Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life after People Pleasing...Keeps getting better!

 I write about People Pleasing because it is something I have experience with. I feel that if I can somehow share what I've gone through and it helps someone else, then I want to do that.

The moment I realized I had an opportunity to do something different, I was making a decision based on how I truly felt, in the presence of upsetting some people close to me. All I knew is what I wanted to do and what I felt very strongly about. What I did not know is how upsetting it would be to some people around me. I didn't expect that and I didn't understand it but in the midst of the conflict I knew I just had to keep going forward. I am thankful I had someone in my life who could see the situation from the outside and was able to shine the light in my new direction. The results were what every people pleaser dreads, I disappointed people. Not even strangers...but people I cared about. This person shining the light for me said.."Get ready to go on a disappointment rampage!". At the time I wasn't sure what she meant. I was, however, experiencing some newfound strength and energy in me! I felt like I could conquer the world for a few days. I had done it! I had finally listened to myself again and taken action based on honoring me.....and from that came this surge of energy I never knew was in me! I even felt taller! I was a few people lighter in my life, but somehow that was just ok.

In this blog we share about being healthy, being fit, loving life and how to live your best life. We love to share our experiences and how much fun we have together. This has been a journey for us too. We have climbed mountains together. We have climbed our own separate mountains and as we keep going there will be more. What we love is to share our experience and hopefully touch some of your lives in an inspiring and positive way.

Eating well and exercising and thinking well are all part of this process. There are other factors that go with these things. This is where self reflection and personal evaluation come in. I became aware of this behavior pattern in myself and realized no matter how well I ate, how much I exercised, I would still be a mess if I didn't make these behavioral changes. These changes have not been easy. Nothing we do that is worth it, is easy. This pattern in me was years and years old. I have since had so many changes in my relationships that were unexpected. I have experienced some of the "disappointment rampage" that my person was letting me know about. This has at times made me question myself...but I have stayed true to me. I have surprised myself. It feels like a time in my life where I get to rediscover and recreate from a clear slate. Radical Responsibility.

I have new people in my life now. But most importantly, I have me. My body gives me pretty strong signals so it is clear to me that a major part of my health and wellness is to pay attention to that. If I go against it, it feels really really bad. If I follow it's signals, it may not always be easy, but it is liberating and life giving.

It was challenging to begin making these changes, but it was way more do-able than I ever thought it would be. We all have habits, patterns, belief systems, or nuances that are uniquely ours. Things we have developed in order to make sense of life and how to maneuver through it. We are amazing like that. We are also so amazing that we can, once we find something out about ourself  that is no longer of service to us, we can change it. We can create new ways of being that are liberating to our soul and living from that place we are able to shine our light in this world and do what we came here to do! Whatever that is.: )

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What we do when we travel......oh, and a real Korean body scrub, yowza!

Do you like to travel but dread the thought of figuring out how to stay healthy while away from home? We feel ya! Keith and I love to take trips together and for a long while it was very stressful. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease and hypothyroidism, I became very afraid. Especially when it came to us taking a trip. I was at a place in my health where there was no room for mishaps. I was on a mission to become well again and in the beginning that took me, and us being on point with everything that I possibly could. When we would travel, the hardest part was me being able to find gluten free options and just trusting that it would all be ok. I definitely had to learn faith over fear and this still is a practice that serves me well! : ) I know not everyone is dealing with ill health, some are just wanting to be the healthiest they can be. But for those that are dealing with something more serious, I am writing to let you know that you can travel and have fun and be healthy!!

Here are some things we do when we are planning a trip and while traveling. 

