my own friend

my own friend

The majority of my life I wasn’t my own friend. 

Growing up I was always my own worst critic. I would find reasons to justify that I would never good enough.

I went through a period of my life where I was never going to be small enough. Going down in weight from 120, 110, 105, 100, 90, and then 80 lbs eating about 200 calories a day to become small enough realizing that going down this road was only going to kill me. Though I could control my weight that wasn’t the thing that would make me like myself. No matter what size I was, I still didn’t like myself or acknowledge who I was as a person. I still was not my own friend. 

I found a love for lifting weights. Though it was slightly less damaging physically, my mindset was still I am not good enough and never will be. After a few years I decided to go after a goal that had been stirring in my heart. I wanted to compete in bodybuilding. I created a plan, got some good people around me, and went after my goal. My first prep for a show was on the outside, a “success” whatever that means. I made it through. I hit my weight. But my mind was all messed up. I created an even more messed up relationship with food. Though on the outside I can make it look like I am more than fine, that I have everything under control when in reality, I hated myself and what I had become, where and who I was. What to do? Prepare for another bodybuilding show. 

Though my second show I started realizing that I needed to start journaling. I just started journaling my thoughts. The words that would come through my head. I started becoming more aware of my self talk because it was really bad, hurtful, and mean. I really wanted to stop binge eating especially as this habit had came through my first show and stayed with me after. I knew it was a mental thing. I was weak mentally. I started reading a lot more mental strengthening books. Finding out how other people handled binge eating, what they did, how they overcame it, what was it? 

I journaled my whole life on and off. It evolved over the years from a more prayer focused journaling to a more reflective self journaling. Becoming more aware of the inner chatter and then having the power and courage to stand up to the voices of criticism, guilt, and shame. I learned to give myself a lot of grace. When I would mess up with and overeat way too much, I would say out loud to myself, “it’s okay, Ashley, I forgive you” over and over again till I believed it and started crying. 

Competing in bodybuilding was a gift to me in that it gave me some awareness to work with. The physical part is simple. The mental part is what can either make you or break you. I became very obsessed with learning about the mind and the brain. I read a few books on neuroplasticity and the ability to change your life through your thoughts. That led me to some amazing people who have impacted my life greatly. Who shared parts of their lives with me and I’m very grateful I was open to learning about their habits. I grew up religious with a lot of rules. It was through re-gaining my curiosity and just allowing myself to ask questions that I learned about meditation and how big and great God, the universe, all of it really are. 

Through learning and experiencing meditation practices for myself, I’ve learned the great power of self love and self acceptance. I am still growing in love for myself as it’s a constant unraveling of habits where I can feel as if I’m not good enough, don’t know enough, etc. I am so thankful that through my curiosity I allowed myself the freedom to experience self love through meditation. Learning to become my friend when I need it, my cheerleader when I need it, my own mother when I need it, my support system when I need it. 

I am a better person when I practice self journaling and meditation. I feel myself growing and evolving. It’s not always an easy process of reprogramming your ways of being but that is when it’s crucial to be your own friend. To tell yourself, it’s ok to make mistakes while learning. To have a heart filled with grace and love is how we grow. That is something I want to share with the people I know and love.

Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

Sitting with a new client today, she questioned me about the holidays. She’s just starting her new lifestyle, just been presented with her course of action for the next six months. Christmas is in a month, just as she’ll be settling into a solid practice of her new habits.

What about Christmas?” she asked.

“What about it?” I responded.

“Christmas cookies? Can I have them?” She looked at me hopefully.

“Can you?” I asked her.

We had just discovered via a blood test that she’s sensitive to wheat products, cow’s milk and eggs. I make it a point to let her know that she’s in control here, no foods are “good” or “bad” and that I am not restricting what she eats.

We discuss mindful eating. It’s a practice of mindfulness, a Buddhist concept; a form of meditation that helps you recognize and cope with your emotions and physical sensations.

Mindful eating is about using mindfulness to reach a state of attention to your experiences, cravings and physical cues. It involves eating slowly and without distraction, listening to your body and eating when hungry and only until you’re full, learning when you’re truly hungry or just emotional, engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, textures, and flavors and noticing and appreciating the effects food has on your feelings.

