&^$##!!!

I’m simply in a bad mood today. I started to feel it creeping in last night and now, am literally bubbling up inside. I know it’s 80% PMS but I’m just crabby. I nearly ripped this lady’s head off next to my on the train today — she was chomping on her piece of gum SO obnoxiously — I was crawling with frustrations. It’s a very rare feeling for me to have.

  • I’m crabby about work and the stupid, pointless emails I get where people just assume I’ll do their work for them.
  • Crabby about my weight-losses sloooooooooooowness
  • Crabby that my coaching bi z isn’t where I’d like it to be
  • Crabby that I’m stuck inside staring at a computer screen

The list can go on — I’m JUST GRUMPY!!!

AND IT’S EVEN TAKEN ME TEN PLUS MINS TO UPLOAD THIS D@MN POST!

I know it passes and in times like this, it’s best to just accept what I’m feeling, breath and don’t do anything drastic. Writing also helps! I’m going to the gym tonight & I plan on it being an extra-long one to help burn off my angst. After that, maybe a nice hot bath & I’ll do a mini-facial and listen to my fav music.

Anyone else have any tips on how to shake a bad mood?

Grumpily yours!!
Rachel

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The Hardest Lesson of All – To Love Thy Self

(This article is from my professional blog Undercurrent Coaching but I wanted to share it with you here.)


Why do we need to love ourselves? A favored topic among women’s literature and magazines, self-love advice is usually wrapped up in one or two vague and prescriptive lines, like be more confident; believe in yourself; accept who you are.

Has that advice ever helped you to? Probably not.

Love’s complexity is also its’ beauty. Healthy self-love is the full expression of the human spirit and without that sense of inner peace co-existing with the outer world, well — life would be pretty unbearable.

Self-love is what propels us to become better versions of ourselves. It’s not a static end-point — you don’t awake one day, fully self-loving and expect that to continue for the rest of your days.

Inspiration and reflection blend seamlessly together. Self-love is the balance between appreciating who you are and discovering who you will become.

Loving the self makes all other expressions of love visible. Like a house of cards, each layer depends upon the strength of the former, yet, each new layer, an extension of trust too.

Love of anything or anyone depends upon how much of yourself you see reflected within it. You soon recognize there is no separation between you and the other – somehow, you understand it’s all connected.

It’s one thing to intellectual say this and another to viscerally experience it. In the state of lucid acceptance, judgment of self is nearly impossible – and this ushers in the realization that self-love is possible when you stop being critical of yourself and appreciate the simplicity of being you.

What does it take to actually love yourself? There are conditions which bring about this desired level of awareness, and it’s comprised of virtues like openness, patience, acceptance, benevolence– you know, all those admirable human traits that have been around since the dawn of time.

But one important component to receiving self-love is, paradoxically, the experience of pain. Pain shapes how we navigate the world – pain’s lingering nature has the ability to haunt and torment long after the cause. In understanding your pain, you can understand your freedom too.

“There is a secrete medicine given only to those who hurt so hard they can’t hope – the hopers would feel slighted if they knew…” -Rumi

What this medicine is will vary for person to person, but it’s received through the altering of your pain. The transformation to self-loves comes from accepting your pain as your promise. They are inseparable. Until you connect the halves with you, authentic self-love is not possible. No one else can bring these two segments together for you.

Love of self makes all other expressions of love possible for everything we encounter is a mirror of who we are. The more we love and accept our selves, the greater we do the same to others.

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Something’s different…

Something is different.

I’m not caving into the “easy” option as readily anymore. My choices about my body’s fuel & energy come from a place of optimal performance; not of convenience.  I’m actually CRAVING healthier foods & activity — but it’s not for the sake of thinking those are “better” for me.

Something is different — but I’m not over-thinking it either.

  • Does it really matter why is want to choose making my breakfast at home as opposed to grabbing something on the way to work? Nah.
  • Does it really matter why I wanted to get off the train 3 stops before I needed to, so I could walk an extra 30 mins to my destination? Nope.
  • Does it really matter why I now enjoy tracking each day my meals, exercise & sharing my thoughts/experiences along the way? No!

But what I find most glorious is that I’m doing these little actions because I  want to — not because I should. 

I seemed to have returned to an awareness I had years ago, but perhaps didn’t have the maturity or deeper understanding of its significance: my attitude inside, how I treat my body, talk to myself and nurture its well-being, will eventually show up on the outside. 