Details of your trip will of course affect how you do things but here are some things I always make sure to do. Since traveling in and of itself can be stressful, I always fuel really really well the morning we are leaving. I eat a very hearty breakfast so that my body and brain have extra nutrition for the added stress and my blood sugar stays balanced. We will pack a small cooler with snacks and take as a carry on. Once we get to where we are staying, we can refreeze our cooler packs and refill what we've eaten. Having snacks around can save you a lot from just giving in and eating whatever 
because you are so hungry! I always purchase a good bottle of water at the airport to stay hydrated. They now have organic snack options at airports and even some restaurant options are actually pretty decent. The word about health is catching on and people want it! Once we get to our destination, we find the closest Whole Foods grocer or natural/organic grocery store and get what we think we will need. If you are staying with someone, hopefully they won't mind to let you use a  small space in the fridge and if you are in a hotel, many rooms have a small fridge now. You can keep just enough on hand while you google search for what restaurants you want to try. So many places these days have gluten free options. There are also many that are utilizing local produce and local farm raised animal products. Thankfully, it is so much easier than it used to be.

If you are with a group of people and you end up in situations where it is not optimal..because, it does happen, then we just recommend to simply do the very best you can with your options. Keeping your stress level in check is the most important thing you can do so just know that this one meal isn't going to kill you...unless of course, it is..then don't eat it. I say that jokingly, but it is true, if you have celiac or true allergies then by all means you must find ways to take care of that. Most places have information online so you can look to see if you will be able to eat allergen free. 

My absolute must is gluten free. Anything else I can deal with temporarily for the sake of the trip but my preference of course is organic and local is a bonus!

We also like to do activities that keeps us feeling good and healthy while we travel so Keith will usually find a Crossfit location and get in on a WOD and I'll find a yoga place and a spa!!! Our favorite wkout while traveling though, was our own..on the beach! yes, thank you, more of that please! 

I just returned from Dallas for a belated holiday trip to see my family. Two great things happened on this trip that were different than the norm and things I hope to continue. I do not come from an active family and usually I do not get any exercise while I am there. But this trip I teamed up with Keith and created a body weight wkout to do in the house while I had a minute alone. It was perfect and it helped me to create a new experience there. Sometimes we have to just make something different happen in order for things to change. For me, exercising while visiting my family is a change I welcome. I am so thankful I did this finally and will continue this new endeavor.

The other new thing that happened is my sister and I went to a Spa. Not just any spa, we went to King Spa and Sauna. This place was like nothing I've ever experienced! Truly a Korean set up. They have 9 different saunas, plus a cold one so you do hot, cold, hot, cold, etc..They are all different so the benefits range from digestion improvement, energy balancing, mental clarity, auto immune health, detoxification, was AHMAZING! They have in the ladies area a steam room, HOT water soak and COLD water and I hope you are not shy about your birthday suit because you will be in it! What an exerperience! I did love the steam and the saunas. They also have pools and jacuzzis...I was not really interested in that personally...I just didn't want to be in the same water with everyone..but don't let that stop you! Everyone seemed like it was delightful, this was just my personal preference. 
Then we signed up for a body scrub my sister had told me about. So, I worked at a day spa and I've had a body scrub a private room, very relaxing and nurturing. That is what I had in mind. But that is not what happened! This was a true Korean body scrub and I tell you what, if I was modest before this, I wasn't afterwards! Holy Moses and I didn't know I could get scrubbed so much and still have skin on me! wow! It was an experience to say the least! We had a great day, I would do it again for sure. I loved the sauna therapy and I would do the scrub for the benefits. Fair warning though, if you need privacy and relaxation, do the regular day spas for that. Do the King Spa and Sauna for a truly different experience. It is family friendly. Moms, Dads and kids were there, singles, couples, whatever. I recommend it for sure. My only suggestion is to eat well before because you are not supposed to bring snack in, and the menu is not gluten free by any stretch! 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Meal Planning..Crazy Making or FUN??

Do you find yourself giving in to less than stellar foods and even eating meals out a little too often and are left feeling yucky due to not preparing well? This is an issue for many people. No matter what your life looks like, we can pretty much bet that most people are juggling many things these days and meal planning and prep has gone to the wayside. It's easy for this to happen, but the reality is, when your health declines because of it, you will soon discover what you can do without in order to get the priorities straight again and recover your health and vitality. Often times what we are "busy" with is keeping up with the Jones's and let's face's tiring, and running us down. When we have a solid foundation in our health, we can then pick and choose how to spend the rest of our time from a more balanced place.

