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Episode 37 – Incorporating Your Brain into Strength Training

Today, Christa welcomes her new fitness buddy, Mehul Parekh. While searching the Oregon Entrepreneur’s Network for connection opportunities with other fitness centers, Mehul came across Fitlandia, and thought, “How can you go wrong with a name like that?!” He connected with Christa and they decided to collaborate on a podcast to talk about how to incorporate your brain into your strength training workout.

 

Mehul is the owner of Bridgetown Brain and Body in Portland, Oregon. He gave Christa a private training session where they focused on the brain and muscle connection during the workout. She calls the session, “mind blowing” and encourages us to work to reframe how we think of strength training – especially for those of us just getting started.

Mehul’s Philosophies

  • injury-prevention
  • how to connect the brain to the body
  • a technique to prevent future injury

“What we’re learning more and more now in physical therapy, chiropractic circles and occupational therapy circles is that rehabbing injuries cannot just be a bottom-up approach,” says Mehul.

“There needs be brain involvement in how to activate muscles to make a lasting effect.”

Traditional physical therapies techniques might include:

  • Movement of injured or limited muscles/limbs
  • Holding something heavy (building strength)
  • Stretching (increasing mobility)
  • Botox injections (loosening muscles)

These therapies can be good, but changes in the physical body won’t be permanent until we connect the brain to the body. In strength training, you can strengthen the muscle all you want, but there is neurological component that needs to be incorporated. It’s necessary to include the brain to create a new neural pathway so we don’t slip back into old patterns. It is a whole-body experience when we connect the brain and the body in strength training.

What’s Different About a Brain and Body Workout? (vs. a conventional personal trainer)

  • Not exhausted afterwards (refreshed instead!)
  • No shouting, no drill sergeant, no platitudes
  • Not a no-holds barred generic one-hour session
  • Not the adage of “no pain, no gain”

The main concern with strength training in most gyms is that people are just given workouts – there is no consideration of long term progression and no planning about how the workout may affect your day.

What we do in the gym is supposed to be a carry-over effect for the rest of the day, it’s not supposed to be the end of it. There is no point to a workout if you can’t move afterwards.

It’s important to understand and be respectful of your body when working out, even when training hard. If you’re trying to break a personal record with a certain lift or squat, then it may be necessary to limit other moves on a specific day or when our bodies are giving indications that today might not be the best day.

Christa incorporates Ayurvedic principles with her workouts, and is a Pitta dosha means that she enjoys a good, hard workout. And even though this is her tendency and it feels good, she stays mindful and respectful of her body’s condition.

The Mark of a Good Trainer

  1. Has a fitness plan (no ad-libbing)
  2. Is flexible (mindful of energy and mobility levels)
  3. Crafts a workout for the individual
  4. Focused on injury prevention

Mehul’s e-book, Shattered!, is available for download at his website, and talks about how strength training stalls out, plateaus occur and how to break through them.

Basic Tips for Engaging Your Brain While Strength Training

  1. Short workout (bursts of exercise, 20-25 minutes daily)
  • Sessions with weights should be 46 minutes or less
  • Accomplishing a goal delivers a dopamine rush
  • Brings a sense of accomplishment
  • Helps overcome addiction cravings
  • Elevates moods, lessens depression
  1. Visualize your workout
    • Engaging in visualization of workout (even without doing it) gives a muscle-building benefit
    • Mind-zoning technique (getting brain engaged as a blueprint)
  2. Range of motion
    • Are you moving? Or are you moving a weight?
    • Greater neurological effect when you’re moving yourself through space (a push up, a squat)
  3. Changing workouts on a regular basis – incorporating a new move
    • Central nervous system burns more sugar when its learning something new
    • Helps with body recomposition and weight loss

The honeymoon period of weight lifting and resistance training is the first six to eight week – this is when strength is rapidly building. There is a neurological reaction caused by a more efficient recruitment of the fibers and the sensory and motor planning systems in the brain are working harder. This levels off after this time period and then it’s time to incorporate more moves which involve a full-range of joint and muscle movements.

FINAL TIPS

  1. Strength is a skill. Thinking about it from a skill-building perspective will change how you workout. Skills take time to learn. Practice consistent, short bursts of application to build the skill in your brain and in your body.
  2. Let go of soreness as a benchmark for a good workout. Get over the “it has to hurt” mentality. Soreness is a horrible indicator of a good workout.
  3. Create the lifestyle to meet your goals instead of focusing on the goal and not the lifestyle.
  4. Strength training is most beneficial when done 3-4 times a week.
  5. Eat healthy food every day – for LIFE!

Mehul is coming onboard as one of Fitlandia’s expert practitioners. Look for him in future podcasts as he’ll surely be posting all types of great videos and workout advice.

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday! Share your comments in a review and we’ll feature you in an upcoming podcast.

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Episode 36 – Stories of Transformation: Jeneen

Jeneen Haven – Another Inspiring Story of Transformation

Real people making real like changes and delivering strategies and tips. Jeneen found Fitlandia on Facebook as she was looking a support group that aligned with her beliefs of eating whole food, not a diet club, or anything fad-like. She joined the Fitlandia FB group and connected with Christa. Jeneen now works as a holistic health coach and shares her journey of weight loss and what she has discovered along the way about herself and her relationship with food.

Jeneen’s Transformation Journey

Over 10 years ago, Jeneen and her family moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Boise, ID to start a business. She encountered winter for the first time, the challenges of entrepreneurship and a life that felt out of control. She realized that the one thing she had control over was herself. She weighed 230 pounds, felt embarrassed and ashamed; like she didn’t belong or wasn’t good enough to be with the other moms at her children’s school or at church. It was at that moment she decided that she was done being fat. Jeneen took an honest look at herself and acknowledged that she was obese.

She bought a YMCA membership, made a green smoothie daily, dropped the older kids at school each day and went directly to the gym. She checked her younger ones into daycare and hit the treadmill daily. Jeneen didn’t like the treadmill, but she did like “Law and Order” – and would watch the hour-long show before exiting the machine to get her children from daycare. They would then eat a healthy lunch, vegetable snacks in the afternoon, and a plant-based, protein evening meal with the entire family. She repeated this routine for ten months and dropped 80 pounds. There was no magic – just positive, healthy changes.

