First off, I want to apologize for not writing the last two months… Although I have been very busy, that’s never stopped me before and the only logical reason I have this time is that the experiences I’ve had over the last several months have left me to ponder a lot of things. So much so, I’ve had time to reflect and come to many purposeful conclusions that I’d love to share with you in my Lessons of 2012.
Many of you know, I had the opportunity to travel to Dubai at the end of November for the launch of PTA Global in the Middle East, and the Master Trainer Program, which resulted in the debut of PTA Global into many new regions of the world. Being the Training & Education Coordinator for PTA Global only since May, this was pretty much my first shot at the big leagues, and I needed to prove that I had what it takes to lead a world-class program (created by THE BEST in the industry) globally, and run with it. This trip was, what I call, the trip of my life both personally & professionally. Personally, I uncovered things about myself that I didn’t know existed, and I found the faith to let my true self be seen. Professionally, I realized that the potential that WE ALL HAVE, can only be uncovered when we are surrounded by those who BELIEVE we can, and who provide a support system for us to safely fail and successfully get back up.
Did I prove myself? Honestly… I can’t be the judge of that, but I believe the actions that come from others afterwards can. Which leads me to lesson #1.
1. Leaders are SILENT.
At the end of day 2 of the Mentorship in Dubai, we asked the students if their expectations were met. Getting half way around the room, we came to a very confident, outspoken, and very loveable guy, who interjects with a “Yes, my expectations were met. But I just want to say, that Hayley, your reputation precedes you, and you went above and beyond, and I am thoroughly impressed with you.” (Maybe not exact words, but similar message). To which was supplemented by a round of applause from the entire room. This may seem silly, but I was very uncomfortable, and then found myself wanting to cry out of overwhelming gratitude. I was uncomfortable, for many reasons, the first of which I was standing next to my mentor, Scott Hopson who I look up to and believe is one of the best presenters in the industry and should be getting the round of applause. Second, in all the mentorships I had attended in the last three years, I don’t recall anyone (all of the co-founders) getting a round of applause. I wanted to cry, because in that moment I realized that those who led me to where I was standing and getting that round of applause were SILENT leaders, and what they taught me and what I was able to do at that Mentorship was to lead SILENTLY through action. The round of applause was for all those who came before me.
Those that lead, are silent while taking action. Without dictating or pointing fingers, in order to start a movement and lead others we must first take action for ourselves, and hope that the mission and vision we have will be met by others with the same lens along the way. So, did I prove myself? Only the actions of those who I taught in Dubai will tell. Actions occur when we are inspired to overcome some of the greatest obstacles all because we are deeply passionate about something. Which leads me to Lesson #2.
2. The cost of not following your heart, is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.
One of my favorite quotes is by Theodore Rosevelt, called “Dare Greatly”, it reads:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
The person who is willing to get ‘a little dirty’ in life, walks away experiencing some of the greatest things that life has to offer. Your heart will tell you what you are passionate about, it is when you are inspired to take action that you will encounter a little dust, sweat, and blood along the way. And to reiterate the importance of passion, Steve Jobs boldly states that, “You have to have a lot of passion for what you do, because any rational person would just give up.”
Passion to me, is innate, and driven by our subconscious desires… or following your heart.
This year I’ve traveled thousands and thousands of miles, I’ve taught hundreds and hundreds of students, I’ve trained countless client hours, and I’ve written more than I ever have in my life. Most would think that I’m just another insane workaholic; I would argue that what you see is an expression of my passion, any rational person would just give up if they walked in my shoes. I can confidently say, I have been in the arena, I have ‘dared greatly’, and I have whole-heartedly experienced the shortcomings and triumphs this life has to offer. And I know that if I wasn’t willing to do all of that, Lesson #1 would never have been learned or experienced in Dubai. When we dive in with our utmost passion, our heart, that is when we lead SILENTLY. Which leads me to Lesson #3.