The number one place to start, as with anything, is to DECIDE. Decide that your health and well being have to come first. If you do not have your health, you cannot enjoy much of anything else. Decide to make this a priority and to commit to learning how to do this in your personal life and circumstances.

Pick a couple days out of the week where you can dedicate some time to planning and prepping your meals. This takes a minute to figure out but like anything, the more we practice the better we get.
 Prepare your meals in larger portions than for just a single meal. Pack a lunch from the extra and have the leftovers for your next dinner. Prepare easy to grab foods during your busier schedules and leave more elaborate recipes or cooking for when you have the time to be creative and relax. Every meal does not have to be gourmet to eat really well. Chop and pack fruits and veggies, cook extra protein and eggs to toss into salads and add some avocado or nuts for healthy fats. 

Determine how many mouths you have to feed, figure up the next few meals and write a grocery list. Stick to the list at the store and come home to prepare. Staying focused helps a lot. It is easy to get distracted with all the tempting goodies at the store. By all means, have fun...just stay on task too! If there is one particular person in your family that really enjoys the prepping, cooking and kitchen shenanigans then enlist that person. It is entirely possible to find the way that works the best in your home and your circumstances.

Decide, commit and take action! The rest will take care of itself. Some weeks will be amazing and work out really well. Others, could be better. No biggie....keep making adjustments. Life is not the same all the time. We have to adjust things as the river of life flows. Once your nutrition is dialed in, you will just know what to get at the store and your home will be stocked with health supporting foods.

Here's to making your nutrition and health a priority!!

Here are your steps:

1. Decide to make it a priority and commit to learning as you go.
2. Plan your meals a few days in advance and make the grocery list.
3. Go to store..
4. Cook and pack extras for meals to take with you.

If you need nutrition guidance and overall health and fitness us via email to find out about our programs. or

Monday, January 12, 2015

Break the Chains!!!

Some of you may have been drawn to this reading because you KNOW you are a people pleaser and are suffering and others of you simply may have happened upon this, to which I say, there are no mistakes. : )

What is People Pleasing? People Pleasing is a behavior pattern in which the said ‘Pleaser’ lives life based on pleasing others. Ignoring how they themselves feel, truly and authentically, they make decisions based on how others will feel, or respond to them. This behavior is usually created out of a desire to protect oneself, to be accepted and approved of, even though it appears to be for the other person’s benefit. You may also be known as the Peacemaker. Keeping the peace no matter what it costs you personally. Stemming from fear and low self esteem or confidence, this behavior only depletes confidence and esteem even more.

Some basic examples of People Pleasing behavior may show up as saying Yes, when you want to say No. Or the opposite, saying No when you want to say Yes, too afraid to share your true feelings. Not being able to make a decision out of fear of what others may think of you. Family, friends or even strangers.  This behavior carries over well into adulthood and before you know it, you are of the age where you feel you can’t seem to figure out what is going on, but you know something is just not right.

The first step in walking yourself out of people pleasing behavior is to simply recognize that you are doing this and where you are doing this. For a while, it may feel overwhelming. You may see it in every relationship and circumstance in your current life. Once you become aware, there’s no ignoring it. This is ok. If you have a trusted friend, partner, or counselor/therapist you can talk to, this will help you lighten the load by talking it out. The first part of any change is awareness and feeling the pain of what we’ve created.

Start creating new behavior patterns with the ones you can trust and that will love and support you through this journey. This is not always the ones we think they will be, that is ok too. Start by practicing sharing how you truly feel about something. In the beginning, it helps to say things like, “you know I love you and I hope you can understand this but…..”. Or something of that nature. It is in a way, still setting the stage for peace, but opening the door for a more authentic conversation. You will begin to strengthen yourself and this will roll over into other areas.