Jeneen’s Beliefs Around Food

  • Food is love
  • We celebrate with food
  • It’s a way to connect with her children
  • Being a good mother by baking homemade goods
    • Sweet rolls
    • Sugar cookies
    • Granola with honey, oats wheat flour and dried berries
    • Calorie-dense foods
    • Grain-based diet

Jeneen’s health transformation came when she let go of grains and began emphasizing veggies instead. Christa reminds us to, “Make every plate 50-75% vegetables, whether you are eating paleo, vegan or Whole 30.” And the importance of limiting fruits – it’s not the adage of “eat your fruits and vegetables,” its now, eat your vegetables and occasionally some fruit. The fructose in fruits can easily be stored as fat unless we are moving enough to actually burn the sugar.

Your Family Should be Your “Why” and Not Your “Why Not”

For years, Jeneen used her family and being a mom as an excuse not to take care of herself.

“How can I put my kids in daycare?”

“How can I not bake for my kids?”

“How can I not decorate cookies on Valentine’s Day?”

“How can I be so selfish?”

Using Weight as a Protective Shield

Jeneen’s feelings of not being as good, as pretty, or as organized as the other moms were the beliefs that kept her obese. The weight created a buffer to take herself out of the comparison with other women/moms who she felt she didn’t stack up against.

Jeneen’s mother is obese and growing up she felt a connection with her at a core level. She had fear that her mother wouldn’t love her if she lost weight and changed “tribes.”

Lasting Changes

Once Jeneen started to experience the increased confidence and freedom of releasing the weight, she could reap all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle; a few of them include:

  • Shopping for clothes in regular stores
  • Eating healthy and exercising to get off medications
  • Endorphins kicking in
  • Exercise increased from walking to weight lifting = feeling strong!

Christa gives a shout-out to resistance training, which supports the brain on so many levels. The benefit we women get with developing our strength and our muscles is so amazing.

Not Feeling Deprived

During Jeneen’s weight loss journey, she allowed herself a weekly treat of boneless buffalo wings. After eating healthy all week, she and a girlfriend would meet and share a basket of wings. This helped her to stay on track while enjoying the social connection with her good friend. She also had a weekly date night with her husband and she would choose a salad and protein. These activities were a testimony that she could still enjoy foods she loved, but in the right proportion.

There are general guidelines that create the highest level of success for most people, but then it’s about creating a lifestyle and an eating plan that works for life.

It’s important to understand what works for you and what your triggers are

Emotions Drive Specific Cravings

Angry = crave spicy

Stressed = crave salty

Sad = crave sweets

Happy = crave sweets

This discovery helped Jeneen realize that not only did she crave these types of foods at specific instances, but that she is now more mindful of using any type of food to numb emotions.

Become curious to when, what, why we are eating. What’s going on? What are the feelings?

Jeneen’s Take-away Tips

  • Make your children your “why” and not your “why not”
  • Change patterns learned from family of origin and model good behavior
  • Set boundaries – don’t sacrifice peace, joy and confidence
  • Do it for yourself – I’m worth it, I care how I look and how I feel
  • Make fitness and health non-negotiable
  • Investing in “me” does not take away from “them”

You can learn more about Jeneen and her work at: http://healmomfirst.blogspot.com/

We’d love to hear how this episode has helped you on your fitness journey! Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review with your comments. We’ll feature them in an upcoming show.

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30 Days of Mind Zoning® via Facebook LIVE

30-Days of Mind Zoning® via Facebook LIVE

Oh my gosh, I’m so excited (and crazy scared) that I’ve decided to take the leap and go live on Facebook EVERY DAY for the month of June, delivering 5-minute Mind Zonings® to my awesome, loyal following. And I really want you to join me.

The History of Mind Zoning®

For those of you new to Fitlandia, Mind Zoning® is the foundation of everything we do to help you get fit today, but stay fit for life and put an end to dieting. These audio recordings are much like guided meditations that help create new neural pathways in the brain so that eating healthy, moving daily, and having positive thoughts becomes easy. Sounds great, right?! Check one of them out here: Healthy Suggestion Surge. I developed this process through my own journey of leaving the wild, corporate exec world and transitioning to a Certified Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Nutritional Therapist. Through this, I realized the diet and fitness industry were broken because no one was addressing the mind along with food, movement and community.

Our Core Values

As I started to build Fitlandia, I wanted to ensure we addressed the most hectic lifestyles: busy moms, execs, entrepreneurs, etc. Making time to prepare meals and move every day can be tough. So everything we do at Fitlandia addresses these times crunches. We have loads of 30-minute recipes, workouts as short as 15-minutes, and soon we’ll have…

5-Minute Mind Zonings®

While I’d love to say to everyone reading this, “Take 30-minutes each day to meditate,”I know that’s a tough hurdle when making dramatic lifestyle changes. Realizing the mind is so powerful, I knew that even carving out 5-minutes per day, every day could have significant benefits. Hence, 5-minute Mind Zoning®.

It’s because we share a crazy-busy lifestyle that I was inspired to develop this collection. Every day in the month of June, I’ll be recording a brand new MZ to then mix with gorgeous spa music and/or binaural beats to launch the collection in the Fall of 2017.

Facebook Live EVERY Day?

I really struggled with the idea of going FB live everyday in June. That means I have to get out of my PJs, put myself together, maybe even shower EVERY day. I haven’t done that since I was in the corporate world. And truth be told, I probably won’t do it now either. I’m going to commit to delivering great content and let go the notion I need to be completely done up to deliver it. I mean heck, your eyes will be closed anyhow – HA!

So I thank you in advance for accepting me as I accept all of you – perfect in imperfection…and some days still in my workout clothes – or with bags under my eyes. 

How I Developed the Content

Ok, now onto the good stuff – the line up of Mind Zonings®. I carefully crafted this schedule based on 3 key things:

So for those of you thinking about making a healthy lifestyle change, it’s a big notion for your brain to get on board with. Learning how to create new habits and release old ones is very similar to what one experiences in the 5 stages of grief. Denial, bargaining, even anger are common. Dr. Jerome Craig and I discuss this in the webinar Grieving Your Old Lifestyle. Our willingness to change evolves over time too. Having a bit of understanding about these stages can be a giant relief for someone trying to embrace where they are today and what next steps to take.

