Lessons of 2012

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 DSC01195around 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.

HayleyIDEA1This 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!

Move More,
Hayley Hollander

celebrating firsts.

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.

lizzie :)

Accepting Fear

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.

So you may ask yourself… What was my journey? The journey I participated in was what has become one of the most popular endurance treks in the world a “Tough Mudder.”

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.

Move More,
Hayley Hollander

Change the plan, not the players.

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:

Be empowered,

Lizzie :)

I am fearless.

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!

Be empowered,

Lizzie :)

The Power of Play!

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.

Move More,
Hayley Hollander

You be the judge?

The one thing I have noticed throughout my career as a personal trainer, fitness professional, and educator/presenter, is how the public, and even worse my peers pass judgment so arrogantly quick and with reckless ignorance. This is something that I am genuinely concerned about, because it effects my profession, and it’s growth or lack thereof. I will also ask you the reader to see if you can find similarities in our society, but more importantly, do you see it in yourself?

Training at health club again has exposed my peers and members to my training style using science, systems, and tools that I have learned and accumulated through the years. For me it has been a process and evolution through countless hours of self discovery mixed with continuing education, seminars, workshops, etc. Never settling for what I know as good enough, I’ve been able to see, do, teach, and learn things that I wish everyone knew. The flip side of this is that this has lead to members and peers judging and ridiculing what I do and with what I do it with. It’s as if they feel that my  choice of movement and tools is a personal attack on them and their loved ones. Never, have they considered coming up to me and asking, hey Arthur, I saw you doing this with that, why? I would’ve loved to talk about my passion and I would’ve been appreciative of their curiosity. Another part of me is also thinking, how can my peers not breakdown what I’m doing and see the science and benefits behind it. And if they did, they could educate their clients, and an agent of change is born.

I’ll admit I’m guilty of this as well, albeit a long time ago. It took someone to judge me the first time I did something different.  I can remember the first time I started movement preps in 2004, the first time I wore Vibrams into the gym, the first time I did an out of the box exercise. The way it made me feel was awful. It spawned me to think differently. With some words of wisdom I’ve been able to rise above, here’s some examples;

“Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere”

Never limit yourself because of others limited imagination. Never limit others because of your limited imagination”

“Great minds will always be violently opposed by mediocre thinkers”

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

It is because of my personal experiences and quotes like these, that allow me to take a different approach from what I initially wanted to do, which would make me come off as unprofessional, as well as make them more steadfast in their philosophy, and more resistant to change.

I believe that their mindset and quickness to judge is a combination of fear with lack of education. Because if “knowledge is power” than lack of knowledge is weakness that causes fear in those in the presence of power (knowledge). Side note: that is complete bullshit in my eyes. Knowledge should lead to humility in the sense that it shows how much; a) you don’t know and b) how much there really is left to learn. Failure to grasp this is an excuse. Therefore failures make excuses as to why they can’t, and can’t never accomplished anything.

I always sincerely thank those who take the time out of their lives to educate me. I let them know that their efforts are not wasted as it provokes my curiosity to learn more. The best part is that my profession allows me the platform to share what I have had the privilege to learn to both my peers and my clients.

The moral of this post is don’t judge, instead try to understand. There’s less prejudice and more education involved. If you can’t figure it out then ask, the worst that can happen is you learned something, good or indifferent.  Can you imagine a world that’s not quick to judge, but eager to learn? It all starts with you!


A change of scenery

I am going to break away from my usual educational blog, and write about what’s been going on the past two months. Since March 6th. 2012 I have been working at Lifetime Athletics in Summerlin. I am still a part of ATP with Hayley, the only difference is, I train clients in a new location and I no longer teach the weekend boot camp classes. It’s been a lot of fun training out of LTA (Lifetime Athletics), as I work with a great bunch in the Personal training Dept. The freedom to train according to my philosophies, and using systems, sciences, and tools that I feel benefit my clients and I the most has been a major part of my professional happiness that hasn’t been there for quite some time ;)

Lifetime is very supportive and well ahead of the curve in terms of allowing their trainers to explore the many, many systems, sciences, and tools that are out there in the fitness industry. I feel that I can still grow and learn in this environment and that in of itself is why I enjoy working there. Since my time at LVAC, I have learned a great deal, and to be able to showcase what I have been privileged to learn with new members, clients, and most importantly my fellow peers (trainers) has been very exciting. I get to see what other trainers are into, what their philosophies, and training styles are like. I get to see what members and clients like to do, what drives them, what their perception of our industry as a whole is, and most importantly where they think fitness is and should be going.

