Permission Granted

“Help me decide,” I said.

I don’t often ask for help. Very, VERY rarely do I outsource decision-making. I can’t actually remember the last time I asked someone to help me decide anything. These are not things I’m particularly proud of but are actually things I’m working on, so for me to ask for help deciding something is pretty monumental.

I’ve spent the past 3 months in complete overdrive. My decision to make a change in one area of my life has had a domino-like effect on the rest and not positively. You know the saying that goes sometimes things get worse before they get better? That’s the pickle I put myself in. And sure enough, pretty immediately my body started pumping out cortisol at the perceived threat.

Stress is the catalyst for my PCOS. The second my cortisol levels start to rise, I start to have symptoms again. The simplified explanation for this is:

Cortisol and Insulin are the two BIG hormones in the body. The production of both must be balanced and when one goes off kilter, so does the other. And these two master hormones have a cascading effect on all the other hormones in the body. This is so regardless of gender.

This is why people say stress kills. Ultimately, it does.

So when a very positive experience occurred last week, one that I believe will ultimately put me where I want to be, I started wondering if maybe I could slow down. Except that I could come up with a million and one reasons why I shouldn’t, even though my body was begging me to. I knew I was going to over-think this and make myself feel even worse. So I asked for help.

“I think you need a break,” he said. That was followed by a gentle plea to not make myself sick (interesting that this is something I hear often from people who love me: don’t make yourself sick, which is code for I love you, please slow down).

The decision made, I suddenly felt 50 lbs lighter. I might just be taking a break. I might have to start all over again in a month or so. But for now, I can breathe and allow my body to go back into homeostasis.

For now, I have time.

Things I’m Pondering

I’ve been MIA here of late and I apologize. My priorities are being pulled in multiple directions at the moment and stopping to write hasn’t been something I’ve been able to do.
While I usually come to you with fully formed ideas and solutions, today I’m going to share with you things I’m cogitating on.
I’ve recently subscribed to The Daily Stoic. A few days ago this quote landed in my inbox:
“He heard the warning of Marcus Aurelius; cease to be whirled about; and of Baudelaire: ‘Pleasure consumes us, work strengthens us. Let us choose.’”
It’s from Budd Schulberg’s novel about his time with F. Scott Fitzgerald. I keep coming back to it a couple times a day, turning it over and over in my mind. The rebel in me immediately said “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” but I KNOW that the point of the warning contained in that quote isn’t to abstain from pleasure, it’s to not be LED by it.
Time has been a serious pain point for me of late. Without going into too much detail, I’m in a spot where I need to stop doing some things so that I have time to do other things, except that I cannot stop doing said things because I don’t have what doing the things I want to do would bring me. Time has become something so elusive and precious. The reality is that it is THE only non-renewable resource we have. And when we don’t have enough of it, we suffer. One of the things I’ve finally realized though is that instead of reinforcing that I don’t have time, I’m reminding myself that I DO have time. I have enough time.
I have enough of everything I need. And so do you. We always do and always will.

Where Did Spring Go (and other bits and bobs)

Thursday it was in the 60s on Cape Cod. Friday we had a Nor’Easter. And we have another one forecasted for Tuesday of this week. Welcome to spring in New England 😂

Things that are going really remarkably well right now: my experiment with decisiveness and Jen Sinkler’s #30daysofKBs. Me being decisive has tapped into my natural resiliency and shown me that I’m more flexible than I give myself credit for. This reminds me of this meme:

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Kettlebells have been my favorite training tool since I was introduced to them 5+ years ago so when Jen Sinkler announced her latest challenge, I instantly committed. Even the muscles between my ribs are sore. If kettlebells are also your favorite, head over to her site and sign up for her emails.

Since this week holds Saint Patrick’s day, I’m making corned beef from scratch using this recipe. I’m starting the brine tonight. And because I also have boneless short ribs to use, I’m making this Curried Beef Stew as well, which I’m very much looking forward to. The short ribs and the brisket came in my Butcher Box subscription, which I’m finding to be very much worth the investment.

That’s about all I have for you today. I hope you enjoy your Sunday and have a great week!!

All About That App

This week I’m sharing apps that I use that have been beneficial in habit formation and my overall wellbeing. Most of them are free with upgrade potential and all are available via iTunes. I don’t know about Android compatibility, unfortunately.