The design of the Mind Zoning® schedule is meant to build upon the previous day; therefore, starting with day 1 and seeing it through every day with me will have the best impact on behavior by the end of the 30 days.

The Daily Line Up at 12PM PT

Drum roll please. Here’s the day-by-day line up starting June 1, 2017. I’ll provide a brief intro on the topic then launch right into 5 minutes of bliss.

When you tune in every day at 12PM PT, please ensure you’re in a place where you will not be interrupted or distracted. It’s only a few minutes and this is a real gift you can give yourself – a mental break in your day. Ahhhhh…

Safety first: do not listen while driving or operating machinery.

Dealing with Denial

It’s easy to deny the true state of our health and fitness because it can literally feel overwhelming. Join us for help with accepting where you are to then create a path forward.

Become Aware

Feeling resistant to change, unmotivated to move, unready for help? Today’s Mind Zoning® will give you permission to accept where you are so you aren’t feeling forced to change against your will. We’ll then invite your mind to become aware of the opportunities that do feel safe as an easy next step.

Navigating Anger 

Have you ever felt angry looking at others around you that can seemingly eat anything they want while you have to limit certain foods to manage your fitness? That “why me” syndrome is common and normal. Today, we’ll help you navigate those feelings so they become productive v. disruptive.

End Bargaining

As part of the process in giving up an old, unhealthy lifestyle, there’s bargaining involved…and lots of it. You may have had thoughts of “Well I can eat just one,” or “If I do this exercise, I can have a few drinks.” While this is a normal part of adopting a new lifestyle, these are pitfalls that tend to maintain the status quo. Get savvy on how to release the bargaining trap.

Ready for Change

Maybe you’ve already started your journey to fitness with doing some research, connecting with others, or talking with your doctor about lifestyle changes. Celebrate those actions and take them to the next level today as you’re ready for change.

Pros and Cons

Connect with your “why” on a deep level to understand the deep drivers to the change you desire. Maybe it’s better health, increase self-esteem or more energy. Listing out all you hope to gain, while also outlining you’re giving up, can help you see how positive this overall endeavor really is making action that much easier.

It’s Time to Act

Take even the tiniest of actions and turn them into real transformation. When we repeat behavior each day, our mind develops a new, lasting thought-pattern that serves your fitness goals.

Visualize Your Future

Your mind loves a roadmap to follow. Create the blueprint for the body, mind and soul you desire through visualization. You’ll then get to connect with the emotions of having already achieved all your goals, which solidifies the plan. You’ll notice how much more motivated you are to move, think and eat well every day.

Reframing Thoughts

You are what you think. Period. With our brains naturally geared toward a negative bias, we have to practice reframing all negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones. Having this switch will do wonders for releasing old behavior that no longer serves your goals. Go from “No, I can’t,” to “Yes, I can!”

Ditch Diet Myths

You remember the days of “No pain, no gain,” right? And you’re still being bombarded with quick-fix promises through pills and powders. These old dieting paradigms have been proven to fail you. It’s time to ditch them and focus on adopting a lifestyle for good. It’s time to end dieting and get fit for life.

Prioritize Your Day

We’re here to tell you, you DO have time to exercise and make healthy meals. Yes it requires planning, but also knowing how to prioritize your time. Find tips to become more efficient in your tasks, as well as clearing our your calendar to make you fitness a priority in your day.

Setting Boundaries

If you’re a natural caretaker, you’ll want to tune into this Mind Zoning® for sure. Making yourself the priority is foundational to showing up as your very best for others. Give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries so you can put yourself first, guilt-free.

Get Over the Hump

During the change process, people can look back on that past life, feel a deep sense of loss and become depressed. Here you can reconnect with your why and purposing driving your desire to live a healthy lifestyle.

Find Your Tribe

Did you know you’re 3x more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you’re connected with others on the same journey? Visualize the type of people that will elevate your fitness goals so you can then go out and find them!

Power in Vulnerability

Identifying and communicating where we struggle opens us up to a world of support. As we mentioned yesterday, it’s about leaning on your tribe when you need them. There’s power in vulnerability so open your heart up to receive the love and support.

Goal Setting

Our minds love something to look forward to. Our behavior then falls in line to support achieving it. Set a clear, attainable goal today that you can feel proud of once you’ve achieved it. This wins build upon themselves to continue a successful health journey.

Find the Right Food

Not one dietary plan works for everyone and it can take years to find what is best for you without this Mind Zoning®. Learn how to track your meals and tune into your body to create the best possible meal plans for you and your goals. The following 3 tracks will also help you along the way.

Jazzed to Journal Part 1

Let’s get you over the idea that food journaling is a painful, tedious process. Go from feeling furious about the practice to feeling curious about what it will reveal.

Jazzed to Journal Part 2

Let’s get you focused on tracking your macros (protein, fats and carbohydrates) along with your energy, mood and hunger levels to find what ratio works best for you.

Jazzed to Journal Part 3

Struggling with a health concern such as obesity, high blood pressure, skin disorders, auto-immune disease? Tracking your food before starting an elimination diet then during and after can help you become certain about which foods to put on your -no-no list to feel your best.

Sleep Essentials

Make restful sleep your number 1 priority. Without solid restorative sleep, you’ll be at risk for a myriad of health problems. This Mind Zoning® will guide you to a nightly routine of good sleep hygiene to promote the rest you need and deserve for optimal health.

Make it a Lifestyle

End yo-yo dieting and ditch the idea you’ll maintain weight loss “once you get there.” Today’s the day to embrace a permanent, healthy lifestyle and give up the on-again off-again cycle of deprivation and over-indulgence. It won’t happen overnight, but instead it’s unfolding everyday.

Healthy Eating Out

It’s not an oxymoron to think you can eat out and still have it be healthy. Break through this perceived obstacle and open your mind to the possibility of eating healthy anywhere. Whether is engaging some pre-planning or asking for modifications, you can do it anytime, anywhere.

Becoming Resourceful

Your mind is a powerful muscle. Strengthen it by opening up to the possibility that you have access to everything you need to be successful. Tap into your inner wisdom to get answers that will break through any fitness barrier. You’ve got this.

Motivation to Move

Imagine the desire to move everyday. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to be time-consuming. Give your mind the space to imagine all the health benefits from a daily practice.