Once you have awareness and have begun practicing, you will discover a new energy within yourself of a positive vibration, a new sense of possibility and you will not want to go back. You will have opportunities all over the place to utilize this new found way of being and although it may feel really different and even terrifying at times, committing to yourself and knowing that you can truly only be of service when you are honest will strengthen you to take necessary steps and speak up.

This can be done from a place of love and kindness. It may not feel like that in the beginning because you’ve thought what you’ve been doing your whole life was out of love and kindness, it was really for protection and approval. At first there may be a reaction to blame others for taking advantage of you, or for whatever it appears “they are doing”. It is imperative to remember that “they” haven’t done anything different. You are the one undergoing personal transformation and your new behavior may upset some people. Understand that “Everything Affects Everything..”. If you do make one small change in yourself and your life, you will see some effects. Get clear on your intentions in yourself and your life and know that you can live honestly, authentically and from a place of love and the only approval you need comes from within.

1. Awareness
2. Start where there is support and encouragement
3. Know you can make these changes in a loving and kind way, committing to yourself

I hope this helps get you started on a new journey. You will be so glad to use your energy in more creative, fulfilling ways and help others also!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello! and Happy New Year! Today is the first day of 2015 and I thought I would finally introduce myself personally and share some of my story with you guys.

We'll start with what you are already a little familiar name is Jami Lynn McCormack and I am married to Keith McCormack and we have a dog named Lady who is our everything. We had two dogs for most of our time together but we had to say good-bye to our Shiva Blue just this past July. : (

I am originally from Texas. Both sides of my family still reside there. When I was 12, my dad moved up to Washington State for work. I moved up there at the age of 14 and with a couple moves back and forth  between Texas and Washington, I eventually ended up graduating up there. I was there for almost 10 years.  As a youngster I was interested in healthy eating and natural medicine. Back then, I did not know much on those subjects but I was always drawn to it. I bought my first herbal medicine and aromatherapy books in high school and even read books about how the way we think and speak has an affect on us. This was the very beginning for me.

My next move was to Colorado. I was there for 2 years. This is when I got Shiva.: ) This is also when my interest in holistic health really really became strong. I read yoga magazines simply out of pure curiosity and joy. I did eventually begin my yoga practice in Colorado at a place called Starr Mountain. I lived in a little mountain town called Woodland Park just west of Colorado Springs. During my two years there I read ..a lot..I was like a sponge for holistic "things". I came across this treatment called Reiki. It is vibrational, or energy healing. I was curious and I decided to go through the courses. I went through Master Level training. Although I never thought I would use it to work with people, I wanted to learn about it for myself. During this time I also learned so much more about essential oil and their many health benefits and began playing around in the kitchen making all kinds of body oils, scrubs and such. It was fun, but there was much left to be learned. While living there I worked at Dillard's in the cosmetics department at the Origins counter, which was their "natural" skin care line so I was also learning there too. My desire grew to learn more and all I knew was that "I want to work in Holistic Health."

Then came my move to Little Rock. My mom, sister, niece and nephew had moved here at some point while I was gone and as life brings us times of change, I was in the midst of a big one and came to live with family again. I transferred with Origins/Dillard's so I had a job to come to while going through this change. It just so happened that Dillard's still had the cookie department upstairs. : ) One day a gal that I worked with and I decided to go get one. This pretty cute guy served us up and was pretty talkative. Me, well, I was a little shy. I didn't quite know what to think with his abundance of initial conversation. It was sparked once he found out I had just moved from Colorado because he had just returned from working up there for a ski season. We had the Colorado connection! I walked away thinking he was pretty cute. Fast forward, we are married for almost 9 years now. We met in 02. 