3. Busy doesn’t mean Important… Busy just means busy!
Yep, I’m busy. No surprise! I used to think that being busy meant that I was needed, wanted, liked, and most importantly… important. What I didn’t realize is that busy just means busy sometimes. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned this year, in averaging 80-90 hour work weeks, is that I can do what I’m passionate about, but if I can’t come home at the end of the day and share it with those I love, then what’s the point?
Yeah, I just said that, and I feel completely vulnerable (which is part of Lesson #4). So, I’ll keep this one as straight forward as it is. Although we may have passion for what we do, its important that we find purposeful actions to exhibit our passion. If we are going to be in the arena, we might also need to take some time to recover from the battles we’ve just fought, that is if we want to keep winning.
4. Vulnerability is powerful.
Accepting that we are human is probably the hardest thing we do on this earth. Yep, saying that we are destructable, capable of letting others down, and that things hurt us, is an internal battle we all deal with. We are programmed to survive, to extend our life as long as we can. So things that can potentially hurt us, we arm up against. Mistakenly, in our battle to survive, we often allow those things which we shield to be emotions. We try to avoid feeling sad, angry, hurt, jealous, and even love because they can potentially hurt us.
What we neglect to realize is that those who are willing to hurt and those who are willing to love we have the the utmost empathy for. They have allowed themselves to be vulnerable, and from an outsiders perspective that is perceived as strong and powerful. They are willing to be beat, and there is nothing more courageous than that.
So in your attempt to take action, while following your heart, and only selecting those things which are purposeful, be willing to be ‘present’ in each moment, and accept all the emotions that come with it. When we are vulnerable we are living!
To all my friends, colleagues, and family… thank you for being a part of my journey in 2012. You are all people I can LIVE, LAUGH, & most importantly LOVE with. Here’s to 2013!
First day of school. First snowfall. First kiss. First adult beverage. First football game. First R rated movie. First trip to the hospital. First outdoor bootcamp. First blog. First yoga class. First time writing down your goal. First time sharing your goal with someone else. First green smoothie. First 5K. First warrior dash.
My heart pounds as I think about the emotions behind firsts. First time riding a bike with training wheels with the help of an older sister on roller skates is scary (that looks scary, right?) Yet, I learn. Years later, first time riding a road bike with strap in pedals, I was terrified. The fear that I might fall kept me from riding with others. Many miles later, I’ve had my first fall, no more than five seconds of slight embarrassment…totally self induced, and now the fear of falling has vanished.
What about something simple, like using Facebook for the first time. College friends were already using it and I knew this was the step to get more connected. I could simply push “add friend” to someone I walked by once on campus and all the sudden I had a new friend, easy. Cool.
Sometimes it takes the encouragement of someone else to move you towards your first. A dear friend of mine talked me into signing up for a half marathon with her. Turned out she didn’t end up running and I did (booo). However, I completed my first half marathon thanks to her pursuing what would be a first for me.
First time moving out of state. This scenario is loaded with fear, excitement and many unanswerable questions. For me, moving to Las Vegas, I feared life would never be the same, which it wouldn’t…and believing that was ok. I was bursting with excitement, Mike and I starting our life together in a new place and setting our own roots. Lastly, my mind was like a heated ping pong battle with darting questions:
“what will it be like? how long will we be there? will i get a job? where will i work? where will i grocery shop? will friends come visit? will i have friends there? am i going to miss ‘home’ terribly? where will i find my community? what church will i go to? what will my identity be?”
Step back…bigger perspective, I found clarity in the self-guided answers each of these questions led to. My first time moving to a new state and I got to celebrate hundreds of firsts!!!
A first is a first, nothing big or small about it, make it what you want. Baking a new dish for your first time, buying natural nut butter where you actually have to stir the oil in, signing up for your first rock n’ roll marathon, first time reaching out for someone to help you improve your health and fitness. Get yourself into a habit of practicing firsts each day. Maybe you go on a walk/jog or read a book instead of watching your daily tv show.