Get Unstuck

Sometimes we all get in a rut. Let Mind Zoning® reconnect you with your goals and reignite your passion for fitness. Keep moving forward and let nothing stop you from living the healthy life you deserve.

Overcome Plateaus

Our bodies are miraculous instruments geared toward our survival. This Mind Zoning® will help you connect with you remind to find and accept your ideal weight or give it the reassurance it needs to continue to release excess weight being carried.

Inspire Others

Tap into the very heart of who you are and your unique approach to inspiring someone new on their journey. By sharing your wins, stumbles and recovery you’ll spread the mission to put an end to dieting so we can all be supported to live the healthiest possible lives together.

Getting Back Up

We all have our stumbles, but with Mind Zoning® you don’t have to let them take you back into an old lifestyle. Recover faster and easier from any hiccup. Remember you have this collection to go back to any time to support whatever it is you may need.

Celebrating You

You are a magical, powerful being. Your ability to transform your life is endless. Connect deeply with your incredible resolve to life the healthiest life possible. You are capable of anything and everything you imagine. Go after it today and every day.

 

Pop on Over to Facebook, give Fitlandia a “like” and stay tuned for the launch on June 1, 2017!

Ready to get the early release access? Sign up for the Fitlandia Newsletter (no spam!) and get first dibs on the mixed, 5-minute Mind Zonings® due out in the Fall of 2017.

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Episode 32 – Transform Your Life with Tapping with Jessica Ortner

Christa gives us a massive treat with this week’s podcast by welcoming Jessica Ortner to the show! Jessica Ortner is a Stress Reduction and Weight Loss Coach, New York Times’ best-seller and producer of the documentary, “The Tapping Solution.”

 

To celebrate Jessica’s contribution to our Fitlandia community, Christa is offering a 20% discount for the next round of the No Fools Detox. Go to the Fitlandia Store website, put the No Fools Detox in your cart, and enter the code “Jessica20” at checkout to receive your discount. The next round launches on May 15th with only 12 spots available so make sure to not miss out on this deal as you learn the techniques to help you succeed on your health and fitness journey.

Background

When Jessica was introduced to tapping by her brother, Nick Ortner, she was absolutely blown away by its effectiveness. An “over thinker” since childhood, Jessica describes how she struggled to use positive affirmations and other techniques to shift her brain’s way of thinking. Like many of us, the anxiety and worry that clouded her mind not only affected her brain but she felt it throughout her whole body. Since tapping helps to relieve the physical symptoms associated with anxiety, Jessica found that it worked to quiet her mind but also to calm her body and reduce the corresponding physical stress. She and her brother became proficient in using tapping and eventually filmed a documentary where they brought in experts and followed ten people to chronicle their success using this technique. This video documentary has been widely used by tapping followers to demonstrate how it is done and to teach and inspire others.

Jessica explains, “Tapping is a stress relieving technique to do while focusing on what’s causing you anxiety while tapping on acupuncture points”.

Our ancestors needed to have that flight or fight response to stay alive; producing physical strength and increased cortisol. Then we evolved, and although our fears are normal everyday things like our jobs and family life, our bodies continue to react in the same way as our ancestors did – with a physical reaction. Our heart begins to race, we start sweating, our stomach might start to turn and our whole body will be in a stressed state. Although our mind will usually start to rationalize with a positive outlook, it is the body’s natural reaction is to keep us safe, so the physical symptoms remain. “We are wired to have a negative bias to keep us safe”, Jessica explains. We need to train both our body and our mind that it’s safe to relax but first we must get clear on what is causing the stress and access the pressure points at the same time to help us relax.

When we tap on these acupressure points, it calms us physically. Naturally, we do things with our hands when we’re anxious anyways. For example, when we’re tense and press our fingers in between the eyes at the top of the nose or on our temples, we do this to comfort ourselves. Now we’re using these points and stimulating them by tapping and while doing so, we focus on a thought, it sends a calming signal to our brain that tells us it’s okay to relax.

From the age of 14, Jessica struggled with her weight. She was “brainwashed” by believing the only way to lose weight was by diet and exercise. She was caught in an endless cycle of Yo-Yo Dieting and what she calls a “Pattern of Panic”. The panic state would be caused by an unflattering photograph or an upcoming event that would propel her to start another fad diet or exercise program. She would follow a strict set of rules about what to eat and actions to follow but this structure was exhausting and Jessica would always find herself resorting back to her old self-sabotaging and rebellious behavior. She explains, “The panic does make us take action but it is never sustainable. You don’t have to be in a state of panic to make changes like many of us have been taught to believe. It’s when we completely accept ourselves that change becomes sustainable.”

Jessica had an epiphany when she realized that she had achieved success with her tapping education and her books, but this success did not carry over to her struggle with her weight. It was then she realized that she had been using tapping for everything except weight loss.

“When you make weight the excuse to not be happy, sometimes we don’t want to let go of that excuse. Doing new things is still scary, expansion doesn’t have to be so terrifying that you freeze but there’s a level of vulnerability when you do something new. When you hold onto an excuse your whole life there comes a moment when you begin to sabotage yourself because success becomes scarier than failure”.

Jessica concluded that her weight was not the boundary but more importantly it was her self-loathing and condemnation she had about her body image. She shares two important concepts:

  1. It’s easy to take care of something you value. The more you hate on your body the more stuck you are in that. Many times, we think of food as a reward but when you value yourself, you’ll pay a lot more attention to what your body needs. It’s okay to indulge in wine or chocolate on occasion but to do it in a loving nurturing way and not to escape an emotion.
  2. Diets have a time frame – 30 days for example, but what happens on day 31? Its makes much more sense to be on an “experiment”. The difference between a diet and an experiment is that an experiment is continual and flexible, but a diet has an end date or an “I’m exhausted date”. It takes experimentation to get your body adjusted off the inflammatory foods while working on the mind so that you can make healthy choices moving forward. Our bodies are continually aging and changing, and we need to adapt and learn what works for our bodies every single day. Every body is different; what works for one person may not work for someone else.

“If you’re waiting for someone to give you the answer for your perfect body, you’re never going to get there”. Jessica says, “You have to go within.”