I was in a bit of culture shock moving here. I remember feeling quite out of place and not sure what was going on. Very different from Pacific Northwest and Colorado.  I felt nervous quite a bit and as it turned out, I was more uncomfortable than I was aware of because my body began having health issues. I was internalizing all of it. But..I did my best to take it in plus I was excited about the boy. One day another gal I worked with went to go get a colonic. If you do not know what this is, it is a cleansing of the colon with filtered water. It is a holistic therapy for cleansing the body. I told her I wanted to know about it because I was experiencing these new issues. When she came back she said, "You have to go meet this woman. She says things you would say and I think you need to just meet her." Ok, so I go and fast forward again, I become a certified Colon Hydrotherapist and also a certified Body Ecologist. Body Ecology is a nutritional format for healing the digestive system with cleansing, food and probiotics. BOOM! Working in Holistic Health! woohoo! I loved my work! I was learning and learning so much. Had an amazing teacher and worked with great people and had truly amazing clients, some of which are my friends to this very day.

I ended up meeting my very first Holistic Lifestyle Coach while working here. I remember when I met her and learned of what she did with people I thought, "That's it! That's the missing piece!" Because it was totally based on THE INDIVIDUAL and it covered everything from the chakra system (our energetic body) to nutrition to movement to mental/emotional patterns, all of it and I loved it!

A few years into being here and working in colon therapy I met a lovely, lovely woman who was a therapist and a Reiki practitioner. I spent time with her and went through Level 1 training again and began to work with clients utilizing the energy balancing technique. I loved it also and everything I was learning was also bringing up more questions.

In the midst of all of this with my work, I was still experiencing difficulties with my own health and with this new place and life. I just didn't know what was going on. Fast forward yet again to me in 2011-12. I finally went to a Holistic MD here in the area. She took everything she could get her hands on from my body and got to the core and figure what was going on with me physically. I was diagnosed with celiac disease and auto-immune hypothyroidism.  Thank God I finally had an answer! I already ate well but now it got serious. What is known now as the Paleo way of eating saved my life. I was initially put on thyroid hormones but just for a while. I had severe malnutrition even with my healthy way of eating because of the damage that was done to my intestines from eating wheat all my life.  So, I was determined to get well, and be well again. I mean, how could I have been learning all these things and living and loving it and end up sick!? What kind of trick was that?!

So, with food, movement, prescribed supplementation...I began to get well. I had felt so bad and became somewhat disillusioned by it all that I just didn't know what to do or think. I was experiencing anxiety and depression and so much frustration I just eventually laid down. I remember just waking up one day and I just didn't have it in me to get up and make like I was ok anymore. I wasn't and I didn't know why. I had listened to a podcast one day and heard this woman speak about health and wellness and it was very inspiring. I went to her Facebook page and commented on something and ended up winning a phone call with her. Here's where my health really began to get better. She is a Lifestyle Consultant. Working with her I was able to figure out the deep rooted issues I was dealing with that were keeping me not well. This was not only monumental for me but also for Keith and I. Not that we were not good, but it helped us go to a new level. One of the biggest things I learned during this work with her was about Intuition. I knew about this. I knew I had experiences with it when I was a child but I became afraid of it and told myself I didn't want to "know" anymore. I had very strong feelings in my body and I didn't know how to do it. I developed ways of just keeping the peace by being a people pleaser. This was a shocker when I found out I am not quite as SWEET as I thought I was! : ) Probably a shocker to some people around me too. But this was integral to me getting well.

As I began to acknowledge this and start to listening to it again I regained so much energy. Not only that but a lot of the pain I had been having went away. WOW. I was blown away! And I was getting well. So much so that I decided it was time for me to start doing what I loved so much....working in Holistic Health. I went back to my Holistic Lifestyle Coaching certification class and I also went through the Exercise Coach course, both through the CHEK Institute. I began working with women to help them regain their health, confidence, joy ..whatever that's been missing, it can be brought back to life! I am living proof of the work. Holistic Lifestyle Coaching is formatted for the individual because we are all different and our health and vitality will come from a unique variety of tools with a foundation in diet, quiet, movement and happiness. I....LOVE ....IT. It has been my dream to do this work and so here I am! I have been through it! and I am able to help others now, experience the same life changing for the better benefits of aligning with your truth, your dreams, and taking action to make these things happen. It's like magic.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Own the Decision

