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Ever regret a quick judgment? I created an opinion about an entire genre of books without actually reading one. I felt that I barely had the time to read anything for myself, so if I did choose a book, it was NOT going to be anything surrounding self-help, self-improvement or self-reflection. I was totally content with everything, so why read about making my life better?

Um, maybe that perspective should have been my first hint not to judge it?

I knew I wanted to make changes to the outside of my body, but did not think there was anything that needed to be changed on the inside (hint #2). I considered myself a generally positive person and was not seeking to change anything about how I saw things (hint #3) because the path I was on couldn't really change much (seriously....the hints were everywhere!). I just wanted the answers to feeling better without doing the digging or the work (hint #5 and perhaps the reason no attempts lasted long term).

I kept hearing certain titles recommended in my online accountability group and decided I would try one just to see the hype. It didn't take long before I felt like the authors were speaking directly to me and the "A-HA!" moments flooded my mind!

For the first time, I was thinking about the WHY behind my mindset.

Why did I always have self-doubt?

Why did I think everything had to be one way?

Why did I have to stay on the sidelines?

A few years and dozens of books later - I am hooked! I listen while I run, while I unload the groceries, drive on my own, etc. or read a chapter each night (because there is something about holding a book in my hands that I just love). There's so many strategies, tips, suggestions, thought prompts, ideas and connections in these gems that can spark a new fire inside anyone willing to be open to the flame.

Here's what I have learned and why I can't get enough of the personal development genre:

1. We need to think about our thinking.

As an educator, I tried to foster a love of learning in my students and do the same now for my son. Why not practice the same passion for myself? Our lives are too busy to pause and reflect on our own, but when prompted, we can finally touch upon the realizations of why we cycle through the same habits, repeat negative self-talk and make assumptions about ourselves that we would NEVER even think about someone else. Instead of accepting the automatic routines & responses, perhaps we can roll up our sleeves and find out why we repeat the ones that no longer serve us? Maybe we can find ways to start new trends that can make us feel more empowered?

2. It's important to know we are not alone.

I assumed I was the only one struggling to find a set of health habits that worked. I thought I must be busier than most or less equipped to succeed. I thought I was the only one that doubted myself or wanted to make changes. I thought I was the only one who doubted her role as a mom or who struggled to find the new version of myself in motherhood. I thought I was alone because I was not entering the conversations where people were discussing them. I was avoiding what I didn't want to do the work to change. However, in reading more, I began to take comfort in hearing other women share their stories and solutions for rising up to make a change.

3. Outside change comes from inside change.

We repeat when we don't reflect. Remember how I said I just wanted the answers? Someone to just tell me what I should do to feel better and fit in my jeans again. Well, that was working under the assumption that there would be only one answer for everyone. There is not. Navigating our own paths to health is an active process - you cannot be the bystander. It involves us being a part of our own journeys and doing the work. It's the reflections and the questions that we are asked that allow us to build the solutions that will work for us and stop the patterns of the past. They repeat for a reason. When I began to pinpoint the emotional food triggers, the standard set of automatic behaviors, the food culture that surrounded me, the self-talk that cycled (whether true or false) in my head, etc. I began to reprogram my life. What had always been did not have to continue if I didn't want it to do so.

I never wanted to spend reading time on me because I felt guilty - like I should be using it to be a better teacher or be a better mom or fill the time to check off a to-do list. But, now it's easier to see, that had I started this work earlier, it could have led to teaching my students some of the same strategies I learned or further helping them reframe the words they use about themselves. I have actually improved my parenting through spending the time improving myself. Starting sooner would have helped me explore my own thinking, strengths and habits earlier in my career...which would have allowed me to use those skills to be even stronger for all my people.

I was living in an automatic state, rather than a purposeful one, because it seemed easier that way. But easy doesn't change lives. I think I read that somewhere. xo

I hear from the most amount of people on Mondays. I started to study the trend of what they would share and what they were reaching out to me to change, so I could better understand why this was happening. There seemed to be a pattern emerging in their messages to me - though from various backgrounds, locations, age groups and levels of fitness. Mondays have become the New Year's Day of every week and here's my take on why this is happening based on what I hear.

1. Monday is a clear start line.

You can actually start to make a change ANY day, but Monday always seems clear and definitive to people. It sits at the beginning of a new week filled with hope and possibility that the changes she wants to see and feel can begin before the next weekend (Ahh, the weekend, this will lead to reason #2). I will often hear her say that she wants to use the week ahead to set up for success. She wants to schedule time for herself, learn the tools and go into the week with a positive mindset surrounding her actions.

2. The weekends are spiraling.

She is usually in between weekends away, birthday parties, company arriving, or general kids' sports schedule nightmare. Monday is her chance to breathe and think about what she wants for herself. In that pause, she realizes that she is on the go, but not GOING where she wants for her health. She comes up for air from the planning and the doing to reach out for help and can already feel the relief when I tell her she CAN make changes while doing all the things for all the people.

Want to use Monday to make a change? Email

3. She is tired of waking up tired.

Monday has a reputation for being Fun Sunday's boring cousin. The routine and predictability starts again with her hearing that alarm and the deep exhale needed to rise up out of bed. She will share that she is tired of feeling like she needs to constantly fuel with caffeine to manage the week. Her food choices are catching up to her energy levels and she is feeling the changes. She will say how she is done waiting for another week of alarms to pass and ready to start taking action instead.