Jessica points out its important to know that foods are designed to be addictive so we need not blame ourselves entirely. There’s a physical component of course but we’re sometimes looking for comfort or a familiar connection that makes us think we need to eat or have that daily glass or bottle of wine. Our brains are wired to have a positive outcome – to take care of us now; that is why we sometimes act in ways that bring a negative outcome even when that was not our intention. These acts which we think are going to be enjoyable, often create the opposite result.

Jessica offers a great quote by fellow tapping practitioner, Brad Yates, “Self-sabotage is simply misguided self-love”.

When people understand where they’re at and can be present in that stress, they can use techniques like tapping to free themselves of their negative behaviors. “It’s easy to focus on what’s not working but when we make it fun we can make it last; happiness is an adventure”, Jessica exclaims. We must intentionally reverse our brain’s natural reactions to make positive, sustainable changes.

Christa recommends an awesome book on this subject, Presence-Process-Healing-Journey-Awareness, by Michael Brown.

Steps to Transform with Tapping

Jessica leads us in a tapping demonstration (view the video for a visual instruction).

  • Tap on a craving
  • Think about what makes your mouth water (salty chips, sugary chocolate, wine?)
  • Let the craving intensify and notice where you feel the craving (mouth, chest, stomach?)
  • Rate the craving level from 1-10, with 10 being the highest most intense level
  • Set-up Statement: helps neutralize judgement. “This is how I feel and it’s okay”

 The Tapping Points

Side of the hand (doesn’t matter what side of hand)

Eyebrow (right on the bone on the inside where the hair begins)

Side of the eye (on bone)

Under eye (follow bone underneath eye)

Underneath nose

Underneath lip (at crease between lip and chin)

U-shaped bone on collar bone (tapping with whole hand on your chest also stimulates that point)

Underneath the arm (hand with underneath the armpit, at bra strap for ladies)

Top of the head

Begin with the side of the hand and make an affirmation statement like:

“Even though I’m craving this wine, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I really want this wine because it’s been a long day, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I’m really craving this wine, that is okay.”

Continue to give a voice to the craving.

Eyebrow – This craving for this wine.

Side of the eye – This craving in my chest.

Underneath the eye – This intense desire for wine.

Nose – I really want it right now.

Chin – I’m craving this wine.

Collar bone – My whole body wants this wine.

Underneath the arm – This intense craving is so strong.

Head – I’m fighting this craving I feel like I am losing, I really want this wine. It’s been a long day and I really want this wine.

Repeat and affirm reasoning

Side of hand – It’s been a long day.

Eyebrow – I have a lot to think about and have a lot on my plate right now.

Side of the eye – I give myself permission to relax.

Nose – With or without the wine.

Chin – I give myself permission to relax.

Collar bone- Even though it’s been a long day.

Head – I give Permission to relax now and to take a break.

Take a deep breath in and while tuning in to your solar plexus notice has this craving shifted and do you feel still the same tension? Most often, the craving is reduced or lifted completely!

When you’re in a relaxed, focused state, that’s when you can access all the wisdom you already possess. Through tapping you can access that connection you have with foods or alcohol which many of us are usually just not aware of those patterns. From where you are you can’t see it, but when you’re relaxed and not in a panic state you’ll recognize and understand what drives your cravings and learn how to not allow them to control your behavior.

What an informative and exciting interview! Be sure to check out Jessica’s website (including guided tapping meditations for morning and night) her book, Tapping-Solution-Weight-Loss-Confidence and also her Adventures in Happiness podcast on iTunes.

 

We’d love to hear how this episode has helped you on your fitness journey! Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review with your comments. We’ll feature them in an upcoming show.

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Episode 31 – Tap Into Childhood to Understanding Adult Lifestyle Choices

Today we are excited to have Christa’s colleague and certified hypnotherapist, Anya Drapkin here to teach us how to tap into our childhood through Mind Zoning® to understand why we make certain food-related choices in adulthood. Stay tuned to the end, when Anya leads us through a ten-minute Mind Zoning® session!

 

As with any Mind Zoning® session make sure you’re taking a break from distractions, outside of your car, and have a space to “zone out” and let your mind unwind.

Childhood Patterns That Shape Our Adulthood Behaviors

During Anya’s educational training, she discovered how crucial the first seven years of life is for us when it comes to how we behave later in life. This time period serves as a template for how we relate to our environment, nature, our homes and even our food choices. This imprint period has been shown to directly shape our patterns, but is also the root which determines how our habits are formed. These engrained behaviors are unlikely to change unless we tap into them.

Our culture places a big importance on food and although we don’t want to shame the treats used in celebrations, such as birthday cake, we do need to be mindful of how these celebratory foods make us feel. From an early age, we are taught to associate food with comfort and happy times, and this relationship typically continues into adulthood. We “self-soothe” with food.

Anya points out that a child’s first interaction with their mother is being brought to the breast to be fed. The child feels loved, reassured, and the sweetness of the milk fills the brain with pleasure and there is a bond that forms over this encounter. This intimate moment is a core time that shows that love flows from mother to baby. This first nourishment soothes the brain for years and emotionally attaches the child to the food and the human it comes from.

As we grow, we don’t always get the same emotional support from humans that we can find from food. We may find ourselves using food, sugar or alcohols as a way to soothe and comfort ourselves – so this becomes a critical point where we need to analyze these patterns and behaviors we’ve brought into our adult lives.

Carbs, Sugar, and Alcohol

These substances in particular are to blame since they “fire up” the reward center in our brains. If you’ve ever tried to give up all or one of these things for a period of time, you’ve surely realized the emotional and physiological connection associated with these substances.

It makes better sense when we look back to the caveman stages of humanity (primarily what the paleo diet is based from) our brain is wired to keep us safe. When we eat sugar, it fires up our brain’s reward center and suddenly we feel happy and safe. In today’s times, it’s important for us to realize that our brain is simply trying to fix itself. We consume these foods because we are hardwired to do so. This realization may help to release the guilt we associate with consuming these substances that we know are not good for us. Although the brain is trying to recover that feeling of safety and comfort, it is actually creating havoc in our bodies. It’s important for us to create new patterns as a brain safety mechanism. Getting off the reliance of sugar, carbs and alcohol gives our bodies the freedom to create new neural pathways.