This allows you to replace automatic thoughts and reactions with more conscious, healthier responses and choices.

With my client and what we know about her, cookies will most definitely cause an undesirable response in her body. I advise her to think about this before she grabs a cookie. Hold the treat in her hand ask herself a few questions before she makes the decision. 

Does this food serve me? Will it nourish and/or heal my body? How will I feel after I eat it? Do I want to feel that way? Does this get me closer to my goals?

This allows us to make conscious decisions about how we want to look and feel, it’s quite empowering but takes practice.

Want to learn more about Mindful Eating?

Emily will be leading an experiential lunch at the 2020 Well BEing Workshop, for more information about this mindful meal click here. Learn about nutrient density, positive food choices for you and rid yourself of guilt and anxiety associated with those choices.  Mindful eating can be a life-long practice that can serve you and your goals. Come practice with us!

More about Emily and the other instructors of the 2020 Well BEing Workshop click here!

Mental Reps

Mental Reps

Why? Why do I care? 

What does it matter if anyone ever feels connected to their bodies? 

Because I’ve experienced it. 

My connection to my body undoubtedly came from years of athletics. Yes, I spent my childhood climbing trees, doing somersaults, jumping puddles of water, but I never really felt those movements back then. You don’t really think about doing that stuff as a kid, you just do it. It began with a need to learn very technical movements, which helped to develop my sense of proprioception (where your body is in space). Building those motor connections, feeling where my body was in relation to my surroundings and itself, helped me to feel my body in a whole different way. I learned to pay attention.

My drive to achieve high level athletic performance then steered me to the health aspect of training. My body was a machine and it needed the right fuel to run as efficiently as possible. So, I started watching what I ate. I cut out pop, drank lots of water, limited junk food, made sleep a priority, and worked HARD. I began to notice how I felt after eating different foods. That certain foods upset my stomach, that I got headaches when I wasn’t hydrated, that my energy levels tanked when I ate junk food or didn’t eat enough calories. I started to build a relationship with my body. 

Yeah, I know that sounds weird but what is even crazier to me is that to some people, their bodies feel completely alien or like some kind of meat sack prison. Some people are so disconnected to their own fleshy housing that they don’t recognize that they are internalizing stress or have a food allergy, that they can’t perform simple movements like jumping or rolling comfortably. Seriously, ask an adult to do a somersault and see how well that goes. So much hesitation and discomfort, the movement feeling foreign and dangerous when it used to be fun and easy. Many wouldn’t even try it. Some even resent their bodies. 

So, anyway, I started taking notice and this relationship began to form. Then, I got sick. Really sick. 

My coach and I had high hopes for my senior year of college. I was going to break records, go to Nationals, set myself up for a post-collegiate career as a hammer thrower. But, for some reason, I had zero energy. I’m talking zero. Like would take one throw and then have to rest for 5-10 minutes just to recharge for another one. Just getting out of bed and walking to classes seemed like too much to ask. After suffering through the entire off-season training, I was diagnosed with mono

My coach was devasted. Mono is a career-ender for a lot of athletes. He was especially hopeless because it was my last year and we only had one semester left. Christmas Break and then the season started in January. There was no way I could make it back in time.

Screw that. 

The instant I got the diagnosis, I was consumed by one purpose: get better. Fast

Sports psychology was a big part of my studies and so I knew the value of visualization. Your brain can’t interpret the difference between what’s really happening and what’s imagined; the crazy part is that this allows you to build neural connections to your body without even moving! We were constantly supposed to do mental reps of throws and lifts in order to better our performance. So…I did a little experiment. 

By the time I went home for Christmas Break, I was so weak that I laid on my parents’ couch all day and night, only mustering up the strength to leave it when I had to pee. The trips to the bathroom, only about 20 feet away, killed me, by the way. I would make it back to the couch winded and exhausted, barely able to keep my eyes open afterward. I was so depleted I felt it in my bones. I was so tired it hurt. During those unending hours on the couch, I instructed my body to heal. I pictured my antibodies beating the shit out of that life-sucking virus. I pictured myself kicking ass during the season. I pictured myself strong, healthy, and better than I ever had been. I pictured it so clearly I felt it. 

