Day 24 – The “Permission” Decision

*I am on day 24 of training my willpower. 24 of 30 days with no booze. This day was one I wanted to share as the lesson was powerful. choice

Day 24 was interesting. I realized something about myself. I have a threshold. Let me explain. I was shopping for shoes in the last two hours that the stores were open for shoes that I desperately needed to get for a conference THE NEXT DAY (today). I was in a little bit of a panic. I was distracted and on the phone when I walked into clothing store A (NOT A SHOE STORE). I proceeded to look at a bunch of clothes that I DID NOT DESPERATELY NEED but were SO AWESOME. Jogging pants. Perfect business attire, no? I should mention that I had asked a friend of mine if she could lend me some clothes for the conference so I did not have to go shopping for clothes. She did and I had the perfect outfit planned. All I needed was shoes. DRESS SHOES. Not jogging pants. 

After trying on the pants, I decided I wanted them, and that my boyfriend needed new boxer shorts and I made my first purchase. I knew that I didn’t NEED any of it but I decided to go ahead and do it anyways. And that changed the course of the whole evening.

I ended up purchasing a whole new “business outfit” in store B and then proceeded to almost buy a pair of boots (that were WAY out of my price range) in store C. I settled for some ballet flats (the only thing I originally needed) and some socks to go with the outfit. Then I proceeded to go downstairs to look at the spring jackets. I had seen one that I REALLY liked a couple weeks ago and wanted to try it on again. I did but by then I was tired and I realized that I had totally blown my budget. So I went home, jacketless.

Does this resonate with you? The decision. Let’s change the first clothing purchase decision to one about FOOD, ALCOHOL, PROCRASTINATION. Have you ever made that decision to go against what you should do in the moment and then not have the control to stop?

  • I’m just going to have ONE COOKIE
  • I’m just going to have ONE DRINK
  • I’m just going to check my Facebook ONCE and then keep working

It is something that has been a pattern for years… and usually leads to multiple bad decisions. For example, I did not leave the mall without buying some ice cream. I had actually had ice cream earlier but I had given myself permission to make crazy purchases… Why stop there?

  • I’m going to have one drink, maybe two… and then let’s order some fries
  • I’m going to have one cookie, maybe two… want to order pizza?
  • I’m going to check facebook, check out that add for shoes… I’m just going to order these then get back to work.

Do you see the trend?

GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION

Once you give yourself permission for one thing, it generally leads to more permissive behavior. And that is what willpower training is all about. Learning to say NO to the FIRST bad decision that you make. That will ALWAYS lead to a better outcome. If you are lacking self control and discipline in your life then this is more likely to happen NO MATTER WHAT the circumstances are. Once you give yourself permission it tells your mind you are in a free for all and it takes advantage of that. If you say NO from the beginning you have the control. The truth is YOU ALWAYS HAVE CONTROL but once you make that first decision, and you allow yourself to lose control, it can lead to disastrous consequences… and then feeling of shame and guilt and remorse.

The key is to be able to see the WHY? Why am I doing this? Do I really need this? Is this decision in agreement with my goals and dreams? If the answer is yes, then go for it. If the answer is no you have to dig deeper and ask yourself if it is really needed. Is the purchase/drink/food that you want now going to give you more joy than NOT having it later? If you have the one, can you stop at one?

As I go through this journey I realize I have come a long way but I have a lot of work still to do. Is 30 days enough to change what I have conditioned my body and mind to do for the past 39 years? I know that I learned a lesson today. The next time this happens I will be more aware of how my decision will affect the rest of my day and I hope that it is a different one.  Spending money that I don’t really have, on clothes that I didn’t really need was not living my best life. Funny thing is at the time I thought that I needed those clothes, and I actually do. I do not have ONE outfit to wear for a business or non casual event. I wore sneakers to a funeral in the summer. However, it is HOW I went about it that changes everything. Instant gratification and on the spot decisions that will affect the rest of my life. Or will they?