  1. Momentum: this is a habit tracker. Well, you can track anything in it, but I use it for three specific habits: meditation, writing, and movement. It’s free for up to 3 habits, upgrading gives you an unlimited amount of items to track. What I particularly love about this app is the reminders. I have it set to remind me at 8 PM if I haven’t done my three habits. It actually saved me last night as I’d forgotten to get my movement quota in.
  2. Calm: this is my meditation app. I only use it as a timer which is free. The guided meditations are a paid upgrade. What I like about it is that you can set a theme which has background noise (I like rain). This is beneficial for those of us auditorially hyperactive as it masks life noises such as dryer buzzers, cars driving past with loud music, or the neighbor’s dog barking incessantly.
  3. MyFlo: a friend of mine just introduced me to this app, which is menstrual cycle tracker. This was $1.99 and it’s been totally worth the cost. It was designed by a fellow health coach and the insights have been really interesting, even for someone who studies hormone balance. One of the neat functions is that you can add your partner to it so that he is alerted to how you’re doing. If you have a super supportive partner, this could be really nice. Did you know that ALL women once they hit 35 are considered to be perimenopausal? I didn’t.
  4. Fitocracy: this one is a free fitness app with an accompanying website. I use both. It’s just a great way to track what, specifically, you are doing for exercise and it assigns points, kind of like a video game, which is nice if you’re a gold star collector. I’m still tickled when I level up and it’s neat that it notifies you when you’ve hit a PR. It’s also social so you can do challenges with your friends if you’re into that sort of thing.
  5. Spotify: Okay, this really isn’t habit related, but I REQUIRE music for many things. You can use it for free (with ads) but I highly recommend upgrading.
  6. Mint: Cleaning up my financial house has been something I’ve been working on diligently since last August and I could NOT do that without a budget and financial tracker. I check in every single morning which helps me stay in integrity with my spending and keeps me from burying my head in the sand when it gets tight.
  7. Thyme: this is a free timer, designed for cooking. It has 5 timers you can run simultaneously which is nice when batch cooking.
  8. Ibotta/Ebates: cash back on stuff you’re going to buy anyway? Yes, please.
  9. OurGroceries: I’ve been using this one for years, including when I had an Android phone so I know it’s available on that platform. It’s a grocery list that can be synced to the website AND it can be shared with family members, which is nice. Two things I’ve learned not to do is shop hungry or shop without a list.
  10. Evernote: I use this for many things including writing, to do lists, and saving articles/recipes. It’s a very useful tool. They’ve changed the pay structure for this recently so now you can use it on two devices for free. I’ve yet to max out the allowable storage per month – you’re allowed to store a certain amount each month new, not in total – which is better than some other cloud storage services.

That’s all for now. Have a great week, everyone!

Hello 2017

“Who do you look up to? Who leads a life that you find interesting?”

These are questions I asked my 15 year old son on the way home from Christmas with my extended family. Of course, because I was asking him these questions, I had to consider it for myself.

There are many people I admire, whether it be for their professional success or how they show up in their personal lives. But the common thread throughout is this: they are UNAPOLOGETIC. They do things their way, no matter what the naysayers might think, and they show up, every single day.

Here’s the asterisk to that: just because I admire someone doesn’t mean I should do things the way they do them. Have you ever heard the saying “trying to fight a square peg into a round hole”? That’s exactly what it feels like when I try to do things someone else’s way.

Modeling yourself after someone doesn’t mean making yourself a cookie cutter copy. It means you look at their process. It means you look at what, specifically, draws you to that person. For me, it’s that these people are unapologetic and authentic that stands out.

Here’s a really good example: there is one woman who, when I look at her life and her business, I think “I want that”. I am not remotely like her. I’m an introvert, she’s an extrovert. She is supremely confident in her place in this world, her purpose, and who she wants to show up as. She is willing to look fear in the face and push forward anyway. I have those possibilities within me, as do you, but they’re still pretty buried beneath years of “be quiet, you’re too much, who do you think you are”. I find it very helpful to participate in her programs, listen to her podcast, and pay attention, not to WHAT she’s doing, but WHO she is as she’s doing it.

I feel it important to note that I’m not paying attention to WHAT she is doing because I don’t want to BE her. I’m NOT her and therefore shouldn’t do things the way she does. I don’t want to be anyone other than who I am, unapologetically and authentically, and this is something I’ve struggled with since I started coaching because I naively surrounded myself with loads of resources wanting to tell me exactly how to build my business and exactly how to run it. It all felt wrong and inauthentic and forced and I very nearly threw in the towel.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be making some changes to this site and to my social media accounts. “What Health Coaches Eat” is going away in favor of a more authentic URL, as much because health is about so much more than just food as because I have found “What Health Coaches Eat” to be a bit constricting (not something I’d considered when I so enthusiastically bought the URL and built this site around it a year ago). This will also allow for evolution: the evolution of my message, the evolution of my style of coaching, and the evolution of my products and services.

If you follow me on Instagram (@barbara_g_hyatt), you may have seen my post about my intentions for 2017: clarity and ease (not to be confused with “easy” – for me this means that I stop fighting what is). The coming changes are in alignment with these intentions and my hope is that with these changes, my role in all of your lives will also bring clarity and ease.

I’m ready for 2017, are you?