A child experiences many first, reignite the child in you. Your mind is curious, indulge it: try a new coffee shop, eat veggies at every meal for a day, start a book group, journal, work out with a friend. Each day is a new first of its own, celebrate it! You may fail (even a fail is a success) or you may succeed wildly.
This weekend I embarked on a journey with 20 other co-workers from TRX… little did I know that this journey would put me right in the face of many of my fears.
Fear of heights
Fear of failure
Fear of letting my team down
Fear of falling
Fear of getting hurt severely
Fear of altitude sickness
Fear of electricity
Fear of pain
Fear of hypothermia
Fear of passing out
And the list could go on and on with what I encountered.
The blueprint was 11miles to be covered, including 20 different obstacles across the mountains of Lake Tahoe California at up to 9,000 feet elevation, amidst thousands of participants, freezing water, mud pits, uneven terrain, limited water stations, and steep slopes that would make any amusement park enthusiast dizzy.
After 4 hours and 15minutes of digging into the deepest parts of our souls to gather up courage, energy, and motivation WE finished. Walking away with bruises, cuts, scrapes, sore muscles, sunburns, chapped lips, achy joints, dirt in every nook and cranny, and being awarded with nothing but an orange headband of our accomplishment… I realized in that moment that it wasn’t about finishing it was about the journey.
The journey allowed me to face some of my greatest fears. From the 20 foot drop into ice cold muddy water, to the swinging rope ladder, the ice plunge under a wood plank unsure when you would come up, the pitch black warfare trenches, the 20 foot walls, the NO QUIT 25 foot ramp, and the hanging open wires over muddy water pits threatening shock. A complete gut check awaited my unsure mind every half a mile.
Throughout the trek, I was allowed very little time to OVERCOME any sort of fear. It was in the words of encouragement, and the outreached arms of my teammates that pulled me through each obstacle that briefly allowed me to ACCEPT fear.
Fear can be one of the strongest emotions that deters most from attempting things in life. Recognizing that fear for most, thwarts us in our quest to accomplish things can be a powerful insight to encouraging oneself and others to push onward. Without a shadow of a doubt if it weren’t for my teammates, I KNOW I would not have completed that race.
So, I walk away humbled by the opportunity once more to challenge myself to the very core, but recognizing that I could NOT do it by myself. A wonderful lesson to apply to the everyday moments I encounter. Just as I needed my teammates in that devilish race, those around me in my life need me. They need my encouragement, they need a helping hand, they need a belief in themselves, and they need to know they are not alone in their own personal journeys.
Reminding ourselves, it is not overcoming fear, as that would imply that the emotion would be halted altogether. But instead, accepting fear, by embracing the emotion and allowing ourselves and others who have stepped up to the plate to be a part of the journey that fear brings. In order to encourage others to accept fear we must deliver brief moments of faith, trust, empowerment, and love at the hardest of times.
I pledge to all those around me (especially my clients), I will be a part of your attempt to accept fear. As a TEAM we can accomplish some of the hardest things in life. And to all my Tough Mudder teammates, thank you for believing in me and being a part of my journey. I will never forget what we overcame together.
Do you believe that you currently posses everything you need to succeed?
I love reminding myself that I am exactly where I need to be with the true story “Acre of Diamonds.” This story is about a farmer who lived in Africa and through a visitor became extremely intrigued in seeking out diamonds in Africa to make the big bucks. He chose to sell his house and travel the land. The farmer continued traveling, becoming discouraged as he was not coming across any diamonds. Tragically, the farmer’s funds ran out and he threw himself into a river and drowned.
Meanwhile, the new homeowner of his property discovered an odd looking rock about the size of an egg and displayed it on his mantle. A visitor stopping by was stunned and wide-eyed as he gazed at the odd rock, a world phenomenon, the largest diamond ever found!!! Hmmm….the property was full of them.