What I need to do now is reset and move the F on. Back to the affirmations about self-discipline. LESSON LEARNED.

I am in complete control of my thoughts, my actions and my life. Every day I improve my willpower through persistent practice and my willpower becomes stronger. Exercising self-control gives me an immense feeling of accomplishment. I acknowledge my resistance and move forward. I am in charge of my behaviors and actions. I am in charge of my life. 

Actionable item day 24 – Write out the above self-discipline affirmation on a small card (or your own affirmation) and put it in your wallet. Take it out and read it when you are making a decision that might lead to permissive behaviour. If you do make that first decision, then read it after. Be completely aware of “permissive” behaviour and stop it in it’s tracks.

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DAY 14- REPLACE PERFECTION WITH ACCEPTANCE

For the last 14 days I have been working on my self-discipline and writing about it every day. I quit drinking 14 days ago. I don’t know if it is for good, or for now, but I wanted to take 30 days to test it out. Here is my entry for day 14:

10862717_10203605141269987_5358158054054574469_oI’ve started to notice my self-discipline improving in other areas of my life. I know there are other things that I need to work on, especially my ability to say no, but I know that doing too much will overwhelm me, or maybe not. Working on my self-discipline is obviously rubbing off on other areas of my life. I can feel myself getting stronger. Not perfect, but better. I accept where I am and I am working towards where I want to be. As much as I want everything to fall into place at once I am realistic in knowing that it can’t happen as fast as I want it to. It will take time. It will take effort. Just like training for a marathon or learning a new skill. Build muscle and stamina little by little, one run or skill at a time.

For many years of my life I wanted to be perfect with my habits. I would go through what I would call deprivation phases, or I would do diets, exercise programs, cleanses to “clean up my act”. As great as they sometime were at the time, eliminating everything at once not only made me miserable, it also was TOO MUCH willpower to use at once. Once I was “done” or I quit I would go back to my old ways WITH A VENGEANCE. I call that my indulgence phase. Food, alcohol, caffeine. Maybe not right away but eventually. It would be like running a marathon before you trained for it. Could you imagine how your body would feel? Do you think you would even make it through the race? If not physically then mentally?

The same will happen to your willpower if you do too much too soon. As badly as you want to change your life in all the areas of your life you will need to work on one thing at a time. As you change your habits one by one you will be building your willpower in a way that is sustainable and successful. Just like training for a marathon you will be able to not only complete the race but you will have a “good time” because you aren’t being overwhelmed by being overly disciplined. For me those cleanses usually ended up making me sick as I was under eating and overtraining in the gym. It’s all about training your habits one by one and leaning into the change you want to see in your life. Starting with THE BIG ONE.

THE HIERARCHY OF HABITS

We all have an idea of what we would like our lives to look like. Some are closer then others to achieving that. Imagine yourself there. My vision has been the same for a while:

  • Eat whole foods
  • Drink alcohol on occasion but never in large quantities
  • Drink water
  • Take vitamins
  • Exercise regularily but not to excess
  • Stretch and mobilize every day
  • Floss and brush my teeth
  • Call and visit my family regularly
  • Spend time with my children
  • Be more disciplined with my children (i.e. learn to say no)
  • Take time for myself
  • Work on my finances and my budget
  • Meditate, read affirmations and do visualizations

The list goes on but you get the idea. Lots to do. What I’ve come to realize is that I will never be perfect in all my habits. When I am focusing on one thing the others tend to be left behind. For example, right now I am writing and working on building my business. It takes a lot of time and energy, and along with raising my boys I don’t have as much time to focus on food preparation. I am also not drinking. So I eat out a little more, which is not ideal. Also my house isn’t as clean as I would like it to be, not even close to it. When I was at home with my kids and not working, I would be prepping meals, cleaning and taking care of the kids 24/7 but I didn’t have to worry about making money at all. I would also have a glass of wine at the end of a long day. When you know what your goals are, you know what your priorities are. You can’t do it all. You need to learn to counterbalance the “other stuff” with the “BIG stuff”, which is whatever you are focused on right now.