Day 8, I made it upstairs and back down to my couch. I had to crawl for part of it and I was cashed out the rest of the day, but I made it. The stairs became a daily part of my training program. When, days later, I could make it up and down the stairs without feeling completely spent, I climbed them twice, then three times, and so on. 

I remember the day, two or three weeks after getting home, I was able to go for a walk outside. It was about a two-mile loop that had me gassed by the end, but I’d made it! 

January 6, 2012, I showed up to practice back at school fifteen pounds below my training weight and weak as a bunny. My spandex workout gear hung off my atrophied muscles and my practices had to be severely adapted to my strength levels, but I continued to picture myself getting stronger and healthier every minute of every day. 

Two months after getting back to training, I had regained the 15lbs and was almost back to my previous numbers in the weight room.

That year was my best ever. I had never performed so consistently well. I broke two university records, went to Nationals, and held my own against the best in the country when I had been bedridden just months before.

Your body is incredibly adaptable. Your mind is inexplicably powerful. Put those two together and watch the fireworks. 

That’s why.


Want to see more of Lindsey?

Lindsey is presenting at the Well-BEing Workshop on January 12, 2020. Follow the link for more information on the workshop and more about Lindsey!

Clean Your Junk Drawer

Clean Your Junk Drawer

Organization is my way of creating life. Nothing operates in chaos. If your mind, your space or your goals are in a chaotic state no life, action, business, relationships, etc. will be created. Even the cells of our body are in an organized fashion.

Organization and structure breed freedom and security.

When their is organization, there is choice and knowing. You can either go with the structure/organization or you can change it. Example: Hair-ties live on the door handles of the house. This small structure will allow you to always know here they are, the cat will stop eating them and you spend less time looking for what you need when you’re running out the door.

Clean up the physical mess in your life! This will set yourself free to create the life that you want. Clean up the emotional messes to set yourself free and allow you to begin to build the relationships that you want to experience.

Clean up the mess and the clean slate will allow for more ideas, people and money to flow into your life.

What if the messy bathroom drawer is the reason you haven’t booked a new client at work?

Picture this: “You wake up and start preparing for your day. You wander into the bathroom grab your toothbrush. 1 minute later you’re still on the same tooth because your brain as wandered to the list of things you need to do. “I need to wash the dishes today and don’t forget to stop at Target for more toothpaste. Hmm… I wonder if I have a back up stash in the drawer. Ugh that dreaded drawer. I will just stop to get more toothpaste.” The same day you leave work a little early to make sure you get to all of your errands and you miss out meeting a crutial potential client.

This same pattern could have been spared if the same drawer was organized. You would know whats in it, feel empowered to walk into the room and get what you need and save money because you wouldn’t be avoiding it all together.

I am a messy person is just an excuse for an old way of living. We all have the choice to spend 5-20 minutes a day picking up and getting our systems back in order.

If you have integrity with your goals, there is no option other than to take action. Giving yourself structure around the actions you need to create. The structure will create more freedom, more time and more of what you actually want.

You will be amazed at how much free time you actually have when you get organized and stop thinking about all the things you need to do and just do them.

If you want help because the project is just too big, click below for more information on Edgeless Action’s organizational services.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Apple Pie Oatmeal

It is that time of year when all the sweets are out to get me. I created this easy Apple Pie Oatmeal recipe that serves as a dessert or a delicious breakfast.

CaloriesCarbsFatsProteinFiberServings
428571914111

Pie Ingredients:

  • 45 grams of Trader Joe’s rolled oats
  • 1/3 Serving of NOatmeal (I have a large quantity of this meal prepped)
  • 2 grams of cinnamon
  • 2 grams of stevia
  • 130 grams of sliced apples
  • OPTIONAL: 32 grams of sunflower butter (not included in macros)

Instructions:

  1. Cut up apple into small pieces.
  2. Add NOatmeal and oats to bowl.
  3. Roll in apple pieces.
  4. Add cinnamon and Stevia.
  5. Stir.
  6. Add water to desired “soupiness”
  7. Microwave for about 2.5-3 minutes on high or until the apple pieces are just slightly tender.
  8. OPTIONAL: Add sunflower butter and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
  9. Enjoy.