This farm became known as the Kimberly Diamond Mine, the RICHEST the world has ever known. The previous farmer was literally standing on his very own “acre of diamonds” until he sold his land to seek elsewhere.
What an amazing story. What treasures am I not looking at in the right light? The moral of this story has been present for me this week as I firmly believe that I am exactly where I need to be and have unique, personalized tools for success. Over my volleyball career, numerous game changing moments occurred when we were out of subs and without being able to change any players we could change the game plan. Changing the plan, not the players is precisely what I need to do in my life as well. After all, diamonds certainly have an odd look in their raw form.
Game changing plan:
1. SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE: I live in LAS VEGAS, how cool!!!! Born and raised in Colorado, it is so easy for me to talk about all that Denver has to offer, the community, the beautiful nature, etc. While Denver still holds a beloved place in my heart, each day I choose to celebrate this new journey with my most loving husband here in Vegas, connecting with genuine people, enjoying the desert playground and exposing myself in new ways…people don’t know what I’ve done or what I’m capable of until I show them!
2. CHOOSE TO SUPPORT MY BODY: Having health and energy is the foundation in accomplishing any goal. I am so blessed to be in my body and have the knowledge of knowing what foods best support me in feeling energized. My body is my player, on my team…forever…I want to plan to feel my best all the time! The more in touch I become with my body, the better I can plan ahead, from my workout level each day to food choices I make. Example: cereal does nothing good for me. It leaves me lethargic and craving more sweets. Plan ahead, have an alternative snack prepared for when that craving hits or get the cereal out of the cupboard completely.
3. I KNOW ENOUGH: Get over the fear of not knowing enough…IF someone else can do it, why can’t I? I don’t know what I don’t know until I seek, learn and discover that the odd rock actually is a diamond waiting to be discovered! Change the plan: set goals, write them in the affirmative each day, and share only with those I know will support me!
Will a refreshingly new level of diamond be exposed if you set your alarm just 5 minutes earlier each week to create more time in the mornings for a workout, journal time, or a sit down breakfast with family?
Experience discomfort, try new things and look at that odd rock with a new perspective. You ARE exactly where you need to be, equipped with the most uniquely fitted passions and tools to unravel something great. BELIEVE THAT : )
You can listen to the full story here:
When I graduated high school, believe it or not, I was Valedictorian… I know, I know, SUPER GEEK!
Along with my geek crown, came that graduation speech I had to give. The theme of graduation centered around “famous heroes”, I chose specifically to talk about Helen Keller. Helen Keller was a hero to many and paved the way for individuals with disabilities who were blind, deaf, and both. Helen Keller was blind AND deaf!
What makes Helen a hero in my eyes is that despite her inability to see, or hear, she still learned to communicate, AND was the first deaf/blind person to get her Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen showed us that what most of us believe is vital to communicate MAY NOT be so vital.
Helen used her sense of touch to learn braille, which is almost unfathomable, considering she got no verbal affirmation of what she was even learning! Then to speak back, she learned sign language, by again using her sense of touch to feel the gestures of someone else’s hands without seeing what they were doing. To most, and it did to me, this task that Helen embarked on seemed impossible… But then I took a step back and realized that Helen wasn’t lacking anything at all, in fact because she was stripped of our basic everyday inputs, she was capable of being more aware of what we subconsciously take for granted.
Helen communicated from the energy, and the vibrations in the room. The vibrations and their strengths, pitches, and even tempos helped her to learn a sixth sense that most of us never encounter. She could feel someone else’s emotions and energy just by feeling heart rates, tempo of steps in and out of a room, a brush of air around her, a cease of movement, the strength of light and the shadows and shapes she could barely make out. Helen brought to the table something we neglect every single day, but can give us the most telling and honest information about another human being, our sixth sense.