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.
This is a wonderful time of year, one where we enjoy time with family, time away from work, watching football, shopping, and EATING!
This brings me to a very important idea to focus upon.
We know that we are going to enjoy the feast.  We know that there will be food and drink available that may not be the best choices for our dietary plans and overall health and wellness.
Should we feel guilt or shame with the things we decide to put in our mouths and down our throats?
No, or even, Hell No.....  If you have studied psychology or follow Dallas and Melissa Hartwig at the Whole 9 (or have even attempted the Whole 30 Challenge), you know that there is a huge mental component not only with the foods we eat but also the decisions that go along with those choices.  The BEST thing we can do when we make a decision is to think about it, follow through with it, and be "ok" with that decision we acted upon.  Own the decision.  Have strength in your commitment.
Be positive and let your body know that it's going to efficiently take everything nutritious out of whatever you just ate and use it in an effective manner for your body.  I can assure you if you have a positive mental attitude about your food choices it will make you physically feel much better. 
Don't feel shame, don't feel like you're doing something wrong, and don't say, "I shouldn't be doing this," "this is going to go straight to my thighs," etc.  These are silly ideas that place negative energy around what should be a good experience with family and friends. 
Know that one meal is not going to wreck your hard work.  Enjoy yourselves and eat some good food.  If you have to, take a short walk with the dog or family post-meal to burn some calories (sugar).
Understand that this doesn't mean you allow the wheels to totally come off and the next thing you know you're locked in a closet with a big bag of doritos, snickers, and 3 liters of Diet Coke. 
Be smart but enjoy this holiday meal. A piece of pie is legal.
We eat healthy and move our bodies to be physically, mentally, and emotionally in a better place.  We want to feel good and be happy so we can do the things we enjoy.  And usually, being with friends and family, the people we love, is something we enjoy.  Let your guard down a little but always stay cognizant of your choices.  Own them!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Knowing Your Clients Physical Abilities

You're my new client, we talk, we meet, I MAY know what you've done on paper, but I have to see how your body moves with my own eyes. 
You see, if we are going to work together, there will be a 2-way street of communication.  I will understand, after talking with you, what it is you want, your goal.  But, the reality is, I can't formulate an effective plan until I see how your body moves and if you have the flexibility, stability and strength to get into certain positions.  This is another form of communication, you communicating through your movement and ability where we start with your exercise progressions. This is the KEY, you may be telling me one thing with your words, but your body movement may be saying another.  Movement always trumps words, unless those words are: that hurts, I can't or something doesn't feel right....  We immediately stop here.  These words require more information to be gathered.  That's when it pays to have an attentive, responsible trainer; one who can communicate.

I start my clients out with a Physical Screen and Posture Assessment.  This is my 1st meeting with a client in the gym. The screen and assessment is broken down into 4 parts and takes about 45 minutes to an hour.  I focus on the client's:
  1. Flexibility/Mobility
  2. Neuromuscular Efficiency (or Balance)
  3. Stability
  4. Functional Movement 
The answers revealed from this process allow us to intelligently begin a structured exercise program.  One where we can have structure to progress through. 

The structure follows around the basis of these Four Physical Pre-Requisites:
  1. Flexibility: of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints so that we create a balanced body, one where we correct any current muscle imbalances. I must see that your body can get into proper positions.
  2. Static and Dynamic Stability:  1st we develop a stable body in a fixed position, after we are proficient here, we progress to having stable body segments while moving.
  3. Strength Development:  here we always start with bodyweight before we introduce an external load.
  4. Power:  the fourth and final component, and one that never starts until we have demonstrated good ability with the other 3.  Power is a combination of strength and speed and necessitates flexibility, stability, and strength.
I follow this process with my General Training Clients, High Performance Clients, and Golf-Specific Clients.  I must know or have an understanding of my client's abilities.  This allows us to be SAFE, know where to realistically begin, and have a means to both quantify and qualify progress they've made with physical ability. 
This starts us on the healthy path of Good Movement with their body.  A body that will support the things they love to do.