Post workout this is a great carbohydrate replenishment that is high in fiber. You can even mix in some vanilla protein powder and bring the protein levels up! Very flexible and delicious! Also, this is easy to travel with.


The Next Recipe

Organize Your Life

Change Your Mind

Well-Being Workshop Instructors

Well-Being Workshop Instructors

Lindsey Spencer

Lindsey’s movement journey began as a child, climbing trees and wrestling with her brothers. She began playing sports at a young age and continued on to become a Track and Field athlete at Utah State University. Since graduating with a Master’s Degree in Sport and Physical Education, she has competed in powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, and MMA. Stepping away from the competitive arena, she is moving back toward the idea of free and natural movement and learning about its physical, mental and emotional benefits. Currently, she is a massage therapist and personal trainer who focuses on returning clients to full function so they can live their lives how they want to.

Follow Lindsey here!

Ashley Fawks

Ashley is a wife, mom or two plus one on the way. She has been a personal trainer and coach for the past 5+ years and over the past 2 has shifted more into the mindfulness space. Not only does she help her clients achieve their body composition and fitness goals she also uses her passion for meditation and journaling to help clients transform their way of being. She helps people shed false stories and create practices for real results. 

Follow Ashley Here!

Emily Collingwood

Emily is a practicing nutritional therapist. She assists people in discovering what improvements or changes one can make to their diet to improve their overall health and well being. Every client she works with is a bio-individual, meaning each person is unique with highly individualized nutritional requirements. She customizes plans for people who are trying to navigate a diagnosis or just wanting to be healthier overall. Her passion for her work comes from her love of witnessing positive changes in her client’s lives!

Follow Emily here!

Slater Murphy

Soon to be Dr. Slater Murphy is a Chiropractor, Author, Spiritualist, and Bodybuilder. He is driven by the passion to upgrade and energize lives through spines.The entirety of his purpose is designed around narrowing the gap between The Present and The Potential. His passion for humans living at their optimal is expressed in healing methodologies, movement, nutrition, supplementation, & mindset practices.

Follow Slater here!

Raschel Biagioli

Raschel’s journey is a lifetime of creativity, exploration and organization. She took her first organizational job at the age of 7 and it has spiraled into a creation of its own. She creates systems that are sustainable in people’s lives so they can live more of their dreams. Organization comes in many different context, basements/closets, boundaries in relationships, meal prep, calendar organization, etc. Since graduating with a degree in Kinesiology she has explored fitness, nutrition, meditation, leadership, business, mindfulness, art, and adventure. This renaissance woman is here to host a day of inspiration and allow you to begin the journey of unexpected results with the accountability you’ve been looking for.

Follow Raschel here!

Well-BEing Workshop

Well-BEing Workshop

Come have a breakthrough, identify the reasons and old patterns that are restricting you from the life you want.

When: Sunday, January 12, 2020 7:45am – 4:00pm  

Where: Summit Training Center, 3223 Bear Tooth Ct, Bettendorf, IA 52722

$139 / Individual 

15% Discount for Partner Registrations

Schedule:

Follow our instructors on social media to receive a discount code.

What you can expect: 

Mindful Movement 

This segment of the workshop  will cover the physical, mental and emotional benefits of natural movements and play, body awareness, and the mind-body connection. You will walk away with a better understanding of the importance of movement in your life and how body awareness is an integral part of health and well-being. Wear comfortable clothes you can be active in because we will be moving those bodies!

Body scans, balance exercises, functional movement and “play” will all be part of the active part of this session. We will have tons of fun and prep our brains for all the amazing information to follow!

Learn more about Lindsey Spencer HERE!