So if your goal is to be the BEST YOU how do you go about it? 

We all have one thing that we know we need to change. We all have that one thing that is nagging that you have wanted to change in the past but keep on falling short. Or you haven’t tried. Quitting smoking, quitting drinking (or cutting down), eating well, exercising more, being more spiritual. I’ve always known mine was alcohol related but every time I did a cleanse or tried to stop drinking I was also trying to eat well and exercise along with it. This time I focused on the one thing and let the others go. Guess what happened? The others naturally fell into place. With my increased self-discipline around alcohol I naturally started to have more discipline around my other habits. But the great thing was that it didn’t matter. If I wanted to eat cake or candy or chips I could. Everything feels doable because I am not restricting too much at once that I feel overwhelmed. Improvement not perfection.

The trick is to be ready for THE BIG ONE. As much as you know that quitting smoking or drinking or eating well and exercise will change your life you need to be ready and committed to that change. I promise you it will change your life for the better. I promise you that you will not regret doing it, in fact, you will have wished you did it sooner. But I can also tell you that it will not be easy. It will require you to be uncomfortable. There will be moments it will feel unbearable. You might want to quit. But you won’t. You cannot fail.

So what habit you choose is important. If you have a lot to pick from because you are far away from your goal, then pick the one that will make the biggest difference in your life. The one that will make everything easier. If you aren’t ready for that one, then pick something small and work your way there. It might be less uncomfortable. Walk instead of run if that is where you are. You will be running in no time, as long as you don’t run too fast or too far too soon. Pace yourself. We are in it for the long haul. The rest of your life.

It is important that right now you surrender to where you are and acknowledge how far you have to go. Change will have to happen and it will not be always be easy. But if you remind yourself of your goals and WHY you want to achieve them then the discomfort will be a reminder of that. You are working at being great rather then mediocre, and by knowing that, you can celebrate the discomfort rather then dread it.  Discipline is bringing you closer to what you love, to who you want to be and the life you have always imagined.

Embrace the change. Celebrate the discomfort.

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Diet Free and Loving Life (and getting muscle ups)

If you ever told me that I would be OK with my body I would have laughed in your face a year ago. It didn’t matter how “good” I looked to others it was NEVER ENOUGH for me. Diet after diet after diet. Failure after failure after failure. Then something changed. I remember sitting down to write in this blog and I realized I was in a cycle. History kept repeating itself. For things to change I had to do something different.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
– Tony Robbins.

First I realized I had a problem. No matter how good I looked I never felt like I looked good. I was always wanting more, and the scale was my krypto_mg_1612nite. I would weight myself every day and my self esteem and body image that day was based on that number. If it was high, I was low… and vice versa.

I had met Summer at the Masters of Movement Week in Toronto and I loved her talk and I signed up for her Rock Your Body program. I honestly signed up because I thought it would bring me to my “NEXT LEVEL BODY” but it did much more.

It taught me that I was enough. It taught me to love myself today. I threw away my scale and learned to listen to my body and feed her when she was hungry. I stopped dieting and started living. Now that I wasn’t obsessing about food my brain had more “free space” to focus on other important matters.

DESA7238The other thing that came out from it was that I learned to TRUST MYSELF with food for the first time in years. And since I trusted myself more I went for it and started trusting myself in other areas of my life. My job, my dreams and goals… I was ready to conquer it all.

The greatest thing of all is that my body is happy now. She isn’t perfect but she is happy because I don’t abuse her anymore with deprivation then binging. And to prove a point I weighed myself one last time. The two pictures were taken 2 years apart. In one of them I was 15 lbs HEAVIER then the other. I could also run faster, lift more weights and was happier then I have ever been… and I was free.

AND I GOT MY MUSCLE UP WHEN I WAS AT MY “HEAVIEST”. Bullshit to all the trainers who try to say that you can’t get a pull-up because you need to lose weight!

