. Despite my knowledge and experience, I continue to explore,  learn and evolve.

I welcome and thank you for joining me on my journey. I hope you enjoy the blog, learn something new from time to time, and progress on your path to wellness. I would love to know what you think, so please leave a comment. And, most importantly, be well!