Meditation 

During this session you will practice an awareness guided meditation and learn how to incorporate self-journaling into your routine. If there are patterns in your life you are struggling to change or transform, self journaling is a great way to step out of the habit and see yourself doing and creating the new habit you choose. Meditation will allow you to become aware of your body and breath. Practicing being calm, getting out of fear and getting into the space of love and creativity. With a small daily practice  with these tools you will feel empowered and see how capable you are.

Learn more about Ashley Fawks HERE!

Experience Nutrition

In this session we will mindfully share a meal together. We will eat slowly with minimal distraction, learn how to listen to our body and eat when we’re truly hungry and talk about the guilt and sometimes anxiety associated with food. What signals are the food giving you vs. what meaning do you assign?

Also we will uncover the truth behind nutrient density and how to choose foods that give you the most benefits per calories without sacrificing taste. Get to know your human body and the effects of sugar and other “edible” compounds. Learn to use food as medicine and how to eat in harmony with nature. 

Lunch will be catered by Bayside Bistro in Davenport, IA.  

Learn more about Emily Collingwood HERE!

Network Spinal 

During this session participants can expect to learn how to integrate an enhanced perspective through neurospinal restructuring. Slater will demonstrate a specific and properly contextualized chiropractic adjustment that will empower the presence to navigate life’s challenges, blessings, and miracles. What will be received is the gift of freedom to consciously choose new habit(s) and if desired, a new life.

Learn more about Slater Murphy HERE!

unREASONable Results 

During this session you are going to have a break through. You will begin creating the life you want to live with sustainable results. 

This process will outline the ideal life in the confines of what you are doing, who you are being, the people that support you and the things you have. The “shoulds” and reasons that you, your job, your parents and/or your past have placed on your life will be diminished leaving you with the clear direction. We will begin to build consistent wellness practices and internal and external environments that support the actions you will take to begin creating your dream life. 

This session is designed to facilitate being productive and organized in all areas of life.

Learn more about Raschel Biagioli HERE!

What’s provided? 

A gluten free, dairy free, soy free lunch is being catered by Bayside Bistro.  

What to bring:

You will be doing a variety of activities throughout the day so comfortable clothing is recommended. You may want a change of clothes for after the Mindful Movement portion of the retreat and layers for workshops. A yoga mat or cushion of choice for meditation and other floor activities are optional. 

Soul with a body

Soul with a body

You are not Karen; Karen is the name that was given to you.

You are not a mother, brother, sister; those are roles you have assumed in this life.

You are not male or female; those are apart of the body and vessel you arrived here in.

You are a soul. You are a soul that has a body.

Your body does not define you. Your body is a vessel that was given to you. You were given one vessel in this lifetime and it is your choice to decide how you will treat it. Your body is an external reflection of what is going on with your internal state.

If you are ridden with guilt, anxiety, chaos and this will be how you experience your body and the rest of your life. This same chaos will threaten the other areas of your life. You are unable to compartmentalize yourself in how you show up.

The mind of chaos, the mind of peace, the mind of love, the mind of gratitude, the mind of anger, all of these are states that will create in your physical form. Have you ever noticed that when you’re mindset is in a state of disease you experience tension, and even injury?

If you are unable to see that the vessel is showing you a clue of what you have going on with your mindset you will push it out farther and begin to create this same sensation in your life. This will show up as broken down cars, angry relationships, slow Wi-Fi and spilled coffee. The life you are living is a reflection of your internal state.

You take yourself everwhere.

What if the slow or crashing Wi-Fi is look at as a signal vs. a nuisance? The universe is sending your soul and your body a signal. Slow down. Hear the internal screams for silence, peace and needing a break.

Treat your body with kindness. You, the soul, are creating the perfect signals to guide you. It is up to you to look at them as directions instead of life sentences. Listen to all of the chatter that you allow yourself to believe. Would you say the things you say to yourself to your best friend or your mother?

The current injury, size and weight does not define who you are. These are just the current state of your experience.

You are not the body, the vessel is where you live.

And so it is.

Shit Not Going My Way

Shit Not Going My Way

Today’s message is all about how much time we spend in the turmoil of frustration.