I believe our sixth sense is… NO, not seeing dead people, I believe our sixth sense is EMPATHY! Empathy to its greatest power is being so in tune with the people around us, that we forgo the burgeoning bias that eyes give us, the distracting sounds and words that pull us away from what we should really be hearing. Empathy, as our sixth sense, is a way of connecting with someone on the deepest level, where the very rhythm in which they communicate to us is met through the rhythm at which we listen. Empathy can allow someone to match another heart beat for heart beat, blink of an eye to blink of eye, breath for breath, and movement for movement. It is this symbiotic sense that creates relationships and builds on our ability to accomplish tasks, just as Helen Keller overcame the impossible. She conquered because she didn’t have to go through all of the distracting filters we clutter our communication with every single day.
So, here’s my challenge to you… Let go of one of your filters, and learn to listen on a whole new level, using your sixth sense. You might be surprised at not only what your neighbor is saying, or what your environment is saying, BUT what your own body is saying. Be empathetic towards yourself, and listen to what your body is trying to subconsciously tell you, and the power you will hold will be insurmountable! Remember it is not just listening, or just feeling, but it’s… what are you experiencing? Empathy holds the key to unlock many of life’s mysteries.
I was 14 years old, within my first months of ever picking up a volleyball and my coach asked me to think of a word that would define how I wanted to play. Through my mind ran words that I had seen on the shoes of the 18 year old girls. For example, looking down at the shoes of a player of whom I really looked up to with amazement, had the word “unstoppable” written across the toe box of her shoes. It seemed as though rich possibilities outgrew my mind and I toyed with a few words and soon enough, one stuck.
without fear; bold or brave; intrepid.
To me, this word triggered an invincible feeling. It enabled me to play within my skill level while aggressively attacking the blockers on the other side of the net…even if they were 5 inches taller than me. The word fearless surfaced confidence in me as I told my setter, “give me this ball, I’ll put it away.” I taped my wrist before each game and wrote the word fearless on it, always reminding me of what kind of player I wanted to be.
Fearless, believe, great, beautiful, curious, cheerful, courageous, ALIVE!, excited.
How do you feel after reading these words? I love how words can trigger different emotions and actions from people. What word or phrase empowers you to be great everyday? What words support your goals and promote you to live large? What do you believe of yourself, your body, your capabilities when working out? Do you set goals with your trainer or talk about your “power” words to drive success? The saying is true, we are what we think about! Building on that idea, get a bit more depth from a very effective goal coach, Brian Tracy.
Today, I have a piece of art that I can always see, featuring the word fearless, as it continues to trigger emotions and actions for me!
It’s no secret… We love games, and we love to play!
Unfortunately, we forget that it’s okay to play. I can’t tell you how many funny looks I get everywhere I go, mostly because I can’t stop PLAYING! Just ask my clients, they will tell you, but don’t let them fool you… They’ve joined the playing bandwagon. I believe that games and play provide MEANING!
“Meaning is the feeling that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s the belief that our actions matter beyond our own individual lives. When something is meaningful, it has significance and worth not just to ourselves, or even to our closest friends and family, but to a much larger group: to a community, an organization, or even the entire human species.” (McGonigal, 2011)
So, you might ask, “How do I get meaning in my life?” It’s really quite simple… connect your daily actions with something larger than yourself, and in the case of exercise: PLAY!
Take a look at this video to see how my clients PLAY, and then look for opportunities for you to do the same.
I want to give a little shout out to my pops for his consistent love, leadership, playful spirit and letting me think I’m pretty rad when it comes to the outdoors. I mean, I feel like a bad ass when I get to tell people I go backpacking every summer, have hiked many 14ers, and started skiing when I was 3. Then, I remember two things: one, I grew up in Colorado and look like a novice compared to the masses and two, all props go to my Dad for instilling an adventurous, healthy lifestyle in me from the get go.
Here are 10 memories of connecting with my Dad through movement and how he led by example as my young, impressionable eyes watched him each day.