So if you are ready to ditch your diet and learn to trust yourself please check out my friend Summer’s program out. She now has a FREE Rock Your Body Video Series. Check it out HERE.

Love your body now. Stop waiting for life to happen. Make it happen. Be happy NOW!

P.S. I realize I said I wasn’t bloggin here anymore but until my new site is complete… I NEED AN OUTLET TO EXPRESS MYSELF…

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Unleashing the Lion Within

“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher”
-Thomas Henry Huxley

When I started this blog I wanted BALANCE. I wanted to live a balanced life. I had just lost a lot of weight and wanted to maintain it. I was controlling my food, exercising like a mad woman and obsessing about every bite that went into my mouth. I embraced my vulnerabilities and wrote about them frequently in this blog. Many people admired my ability to be vulnerable in such a public domain and related to my struggles in one way or another. Then something happened. I quit being Mia.
I quit because I was tired of identifying with that person. I wanted more out of life. I realized looking back at the blog that I was cycling through the same behaviours and actions and as much as I was growing I knew for REAL CHANGE. Something big had to change.

I had to change my thinking. I had to stop thinking and writing about my vulnerabilities. I had to stop thinking and writing and talking about the thoughts and behaviours that were holding me back. I had to create the version of me that I wanted to be. I had to eat, sleep and breath her. I had to become Mia again. Changing EVERYTHING meant changing nothing but the way I thought about myself.

YOUR THOUGHTS CONTROL YOUR LIFE. I changed nothing but my thoughts and my whole life changed. This is how I did it.

I STOPPED PRESSING SNOOZE
Why do you get up in the morning? Is it to live or is it to get by? I decided that life was too short to “get through” another day. I became excited about my life and my goals. Even though my goals were big and the work to do was going to be hard I was excited to get up and live every day. I woke up excited to live. I refused to snooze. I set the intention to get up, brush my teeth, splash my face with water and get dressed and go about my day as if it might be my last.

MEDITATION
I started meditating (I can see you roll your eyes). I mediated about success, about confidence, about wealth, about balance, about focus. The first week was hard but as I got into the groove I started to see changes. I was thinking differently. I didn’t give myself a choice. Every morning that’s how I began my day. Some days were harder then others. Some days the meditation was 2 minutes as my kids decided to get up, but I still took the time to breath and reflect.

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
This would probably be my biggest change. It may make you think about Stewart Smalley from SNL saying “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dogone it people like me.” And guess what? It is TOTALLY like that. At first I thought it was RIDICULOUS but I did it anyways. At first I read affirmations from the internet. Just google affirmations. Then as got comfortable I started writing out affirmations about success, health, wealth, self confidence. I thought of the person I wanted to be and I said the words out loud (to myself). And it worked. Things started to happen that I cannot explain. Everything about me changed.

VISUALIZATIONS
I started to visualize what I wanted my life to look like. My perfect life. My house, my car, my well behaved kids, my successful career and the smile on my face. Whatever I wanted, I visualized. My goals and dreams coming true. And they did.

BELIEVE AND CREATE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS
What I have come to realize while I have been absent from the blogosphere is that YOU CREATE YOUR LIFE. Albeit you cannot control the outside world, you can control your thoughts and actions on a daily basis. You can choose how to think, and how to act, and how to react to people and situations in your life. You can choose to be miserable, you can choose to give up, or you can choose to live. You can choose to be WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE. You are not your life situation. Stop waiting for tomorrow to change. When you get thinner, or less busy, or you have more money, or more time. Live your life now.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed. Try again. The more you have failed the more you have tried. Try again with a different mindset this time.
My mission in life is to help people. My mission in life is to wake you up, shake you up and show you how beautiful life can be. It isn’t always going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.
By changing my mindset I unleashed my inner lion. The lion that has been inside me the whole time but had been covered in sheep skin. The sheep was my armour protecting me from harm. My past failures and my life experiences created the sheepskin and through time I became comfortable and warm in there. Removing the armour and living the life of a lion is SCARY and UNCOMFORTABLE. I could fail. I could get hurt. And I might… but that is the chance I need to take to reach for the stars, think big, and live my life to the fullest.