Tapping Into Childhood

Anya states that most people struggle with changing lifelong behaviors towards food and alcohol simply because of the ritual they’ve created around it. Patterns are built through repetition. We associate a lot of our eating habits with situations with emotional components and that we want to cherish and repeat. Many of these patterns ‘make us feel good’ and many times we use these habits to help us feel good in a pinch. We not only need to learn how to break the ritual but also the brain connection we have with it. Anya encourages, “We have to create a different, healthier way to get our means.”

Techniques How to Identify and Shift These Patterns

Anya focuses on:

  • Diving into the emotional state – We simply cannot address the inner soothing we need by giving ourselves quick sensations. Food doesn’t work on the cognitive level.
  • Empowering to use imagination – In our society we are trained to use our more logical left side of the brain. This is the product-driven, performance-based part that controls behaviors that make us successful. To evolve as humans, it’s important we pay more attention to the right side of the brain. This is the emotional, holistic part of us that makes up the meaning of life.

“Nothing has meaning other than the meaning you give to it.”

Anya asks her clients to envision and use imagery to tune in at this time, the conscious mind will go to what is most relevant. She says, “The power is about what the client’s subconscious needs to complete and it will soothe what the deeper being wants to receive.” Anya goes on to tell us, “The mind zoning space will bring you what’s missing and what the solution will be for you, outside of food. Sometimes it’s community or support and to engage in the people who want to support and love you.”

Now it’s your turn (guided hypnotherapy)

Find a safe space that you can relax and take a couple deep breaths

Know that you have all the talents and skills to get relaxed

Tune out visual stimulus and wiggle into a comfortable position

Feel the solid support beneath you

Begin to get in touch with your breath

Paying attention to your breath and the words

Notice any tight spots you’re holding tension

Feel the deep breaths in the bottom of your lungs

Feel the power of your muscles as you consciously inhale

On the exhale surrender into gravity

Trust the solid support beneath you

Keep deepening your breath

Tune into yourself

You’re the most interesting entity in this moment

Tune attention inward so you can fully benefit from your focus

Accept your focus

Let that be a possibility

Have unconditional acceptance and focus

You deserve it

You can take up space

Begin to move attention

Open your inner eye to a place where you can imagine things

You’re at the top of the staircase moving down

You see a big beautiful tree

So big it has a doorway

Walk around the tree

Walk up to the door

Behind the door is your childhood

A place where you were safe and felt good

Put your hands in the doorway and step through

Step into a place where you were much younger and smaller

Go into that place

How do you feel?

Notice the quality of the air

Notice who’s there

Where you are

That you’re okay

That you’re still in your imagination

Notice that this childhood mind is still in you

Notice what does this child want

Do you want to play?

Explore?

A hug?

Look at your childhood self and ask a question

“What do you want the most right now?”

“What are feeling right now?”

“What do you need?”

Anya asks us to think about, what would you tell your childhood self that would comfort them and give them an opportunity to grow and soothe their inner worries during that moment? These answers are the very things that we carry with us into adulthood.

For more information about Anya and her practices check out her website My Oasis for Healing.

If you enjoyed this Mind Zoning® session make sure you listen to Mountain Escape, on the Fitlandia website. You can sign up for a FREE, 2-week trial and unlock access to the entire collection and all the other member benefits for 2-weeks.

 

Want More? Click below and subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday!

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How Your Junk Food Reward for Exercise is Killing Your Goals

Wow! That was a great workout! You feel motivated. You feel proud. You did it!

You are taking steps toward your goals and burning those calories like nobody’s business! Time for a little sweet treat to reward yourself, right?

Think again.

Reaching for that cookie to reward yourself for your workout might just be the very thing that is making your healthy lifestyle journey so difficult.

Why?

Our brains are malleable substances. They notice, learn, and adopt patterns and behaviors without us consciously realizing it. This can be great for learning basic skills as a child, but it can be detrimental to our success when trying to permanently adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Though after a great workout we may think to ourselves, “Hey, I worked really hard. I’ve totally earned a little sweet treat!” you may want to think about what is really going on.

Rewarding our good behaviors with opposing, less desirable behaviors can actually trigger our brain to derail and fall back into our old lifestyles of unhealthy eating and reward systems.

Even just one cookie as a reward can lead you off course. One cookie can easily trigger your brain to fall into an addictive behavior…until it’s not just one cookie anymore.

It’s a cookie after every workout. It’s a cookie a week. It’s a cookie a day. And down you go into old habits that fight against the healthy lifestyle you are aiming for.

Try A New Perspective.

Consider the calorie count. The average cookie, muffin, donut or other favorite sweet treat contains about the same amount of calories that you burn from a really great 1 hour workout.

So you are you really “earning” the cookie at all?

No, you are simply equaling out your hard earned calorie deficit and leaving yourself exactly where you started.

There is no need to feel ashamed! A cookie is by no means the end of the world.

It is GREAT to enjoy a cookie every once in awhile. But for no other reason than to enjoy it.

No reward. No harmful triggers to the brain. No falling back into old addictive behaviors. Just savoring a cookie and being okay with that!

Shame is Not the Answer.

The brain is a tricky thing and understanding it is the first step to being able to effectively mold it and create permanent lifestyle habits that will lead you the healthy life you desire.

Rewards work in our brain because of our ancestor’s need of basic survival. This is important when considering food because when our ancestors could eat, they could live.

Unfortunately, this system in our brain can now fight against us in a time when we can find plenty of food easily on the shelf at the store or in our very own pantry.

When we eat, our brain releases chemicals that make us feel good and tells us we are doing something right. But today, we have to make these associations with the right foods to support a healthy lifestyle.

Making these permanent changes is not about your willpower, it is about encouraging your brain to make positive choices that are associated with the healthy lifestyle you want. You can learn more about this in our article, Willpower is a Myth and a Lie. Learn How to Change Your Habits for Good!

So next time you finish that amazing workout, give it a second thought before reaching for that cookie and try creating new reward responses in your brain. Give yourself a nice big glass of cold water, find a positive quote for the day, or snack on a bit of tasty fruit. Your body AND your mind will thank you!

Ready to adopt new thought patterns and perspectives to support your healthy lifestyle? Download the Mind Zoning® app for FREE today!

References:

Grohol, John M. “MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break.” World of Psychology: Psych

Central (2005): https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2005/10/20/mit-explains-why-bad

-habits-are-hard-to-break/

Yau, Yvonne H. C., and Marc N. Potenza. “Stress and Eating Behaviors.” Minerva

endocrinologica 38.3 (2013): 255–267. Print.