10. When my brother, sister and I were little, our parents would make a blanket bed in a wheelbarrow and as we all laid in it and gazed at the stars, they would take us on a walk. (Great full body workout for all you dad’s and mom’s out there)
9. Screaming with excitement and thrill as my wide eyes watched trees fly by in the birdie-light attached behind my Dad’s mountain bike. (It’s hard to beat a good bike ride when it comes to a cardio and leg workout)
8. Taking our dogs on morning walks together before heading to the bus stop. (getting your body moving first thing in the morning boosts your metabolism and mood for the day)
7. Sharing his daily jogging journal with me…way before I had any interest. (setting goals and keeping track of them is essential to any program, especially a health and fitness program)
6. Having a stretching poster hung up in their room I would sneak in and imitate the pictures. (daily visual and mental reminders can help keep you on track)
5. Spending hours with me at rhythmic gymnastics, encouraging me and giving me tips with his little knowledge of the sport. “That looked good, do that again!” (having a health coach or person who can encourage you and help you along your journey is a must)
4. Starting the tradition of annual backpacking trips, completing sections on the Colorado Trail each summer! (getting outdoors, getting physical and out of your comfort zone is a great way to change up your daily routine)
3. Taking me on mountain bike rides, without any mental prep of the challenging terrain I was about to encounter. (trying new things and being open to new experiences and new opportunities is key to life and certainly has applications to a healthy lifestyle)
2. For his diligence and dedication to walking. He keeps a pedometer and hits 100,000 steps each week! (setting achievable yet challenging goals will help keep you engaged in exercise and in life)
1. He accepts when I challenge him to a running race…even when he knows I’m gonna beat him ;) (spice it up with a little competition)
As I reminisce on the many memories and on-going adventures that are inspired by my Dad, I am so very thankful. With fitness in mind, doing this exercise made me realize that movement, the great outdoors and a sense of exploration has been instilled in me from a young age. Looking over this list, I love the theme of movement without structure. He loves these activities and wanted to enjoy them with his kids because it was playing, sparking curiosity, connection and laughter.
Now, I still search for the bigger feelings beyond getting sweaty. This comes in all forms from the rush of a bike ride, working out in a group setting or with a friend where I can connect and have the accountability of someone else there with me, playing with a new piece of equipment, learning a new exercise, or preparing for an upcoming race or competition.
I challenge you to think of someone who inspires you to get active. Take five minutes to make a list and feel the motivation as you physically write down the ways you are grateful and enjoy moving your body! A, this is brilliant as your mind can only hold one thought at a time, make it a positive one. B, it will give you ideas of how you can inspire others to get active as well! Just this morning a best friend and I wanted to meet for coffee…we put a physical twist on it, we chose to walk at the park with our warm beverages and chatter.
I offer my thanks to all those fathers and men who have given their time and devotion to help bring this gift of movement to life. Personal thanks to my daddy for your living example of health and active play. I so look forward to our upcoming backpacking trip!
How many of us think of vulnerability and weakness synonymously?
I will be so bold to say, that I believe that vulnerability is not weakness!
To describe it further, vulnerability is emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty, and it fuels our daily lives. Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage. To be seen, to be honest, to take a risk is courageous. It is vulnerability that allows us to face our greatest fears, to ask ourselves to be better. When we are vulnerable we are willing to fail, we are willing to make mistakes, and we are willing to accept who we are.
But in order to be vulnerable we have to talk about shame. Shame is the evil enemy, that can thwart us in our quest to stay vulnerable. Shame is a belief that “I am bad.” Shame gets in the way of meeting our highest level of self-efficacy. It is self-efficacy and self-acceptance that is needed to remain vulnerable and continue to face fears without being afraid to fail.
Why do I bring this up? Simple… what I do for a living is labeled by most as a ‘personal trainer.’ What I like to call myself is a ‘behavioral change specialist’. I believe that my career is based around me helping others create new behaviors that allow them to succeed and face their greatest fears. Unfortunately that equation requires me to encourage someone to face their fears and be completely vulnerable.