“Don’t fear big. Fear mediocrity. Fear Waste. Fear the lack of living to your fullest. When we fear big we either consciously or unconsciously work against it. We either run toward lesser outcomes and opportunities or we simply run away from big ones. If courage isn’t the absence of fear but moving past it then thinking big isn’t the absence of doubts, but moving past them. Only living big will let you experience your true life and work potential”
THE ONE THING by Gary Keller.

There is more to come my friends… STAY TUNED…

Life has just gotten REAL INTERESTING… DAH DAH DAH (insert mysterious deep voice saying that)

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Full Circle – Saying Goodbye

It all started on the way back from NYC when I heard the song “The Cave” by Mumford and Sons. I knew something had to change. I was deeply depressed and unhappy with myself and my life. I slowly started making changes, some small and some large to be here in this moment.

At the time I knew things needed to change but I wasn’t clear on the why. I’ve made huge gains and some huge mistakes along the way but now I am here and the future is clear.

“Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development” – Jim Rohn

It is time to say goodbye to the person I was yesterday. It is time for a big change.

“If you want you life to be different you have to be willing to do something different first”  -Kevin Bracey

I thank you for all your support through the years. I accept my past but I am not that person. A new version of me is in my grasp but to be her I can no longer Be Mia. Because I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I could have been and done so much more. As much as I embrace my vulnerable side there is a strong successful side that has remained dormant.

Independent. Self-reliant. Successful.

It all begins with a belief. A belief that you can be more then you ever imagined. It all begins with your thinking and it is carried out with your actions.

Your life is now. Tomorrow isn’t good enough. Make today the life of your dreams. Stay tuned to some changes that will BLOW YOUR MIND!

So I will end this last post with the song that started it all and leave you with this thought.

Why did you wake up this morning? 

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Old Dogma. New Tricks (Part 2) – F**K IT

I have started to make real changes in my life. I have come to realize that I have been find-peacespinning my wheels for my whole life. Although I have made progress, there are some recurring themes and battles that I have faced that always seem to come back and slap me in the face. Everything is going well and BAM! I lose my path and start behaving as if I don’t know any better. I am on a mission to revamp the way I do things cause this sure isn’t working. When history repeats itself you may need to go back to the drawing board and rewrite the whole damn thing.

I know who I want to be and I know where I am. Some days the gap between the two is small and on other days I can’t even see my ideal self in the mess of the present. Until now this is how I have dealt with things. I wonder if you can relate:

1. Decide “THAT”S IT”
2. Go HAM on everything. Eat Clean. Train like an animal. Stop drinking.
3. After two weeks of this FEEL AMAZING. I think “wow I can’t believe I haven’t lived like this all my life. I will never go back to the old me.”
4. Something happens. Work stress. Home stress. Tired. BOOM! All goes out the window. Starts with something small and ends with me eating pizza in bed feeling shame and having a sore belly.
5. On average 3-5 days pass and I go back to step 1. Although this phase could go longer.

Funny enough one of the first posts in this blog is about DEPRIVATION and INDULGENCE cycles of my life.

Have I not learned anything?

Yes I have. But I was going about it all wrong. My diet mentality, my fear of being fat is stopping me from being the person I want to be. And coming into the holidays is the worse. I deprive until the parties and then eat and drink like the world is ending.

Can you relate? Do you want to stop the cycle?

I know I do and I think the only way to do it is say FUCK IT! I will eat whatever I want, whenever I want (I just had a mini heart attack saying that).

What if I decided to stop the cycle and learn to trust myself. Turn food into food and not some kind of trophy or make it more than it is FOOD. Fucking FOOD.

Some people don’t think about food like I do. Some people just eat it. Not me. It is an obsession beyond an obsession. It has to stop.

I have made a few changes in my life that have put things into perspective. I recommend you listen to the following podcasts. Although I have not read The Miracle Morning I have started implementing some of the ideas from this podcast in my life. I am already seeing changes.