With this understanding, time  doesn’t matter — if it takes 2 years or 20 years to be rid of the excess weight, does that matter? If each day I’m operating under the principal of kindness and love towards myself, does the scales number really matter?

It’s still a challenge to fully adopt that attitude, given the pressure culturally to be “thin.”

But I’m a living model that HEALTHY at ANY SIZE is valuable and powerful —- and my body reflects every bit of that through my clear glowing skin, lovely shiny hair, strong and long nails, toned & curves legs, proportioned and curvy body.

But what’s different is my inner-flame of what it means to be a strong, healthy & beautiful woman isn’t as afraid to shine — it actually really likes coming out for more people to see 🙂

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Why? ‘Cuz your worth it!

I’ve been on a real kick lately to better understand what seems like a crucial ingredient to succeed in anything — WORTH.

Not just knowing your worth, LIVING your worth (and here’s the shameless self-promotion of my coaching business – check out my latest article called “LIVING your worth.” )

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, self-worth is the keystone — you need a good dose of worth in order to keep all the parts in place. Why? Because there are times when you’ll wanna quit, question your ability to reach your personal goal and most of all –living out worth is the core motivation for even giving a damn about yourself in the first place.

Before, self-worth was mainly the internal clock I kept (very well I might add) that fuels my high level of confidence, but now, it’s reaching out in to new areas such as fitness, lifestyle and my professional life. Since I’ve revamped my understanding and practice of healthy self-worth, not only has my waistline seen the benefits, so too has my bank account — and that’s REALLY awesome.

It pays in multiple ways to know your worth, LIVE your worth, and let others join the party too.

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“What’s the point” you ask?

Last week, I rocked it  — I went to the gym/exercised six days in a week! I also stayed on Weight Watcher’s plan, tracked everything & felt so so good!

Like any weigh-in, you get nervous before hand — but felt really confident that this week the scale was going to show all my extra-hard work.

and then…

“Ok Rachel……you’re up this week.”

WHAT??!! I didn’t even look the person in the eye — I mouthed “fuck” under my breath as I felt tears well up in my eyes. As I slunk off, I could only mumble back to the staffer “…thanks..”

And then it chimed in —- “…what’s the point..it doesn’t matter, I’ll always be fat.” 

It took all my courage to sit down for the meeting and not just walk out the door, angry and disappointed. While I sat there waiting for the meeting to start, little tears fell down my cheek.

I felt like a failure. I felt like a phony. I felt broken and useless.

After our meeting, the room shared their victories this week: the pounds lost, the cravings overcome, the new records with fitness. Then I raised my hand and said:

My victory is that I’m even sitting here — I was about a second away from storming out, quitting and giving up when I had a gain after such a great week. My default went right to asking ‘what’s the point?’ But I stayed – I chose to stay because it’s important to me. Then I realized — eff-you scale if you’re not going to join me in my success — because this week I gave it my all and I’m still really proud.” 

So — what’s the point? That I didn’t give in to a minor let down. That I didn’t give up on all the good work I did. That a number on a scale isn’t WHO I fully am. 

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My urban “garden of Eden”

Growing up, it was my job to help tend to my father’s eclectic garden that he kept in our not-so big back yard. When I was small, it was so annoying to have to get up early and water all the plants  AND THEN do it all again just as the sun was setting. But looking back, it was awesome because now I know how to take care of plants and understand why he kept a garden — there’s a humble joy in seeing something you planted grow. 

I live in a really densely populated city outside of Boston, so lush green yards are hard to come by. Since buying fresh herbs cost so damn much, why not PLANT MY OWN right on my front steps. Growing made possible by tough tender love, discounted soil & the good people down at Pemberton Farms in Cambridge.

Here’s who is joining my family this year:

Fresh creeping tarragon -- Can't wait to add you in some chicken salad!

Basil -- sweet, aromatic & jazzy for any pasta dinner

Chives -- love sprinkling them into potatoes or in tuna

Rosemary -- you'll go on just about everything!

Mystery plant -- I forget what seeds you were, so I'll be surprised in another 4-6 weeks!

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Beating the “Eh, F*ck it” attitude

For those diligently trying to get rid of excess flab, you know the scenario — things are rocking the first few weeks of your new amazing healthy routine. You feel great, lost some pounds and think “wow, this is SO EASY!”