4. Someone shared hope.

This is what did it for me and I have heard it do the same for many other women. She came across something on the weekend - a social media post, a news story, a chat with a friend, an excerpt from a book (....or even a blog post) that inspires her to believe in the possibility that habits CAN change. She heard another "real life" woman share struggles that sounded familiar to her own or explain an approach to health that is working and could do the same for her busy life. She saw a friend who is feeling better and doing more and wants to feel the same way. Something spoke to her and sparked the idea that comfort is not the only option. She is feeling inspired by what she saw/read/heard, but is not quite sure how to make it work. But, she believes, that this Monday will be the one where she begins to change her life.

Any person asking: "So, what do you do for a living?"

Me: "I'm a health coach for women."

*person asking stares blankly*

And that is only the beginning.

It was easy to tell someone my job when I was a classroom teacher. It had a clear title that both of us could visualize and understand. Follow-up questions were typically that about subject, grade level, school and/or how many years I had been practicing the craft. Super simple convo and I felt proud to have it because I worked hard to become that teacher.

Then I wasn't in the classroom anymore. So, now who am I?

The initial element of awkwardness with my new response came from me. In the beginning, I was unsure of my ability to be this person for others and knew that it was out of character from my habits of the past. I feared that those that knew me would judge my mentorship thinking these actions were temporary and I feared those who just met me would assume I must not be qualified because I hadn't been practicing it very long.

Honestly, I would have thought the same thing.

I had never even heard of this job prior to starting my journey and didn't know much about what it looked like other than what I was seeing on Instagram. What I DID know was that I had transformed my routine, my habits, my mindset and my health by gaining control of portions and incorporating movement into my day. I was reading personal development books and, for the first time, did not want to sit on the sidelines of life anymore. I was more focused and mindful of my habits and feeling a new sense of gratitude for taking control of my health. I knew that the programs I used work, I knew that they were manageable for other busy ladies, and I knew I felt better using them. I also knew I wanted to teach other women how to overcome the same fears and excuses I had prior to starting. I knew I had the skills to teach, so why couldn't I learn more about this content with these new students and turn my accountability group into a classroom of trust and positivity mixed with real life? I did the work. I kept showing up for myself and those I mentored.

Person: "Oh, so you only sell shakes and take selfies?"

Me: "Not quite."

I went past just showing the products that work for me and took a deep dive into learning the process. I researched and found out there was an emerging community of health coaches who helped women build better habits. They met with clients in person or online via video chats to help them build plans and stay accountable. The American Council of Exercise defines the multi-faceted role of a health coach to include things like teaching "practical and effective strategies... to facilitate lifestyle change" and " others take charge of their health." BOOM! THAT is what I wanted to do because it changed my life and I knew it could change others too.

I got my certification to better teach the "why" behind my strategies and became a certified personal trainer, then received my certificate for health coaching. I learned that health coaching can increase success for women to achieve and keep their goals. There are many tools to choose from and ways to do it - I can share what works for me, but it's more important we find what works for her. As for the selfies, I meet so many women who can't find a single picture of themselves in recent years. My own son's first year of photos is missing his mother in many because I didn't want to be seen. I work with each woman to love who she sees in the mirror and put herself back in those pictures to capture the moments and stories of this chapter of her life.

Let's go back to the kind soul asking what I do. I don't blame her for one second when she stares blankly or takes what she sees on social media as the total definition. Many people are unaware a health coach exists - or how they could be the missing ingredient to less stress and more success with health.

Seeing as we are usually on a playground, in a store or out for drinks when this comes up - I don't get into the all the research or definitions - this is already turned more awkward than she expected when she asked. I tell her that I help busy women exercise, eat healthier & feel better. I tell her that I am just as focused on helping women gain confidence as I am with helping them lose weight.

This usually hits home with her.

Sometimes it causes her to explain why she isn't currently exercising or she starts to speak negatively about herself, her weight or her capabilities.

Person asking *holds up plate, cocktail, coffee drink, etc.*: "This is my cheat day."

I have come to realize that women too often assume another woman is going to judge - especially when you tell them that you coach women on health habits. But that's not me or my approach. I find a way to help steer the conversation away from anything negative about herself - I may not be her coach in that moment, but I will not participate in her beating herself up. This didn't happen when my response was that I was a teacher? But health and self-love have been a complex journey full of lots of emotions for many women...I get it.

I will always understand that life is crazy. I will always connect with the woman who is trying to be a "good mom" or "good wife" or "good ______" by spending less time/money/energy on what she wants for herself. I will always understand when she tells me that she feels stuck because this is the way it has always been. I will always be able to feel exactly what she means when she explains how she knows she needs to make a change, but doesn't know where to start. I will always know that was ME before I took the first step.

And if the conversation goes that deep, I will remind her that I am here to help her do just that. Make a change, feel a change, keep a change. THAT is my job. If you're expecting a judge, I'm not your girl.

I try to make it a teachable moment to share with more people about this resource that I know works to make lasting changes. The same way we seek help for anything else in our lives, we should not feel shame for asking for help with our health. I share this opportunity any chance I get so that women will know it is out there (whether she ever works with me or not) and that she doesn't need to walk the path alone as I assumed for so long. And then, maybe, she will share it with her sister, mom, friends, etc. the next time she hears someone that she loves is struggling to make health habits work.

Awkwardness often stems from something being hard to deal with, insecurities or feeling embarrassed. I don't ever want a woman to feel any of those ways about herself, her confidence or working with a health coach. I want her to feel supported, powerful and in control of her path.

THAT is my job. And I love it.

Thank you! Happy to prep & plan with you! 

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