Context: a part of my Organizational Consulting business is when I am organizing, clients will have me sell some of their items. then I take a portion of the commission.

A couple of weeks ago I had scheduled an entire day to drive over an hour and sell a bunch of items. And then… I had a couple of buyers not show up.

I sat in my car and just was beyond myself in anger and frustration. I was so annoyed with how few people are their word and disrespect others. I couldn’t get the feeling to pass and I still had more to do that day.

I told myself that I needed to drop the feeling and even though I said this to myself. I didn’t actually drop it. I was still harboring my annoyance. I had to pick up one more item and was meeting another buyer in a city closer to my/their home.

I get to the meeting location. I confirm with this individual no less than 6 times that they understand and know where the meeting spot is. They let me know they were running late from work and would arrive 20 mins after our agreed upon time.

I figure no big deal I am parked outside of the 2 stores I needed to go into after the meet up and now I could use this downtime to complete those two tasks.

I come out of errands and now it is 25-30 minutes later and they are no where to be found.

I message and they said they were looking for the location.

I sent them the address.

Another 10 minutes pass. I now have been waiting for them for 40 minutes.

At this point I did something I have never done before.

I yelled. I yelled at another human. I yelled at this human to insert the damn address into their GPS instead of just driving around looking for the location they picked out. There were a lot of other choice words.

I didn’t just want to drive away because then I would have been stuck with this object in my car or apartment for an extended amount of time.

Finally after an hour and 5 minutes they show.

They gave me an additional 15% because of my hassle and I was FUMING at this point.

I decide to go do some retail therapy. I had a gift card for REI. This way I could still comply with my No Clothes Shopping 1 Year and possibly pick out something nice.

I drove over to REI happily and walked around. I found the below sweater on the sale rounder. Perfect wool sweater for cold weather and specifically snowboarding.

I delightfully walked to the desk and handed them my gift card. The woman kind of stared at me and let me know that they had switched to a new computer system that morning and all gift cards no longer worked. She assured me she would be able to get the money off and onto the new cards but she would need to call the headquarters. This entire process would be 20-25 minutes to complete.

I kind of just closed my eyes and sighed and knew it was the epic ended to my day.

I complied and asked if there was anything I could do to make the process go faster. I asked if I could continue to browse while she worked through her process. I stayed calm and knew I just needed to surrender to my day and whatever the universe had planned for me. I had been fighting time and people and systems for 9+ hours.

I delightfully wandered REI.

My patience and being in a place of peace paid off. When I was called back to the front, the manager was so thankful for my patience and even temper they awarded me an additional 20% off of the sweater.

I had not cleared the frustration out of my space. Once I actually surrendered to just standing in the situation of where I was at, the universe said “Yes.” Frustration is an internal feeling and even when shit is not going your way the frustration is not felt by anyone else besides you. At this point, I could have done anything else besides be annoyed.

It is all choice. How many days are you spending like this?

Frustration or peace, it’s all your choice of how you’re willing to spend your time.

Venison Roast Tacos

Venison Roast Tacos

I had an extra venison roast and I love tacos and bowls. This seemed like a fantastic solution! Lean, delicious and multiple uses for a large chunk of meat.

CaloriesCarbsFatsProteinFiberServings
1563.32.7280.510

Meat Ingredients:

  • 840 grams of raw venison roast
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 300 grams onion
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 30 grams minced garlic
  • 1 large lime juice
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

Other taco building ingredients:

  • corn tortillas
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • rice
  • salsa

Instructions:

  1. Thaw meat.
  2. Place meat in a crock pot.
  3. Cut up onion to desired shape and put around the meat.
  4. Season!!!!
  5. Pour bone broth over the top.
  6. Secure lid, turn on high, set a timer for 8 hours and walk away.
  7. After 8 hours, pull apart with a fork and serve either as a taco or a burrito bowl. The broth is fantastic over some rice!

Gluten free, high protein, low carb solution. Make the entire roast and freeze off half for a meal 1 week later. Possibly use the first half as taco and the second half as burrito bowls.

The Next Recipe

Organize Your Life

Change Your Mind