And this it hits — the day comes when you think “….ok, this is getting hard…can’t I go back to how I was before?” 

I was in that place for a bit this week. I awoke on Thursday morning a little later than I had planned, so wasn’t able to make the breakfast I mapped out the night before. The first thought that came into my mind was “Eh, fuck it — I’ll just get a bagel sandwich from Dunks…mmm ham.”  OH NO!

It got worse — I was ALSO planning on eating lunch out with co-workers and thought “Eh, screw it — I’ll just get whatever”  DOUBLE OH NO!

But I knew what was happening — the OLD voice of giving up was trying to persuade me to give in. So I put on my coaching hat and did a quick solo-session while I got ready for the day– here’s what the plan then looked like —

  • I still needed to get breakfast out, as it was too late to make it from home. So I compromised — I got a flat bread turkey sausage sandwich from Dunks, which equalled the same amount of Weight Watcher points I was going to make from my breakfast anyway — SCORE!
  • For lunch, I looked at the menu ahead of time for the Vietnamese place we always go to, and even went the extra mile as to see how I might factor the Weight Watchers points value. I had Pho, a yummy soup that’s a healthier choice.
  • That night, I hit the gym for 20 mins of cardio then took a Zumba class
  • For dinner, I enjoyed a divine and sensible sushi dinner out w/ a girlfriend

VICTORY! I didn’t blow the day after all! In fact, I stayed on plan AND had remaining activity points that I earned! 

But most of all — I didn’t give into that voice that wanted me to get lazy and fall  back into my old routine. It felt good to make smart choices while still having fun & going out for meals. The key was taking a moment to think it through and not destroy my day just because I was running 10 minutes late.

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I tried Zumba! [and I kinda sucked at it..but that’s OK!]

FINALLY 

I joined, what…2007?

This month I bought a trial  membership joined a gym that is  literally on my walk home because I really wanted to pump it up. First class I took was a yoga one — it wasn’t the Zen kind I was used to, but really felt the burn and it was nice to be the more experienced yogini in a class for once!

I was eyeing Zumba…but was nervous too, because dancing, rhythm and anything that takes well, grace and coordination isn’t “my thaaang” but I saw the people attending, they looked like they were having fun so I joined them too.

Here are some realizations —

  • DON’T OVER THINK RHYTHM. I was pretty lost and the more I looked at my instructors feet, the more my own got tripped up.
  • NO BODY GIVE A SH*T WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. Everyone is there to have fun & burn some energy…no one cares that you’re all sweaty, uncoordinated and tripping — just smile and have fun
  • IT’S OK NOT TO KNOW SOMETHING. Hence a class, right? I get a bit uncomfortable when I don’t know something, but then I remember “Oh wait, everyone had a first time too..so it’ll be OK.”
  • SHAKE WHATCHA GOT! I’ve got a curvy body…………so I will use it 🙂

RESULT  — Zumba was fun and worth another class!

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The REAL measure of a person..

Next time you find yourself putting more value to the number on the scale than your whole self, remember this:

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This coach can’t make excuses

I’m no stranger to attempts at weight loss. But I’ve accepted something — I’ve been the famed “yo-yo dieter” for too long, losing/gaining the same 5-10lbs. I’ve never tried any other “diet” other than Weight Watchers, which really isn’t a diet in my mind. I’m not interested in feeling deprived because well…..who wants THAT?

I was doing WW online for a bit and again, the same few pounds kept bouncing around. I wasn’t happy, but the alternative of not trying wasn’t my style. I wanted something that kept me more accountable and had a social quality to it. Well DUH — the LIVE meetings, right?

In-person meetings had much success in my previous weight loss of 50 lbs. Except this time, it felt daunting because my schedule is already so incredibly packed with things, making  a trip into the city felt impossible.

But HEY! I’m a life coach…..and if I can coach others around their goals, I can do the same for myself. Some coach if I didn’t, right? So I asked myself — what will it take to be able to make time in your schedule to attend meetings? I moved my schedule around to no longer coach on Tuesday evenings, leaving my night free to attend class. Simple, right? Hmm..

Another winey thought came to me “But, what if I’m tired and don’t want to gooo?” And my answer? “If my clients can show-up for our calls every single week and give their all, then I’ve no excuse not to show up to something that matters to me too.”

So my clients and their commitment to coaching  is my anchor for me attending classes and being earnest with my program. And I feel really good about it because it matters to me — this matters to me.

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