Vulnerability is that powerful because it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. To create is to make something that has never existed before. To change is to adapt, and adaptation requires failure. Failure is sometimes one of the biggest fears we must overcome when seeking a fitness goal.
So, what I will leave you to ponder is: Are you willing to be vulnerable? Because vulnerability will take you more places, and allow you to accomplish more things for yourself, than pride and resources ever will.
One of my Favorite Videos and Shame Researcher, Brene Brown, uncovers what vulnerability and shame is all about in this TED Talk.
Let’s talk about sugar. You are at birthday party and celebrate with a serving of cake and ice cream. Consciously you are enjoying a sugar-filled treat with loved ones, wonderful. What about when you sit down to a bowl of cereal, a can of vegetables, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread, sipping on a soft drink throughout the day at work, coffee with cream and sugar in the morning, some more coffee with cream and sugar when you hit that mid-afternoon wall. Sugar is everywhere and as humans we are naturally drawn to sweet things. So without eliminating sugar from our diets, (heck, that’s impossible…I love a sweet treat), let’s become more conscious about the amounts of sugar we are consuming and the effects it has on our bodies.
Just having celebrated Memorial Day, we are proud to be Americans! Are we also proud of being addicted to sugar? As Americans, we consume 150 pounds of sugar per year, 55 pounds of white flour per year and 53 gallons of soda per year. WOW! In comparison, on average we consume 8 pounds of broccoli per year (wa wa). From the liberal recommendation of the USDA, we should consume no more than 10 teaspoons of sugar per day, yet we are consuming 32 teaspoons of sugar per day! This isn’t all coming from our occasional piece of birthday cake. Let’s gain some knowledge on where all this sugar is sneaking into our diets.
- Lemon poppyseed Clif Bar contains 21 grams of sugar, or 5 teaspoons.
- Chocolate-glazed cake donut from Dunkin’ Donuts contains 14 grams of sugar, or 3 teaspoons.
- 16-ounce Starbucks Frappuccino contains 44 grams of sugar, 10 teaspoons
Like the many names you may want to yell while working out, sugar too has many names and will read on labels as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, glucose or fructose. When sugar comes in these forms or as sucrose (refined table sugar), it lacks the ‘good stuff’. Not only does this cause more stress on our bodies to digest it, the body must deplete its own stored minerals and enzymes to absorb sucrose properly. As well as being nutrient deficient, foods high in sucrose are often empty calories, in which, our bodies are consuming high levels of calories but still lack nutrient value so trigger additional hunger signals. Along with additional hunger signals, sugar can cause havoc on health through depression, mood swings, chronic fatigue, type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, obesity, high cholesterol, decreased immune function, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, acne, PMS, ADD, cancer, binging, hormone imbalance and belly fat. With the ability to limit sugar intake, health, moods and energy increase while fluctuating insulin levels that cause belly fat, decreases!
In order to be successful, it’s not about eliminating negative things, but adding the ‘good stuff’ in to make your feel more bountiful! So let’s chat about the benefits of unprocessed sugar. Unprocessed sugars are found in whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, and contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins. When these foods are chewed, cooked and digested, the natural carbohydrates break down into separate glucose molecules and enter the bloodstream evenly, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients.
Add some whole foods that are naturally sweet into your diet the and see if it provides any satisfaction to your sweet tooth. Some of my favorites are sweet potatoes with cinnamon, apples with nut butter, steamed veggies or oatmeal with cacao powder and maple syrup. Have fun playing with some new energy snacks and share some of your favorites! You have the power over sugar, so make choices that support your body, energy and your relationships! Honestly, my moodiest times come from overloads in sugar. Suddenly I’m engaging in a conversation that is turning south, noticing I don’t sound like myself…not good. So in honor of happy moods and sharing joy in relationships, my husband, Mike and I are celebrating our first anniversary today and will choose to get active and eat real foods because we know this best supports how we feel about ourselves in which we can more lovingly enjoy one another!
Starting with sugar, ending with love….strange how it’s all connected :)