Berridge, Kent C. “Food reward: Brain substrates of wanting and liking.” Neuroscience and

Behavioral Review 20.1 (1996): 1-25.

Articles for inspiration:

https://wayofgray.com/cheat-meals-good-bad/

http://sixpackforgirls.com/avoid-ruining-your-diet-over-the-weekend

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-to-overcome-food-addiction/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=1990

https://paleoleap.com/reward-yourself-without-food/

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-food-addiction-works/


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Willpower is a Myth and a Lie. Learn How to Change Your Habits for Good!

Holding onto the thought that willpower will help you create a permanently, healthy lifestyle is myth and a lie. But we’ve got a solution to help. It’s called Mind Zoning®.

Flashback. We’ve all been there. The dinner party with friends filled with plenty of hors d’oeuvres and drinks that smell and look so tasty.

You glance at the table of snacks just to see what is there. You note that only a few options are healthy and would fit within your lifestyle choices, but you grab some of the others too.

Mentally, you know you have chosen poorly, but “You just can’t seem to help it in those social situations!”

Flash forward. Now, if this situation sounds somewhat familiar to you, don’t feel bad. This situation is more common than any of us would like to admit.

But why couldn’t you just choose the healthy options? Why couldn’t you pass up the snacks outside of your lifestyle choice? Why did your willpower fail you?

Here’s Why: Because Willpower is a MYTH and a LIE.

To understand this, let’s learn a little anatomy of the brain together!

The neural pathways of the brain work like little highways that pass along immense amounts of information throughout the brain. The more a certain pathway is used, the more it is turned to when your brain isn’t sure which pathway is appropriate for the situation or when your brain is placed under stress.

For example, if you have always kept a bar of milk chocolate in your desk and eat a small piece whenever you feel stressed at work, your brain is now triggered to choose chocolate (or another fatty and sugar-filled substance) when it is stressed both at work AND elsewhere.

What’s more? Even when you work hard to adopt and practice healthy lifestyle choices, under stress, your brain will still turn to those old neural pathways and the corresponding bad habits.

The Good News is That the Brain is Moldable.

The flexibility of the brain is called neuroplasticity, which means that it is always changing and CAN be adjusted to create new neural pathways and make positive choices!

Enter the hero of this story! Mind Zoning®.

Mind Zoning® is the technique created by Fitlandia CEO, Christa King, to help create new thought patterns in your brain to make lasting and permanent changes.

This means that by harnessing the power of your own brain with this technique, you can now actually train your brain to forget those bad habits when placed under stress, and turn to the new and good ones!

Before you can successfully shift your exercise and eating habits to the healthy lifestyle of your choice, you need to first shift your mind to positive thought perspectives.

Mind Zoning® helps you do this and finally ends the disheartening cycle of starting, and then falling off your diet, or yo-yo dieting. You can adopt a health body, spirit and mind for good!

So How Does Mind Zoning® Work? 

Mind Zoning® begins with meditation. You regularly engage your brain by listening to powerful guided meditations to encourage your brain to release the old neural pathways and adopt new, positive ones.

Research proves that adjusting your neural pathways can help you lose weight, stop smoking, or simply adopt the healthy habits that used to fail to stick. You can drive up to 95% of your fitness and healthy lifestyle behaviors with this amazing technique.

With regular practice, you will see amazing results and finally take control of your mind and develop the healthy lifestyle habits you have always wanted.

Learn more about harnessing the power of your mind and Mind Zoning® at https://www.fitlandiafitness.com/mind-zoning/

Download the FREE Mind Zoning® app on iTunes today.

 

 

 

 

References

1) Yau, Yvonne H. C., and Marc N. Potenza. “Stress and Eating Behaviors.” Minerva endocrinologica 38.3

(2013): 255–267. Print.

2) Grohol, John M. “ MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break.” World of Psychology: Psych Central

(2005): https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2005/10/20/mit-explains-why-bad-habits

-are-hard-to-break/

3) Websites Referenced:

http://www.marilyngordon.com/240/train-your-brain-to-let-go-of-habits-–-10-steps-to-create-new-neural-pathways-of-the-brain/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160526185419.htm

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2005/10/20/mit-explains-why-bad-habits-are-hard-to-break/

https://www.fitlandiafitness.com/mind-zoning/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150805140245.htm

http://examinedexistence.com/how-you-can-train-your-brain-to-create-new-habits/


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Episode 24 – Stories of Transformation with Caroline

Episode 24 – Stories of Transformation with Caroline

 

Fitlandia continues its global reach as Christa sits down with Caroline from the U.K. What makes Caroline’s story compelling is how she finds the resolve to prepare healthy meals to combat a heinous commute.

While her intense work schedule would leave anyone worthy of “excuse-making,” Caroline shares her drive to focus on being well-prepared to keep her on track with a healthy lifestyle.

Listen today and get all of her tips!

If you, or someone you know, have a Story of Transformation that should be told, we’d love to schedule an interview to be the next guest on the Fitlandia podcast.

Just email us at info@fitlandiafitness.com.

And don’t forget to download today’s episode and leave a comment in the reviews for us. We’ll feature you on a future podcast!

For support on how you too can make a lifestyle change, access all of the member benefits at www.fitlandiafitness.com.

We’d love for you to leave a comment and an iTunes review for us. We’ll feature you on a future podcast!

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Episode 23 – Balanced Nourishment; the Different Ways to Feed Ourselves

Episode 23 – Balanced Nourishment; the Different Ways to Feed Ourselves

 

Fitlandia being the anti-dieting site and really honing in on the power of the mind to transform the body, we also want to talk about how to bring in the heart and soul into a living a truly healthy lifestyle. So today, Christa King and Fitlandia Expert Practitioner & Certified Hypnotherapist Kelli von Heydekampf get together again to talk about the ways we can holistically nourish ourselves. It’s not just about what we eat! Hang on to the end where Kelli provides a Mind Zoning® you can enjoy right now.

The show opens with Kelli sharing the wall in her office that features clients’ transformations they’ve experienced after a session with her. Check out the YouTube video to watch the interview.

As a culture we’re overstressed and under nourished in our heart and soul.