My nutritionist/therapist (we should find a new name for that) Nutrapist? Summer Innanen has a podcast that I love. For all you diet and food obsessed people who want to STOP THE MADNESS listen to any of these episodes. Although if you go on iTunes the latest two about the holiday madness and the one about crushing self doubt are amazing.

I have never felt better or thought clearer in all my life. Morning meditation, gratitude, intention and the belief that I will remain committed to my goals. Belief in what I am doing, where I am going and that failure is not the opposite of success, but a stepping stone to it.

I have failed many times in my life, especially when it comes to food and drink. That means that I have learned over and over and over and are closer and closer to success. The amount that I have failed makes me realize that I am going about it all wrong. I will change the way I do things and try,try, try again. Cause I want it SO BAD.

I know the person I want to be and until now I haven’t trusted myself enough to become her. Here is my intention (you may not believe it when you first write it down but the more you tell yourself it’s true to closer it becomes true):

I trust myself and my future.

When I respect myself and the commitments I make to myself, like eating healthy, exercising, and being productive I am happy and feel a strong sense of accomplishment. This sense of accomplishment fills me with pride and joy and brings me closer to the person I want to be. I want to follow through on my words because my actions will help me achieve my goals and develop my self esteem. I am not my past. I can do anything I put my mind to if I believe in myself, work hard and stay focused and dedicated to where I want to be.

A setback is not a failure.

I don’t want to live a mediocre life. I want it to be great. Mediocrity is easy, but great needs to be earned. And I am ready to work for it. 

The power of intention is strong. So is gratitude, love and self confidence. The belief that you can achieve your goals. Whatever it is, go forth and conquer. I’ll be here to cheer you on and write about my journey, right alongside you.

P.S. By the way part of my journey involves writing everyday. I guess I don’t have to post it to my blog but if my words help others then I think it is worth it. Don’t know how long my public posts will last. I might have some demons in the closet.

P.S.S. I remember struggling to write 1000 word essays. This one is close. It’s amazing how writing about your passion makes it seem so easy to do. Wait… almost there. Need 10 more words and I am at 1000. There we go.

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Conscious Reality

I Live My Life in Growing Orbits – Rainer Maria Rilke

“I live my life in growing orbits
Which move out over the things of the world
Perhaps I can never achieve the last
But that will be my attempt
I am circling around God
Around the ancient tower
And I have been circling for a thousand years
And I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song.”

This one is out there. I always know when my blog post are going to be popular. Weight loss and CrossFit etc. always gets attention. This one is not one of them. This one comes from a different place… far far away. Although I feel it might be some sort of philosophical idea that I have never read about that exists in some book somewhere.

I was thinking about consciousness. Consciousness is a weird thing when I start really thinking about it. I’ve blacked out or passed out and woken up not remembering what happened. Although everybody around me can tell me what happened. We hear stories of people dying and being revived, memory loss, Alzheimer’s.

Nothing exists to you when you lose consciousness. Albeit life goes on to all the people around you but you are no longer aware. Just like the world existed before you came, it will exist once you are gone. Or does it?

If I can’t remember what happened before I was alive and I won’t after I die then don’t I make my own reality? Without my consciousness, the world ceases to exist.

Bare with me. If anyone is still reading.

So doesn’t that mean that I am in charge of my own reality? And doesn’t that mean that in the grand scheme of things I can control and manipulate my environment as I am subconsciously the master of my life.

Am I God? Have I been all along? My thoughts and actions will be the only thing that matter when it comes to my life. Although I cannot control my external environment, the way that I act and live and think and behave all come from me. And even further, once I die this reality ceases to exist so aren’t I creating it?

If I am creating my own life then the world will cease to exist when I die.

I surrender to it all.

If I am in control of this life I will manipulate it as much as I can to make it the best life possible.

If I am God then anything is possible.

P.S. I don’t believe I am God. Well I do, but not your God. Just mine. You can have your own God, or be your own God. 

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