“We are one complete system. Our mind is part of that. Our physicality is part of that. Our soul is part of that. Our heart is part of that.”

It starts with harnessing the power of your sense of self-worth. You’re entitled to the abundance of health. First realizing you are worthy of a fit body, mind and soul is the very beginning. Until then, you will sabotage your efforts to be in a state of health; unconsciously. Secondly, look at the full picture of health. When we take a holistic approach, we can bring in true nourishment: to bring in substances necessary for life and growth – not just physical, not just food.

We talk about the sense of satiety too, which means to provide with enough. Looking at both nourishment and satiety, we can start to analyze the 5 categories of how we are doing at nourishing ourselves adequately.

The 5 categories of nourishment:

  • Metabolic (food & water)
  • Physical (movement, closeness to people, intimacy, sex)
  • Mental (intellectual stimulation, learning, creativity, hobbies)
  • Emotional (connection & relationships)
  • Spiritual (life purpose, identifying/utilizing gifts)

Kelli and Christa get deep on the power of the energetic connection with our thoughts and what we are able to manifest for our fitness using thought. The idea is that we are either in a state of expansiveness or constriction. We are in one state or another. When we sense that we are in a constrictive state, an easy tip is to engage the act of identifying all that you’re grateful for. While in a state of gratitude, it’s impossible to remain in a constrictive state, which can then release that constrictive state, limited your goals.

The key is to moving into a place of feeling the gratitude, not just creating a checklist.

Kelli goes on to share the story of a client who has been managing difficult emotions with food to self-soothe. The brain only wants to protect us and keep us safe so it will drive one to resort to what it has learned over time will make us feel good. The purpose of looking at whole-life nourishment, is that we can then find other options to make us feel more positive. We can look at providing more nourishment for us mentally, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually v. trying to get all of our nourishment from food.

“The brain in fundamentally trying to nourish you with food because there is a lack of nourishment in one of the 5 categories.”

Taking it a step further, we can become aware that food is even used as a reward so much so that we feel that we deserve certain foods and/or alcohol when we’ve accomplished something. But what would happen is we expanded that reward list to include a good workout, meditation time, a massage, or a new book?

We can find other ways to not only manage stress and difficult emotions, but also ways to reward ourselves so that our brain can start to see healthier alternatives to living a holistically healthy lifestyle.

This is all critical in creating a permanently healthy lifestyle and to end the viscous dieting cycle.

Kelli’s homework for you is to write down a rewards’ list that doesn’t include food.

We’d love for you to share your “rewards list” with us in an iTunes review. We’ll feature your tips on a future podcast! Just click below to subscribe and share your feedback with us today.

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Episode 19 – New Year’s Resolution Part 6: Finding the Courage to Change With Kelli von Heydekampf

Episode 19 – New Year’s Resolution Part 6: Finding the Courage to Change With Kelli von Heydekampf

 

On the 19th episode of the Fitlandia podcast, Christa teams up with with a Kelli von Heydekampf for a special Interview/Mind Zoning® combo which will give you the courage to tackle change head-on. In addition to being one of Fitlandia’s practitioners, Kelli is a certified hypnotherapist running West Metro Hypnosis in Minneapolis.

The Courage to Change

Making a lifestyle change is similar to going through the stages of grief, people are faced with uncertainty, worry, and judgement. Generally, it’s easier to simply stay the course, so change isn’t something that people tend to embrace or run towards. While Fitlandia focuses on health, “the courage to change” isn’t restricted to diet, it can be applied to your professional life, your personal life, breaking out of addiction, literally anything that needs to happen.

Often we have an inner conflict with ourselves regarding change. We recognize that we want to be better, but question whether we’re “enough” in our current form. Strong enough. Healthy enough. Ready enough. We are not looking at the word ‘better’ from a comparative sense: it’s not about competition, but evolution. It’s about discovering what our true essence really is.

As humans, we have a perpetual desire to see what we can evolve into, and for many people that starts with our physical representation. Letting that focus be on health instead allows us to properly evolve into a sustainable, long-term lifestyle.

Who wants to Play?

Whenever we look at change or self-improvement we tend to view it as work. We see it as one more thing that we have to do. Meal Plan. Workout. Journal. It just seems to add on to our already busy lives. About a year ago Kelli joined an improv group, and they always begin by asking the group “who wants to play?” That surprised her. She hadn’t been asked that in decades, and it became a revelatory phrase for her. Now she approaches wellness in the same way, with a sense of play, curiosity, and wonderment. It doesn’t have to be work.

“Pay attention to when your beliefs become your excuses. Your negative thoughts are protecting you.” – Kelli von Heydekampf

Your negative thoughts are protecting you. That aspect of your brain is there for a reason, but sometimes the behaviors that it chooses are not beneficial. You simply need to update those thoughts into ones that will benefit you.

Our thoughts manifest our realities, so would any of us consciously choose negativity? The brilliance is we get to choose. It may not always be easy, but we get to choose. What allows us to be successful is small successes continually built over time. Look at what you’re already doing well and want to maintain, and build on that every day. Even if it’s just drinking one more glass of water than the day before, it all adds up.

“Long-lasting change in an inside/outside job.” – Kelli von Heydekampf

With all that in mind, Kelli leads a Mind Zoning® to help us find the courage to change. That’s what this gratitude Mind Zoning® is all about, tapping into the power of the mind and giving you that determination, gratitude, and thankfulness to help you reach your wellness goals. As with our other episodes, this Mind Zoning® is broken down into four key parts:

  1. First, we use a progressive relaxation technique which will help you relax your muscles and ease yourself into a relaxed, inward-looking mental state.
  2. Next, we invite you to enter your safe space to feel relaxed. Letting your thoughts pass through your mind as you progressively look deeper and deeper.
  3. Then we sink deeper you’ll notice as your body becomes more relaxed, your mind opens to new learning, suggestions, and insight. In this state, you’ll harness the power within yourself to embrace change and become your healthiest self.
  4. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, invigorated, and ready for your next healthy step.

You don’t have to be “good” at meditation, this is simply a relaxing method to help you along your fitness journey and aid you with making a healthy lifestyle change. Just let your mind follow the voice and allow yourself to take this step in your fitness journey.

Sign up for your FREE 2-week trial membership today!

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