If you are a personal trainer, I feel you have to love what you do, and love where you do it. Your environment should make you want to wake up a go do your thing, whatever and wherever that may be. It should motivate you to improve yourself everyday and people should feel your passion, and positive vibe near and from afar. Most importantly, you should be happy. Because if you not in a good place, then you can’t help anyone get there either.


Lets ‘Spice’ it up

We are swiftly running through the first month of 2012. Everyone is still on target with their goals of being fit and healthy. The question is, how long will this last for most individuals? When does the new years resolution turn into a memory of the past or that ‘goal’ you set but never got accomplished? This happens far too much and it’s time, well, to spice things up!

Everyone wants to not only live an active and healthy lifestyle but they want to be able to eat the right foods in order to compliment their hard work. Thus, being healthy from the inside out.

The lie: “Food that is good for you tastes horrible and I don’t have time to cook.”
The truth: “I am too lazy to cook the food that is good for me.”
Fact: There are simple recipes that take minimal time to create a meal full of all the greatness our bodies need.

Lets help you out. Here are just a few recipes that take less than 30 minutes in the kitchen to create and you can make enough to last a few days. OOHH YEA!

Turkey Breast Patties

1 package ground turkey breast
½ c. spaghetti sauce
2 egg whites
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. parsley flakes
1Tbs. olive oil
Dash of black pepper
1 package fat free croutons crushed


Mix all but croutons together. Form into patties coat with crushed croutons and place in pan coated with PAM. Cover and cook over medium heat until done. About three minutes per side. Serve with a side of spaghetti sauce. Can also top with parmesan cheese. They are also great cold the next day!


2 large cans of chicken breast
1 can fat-free chicken broth
1 can chopped tomatoes with jalepenos or
Green chiles
1 can crisp corn
1 can chili beans
1 can white or other bean
1 tsp. chopped garlic/1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder/1T. chopped dried onion


Saute the garlic until brown in olive oil. Start adding all cans ( drain the corn and beans first). Add chili powder and onion (can use fresh). Cook over low-medium heat about 25 minutes until it is simmering… IT’S READY!

To add a KICK- add ½ cup of your favorite salsa to the mix!

Enjoy friends! Stay tuned for more next week!

Be healthy and keep moving,


Emotional Eating?

I came across a story I was reading in a book recently, that sounded eerily familiar to a majority of the situations my clients describe to me.

The story spoke of a woman (we will call her Sarah), who was trying to overcome compulsive overeating. She described a daily routine in which she would come home after a long day of work, have dinner, and plop on the couch to read a book and unwind.  Only to have a thought bubble up in her head, containing an image of the ice cream sitting in the freezer.  She would manage to push it to the back of her mind, but only to be presented with it a few minutes later.  She would continue to push it away, only to have it more insistently come back to her, until she would finally give in and grab a spoon.  Sarah would find herself standing at the kitchen counter, staring in somewhat of a trance while spooning out the ice cream.  And before she knew it, the spoon would reach the bottom of the container. Feeling disappointed, guilty, and extremely bloated she would make her way back to the couch vowing to never do that again.

Sound Familiar?

The book, The One Thing Holding You Back, Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection, presents the idea that emotional disconnection is why we fail to reach many of our goals.

The human brain is wired to avoid painful/unpleasant things and seek out pleasureable/happy things (Maslow Motivational Theory).  Regardless of whether or not the stimulus that is being presented to your brain is external (like a hot stove), or internal (like low blood sugar), your brain will interpret the stimulus and try to provide the body with a way to react… One in which we avoid pain and experience pleasure.  With an external stimulus of a hot stove our brains would tell us to avoid it because… well, that would be down right painful.  And an internal stimulus of low blood sugar, would prompt us to eat something so that we don’t get a headache or feel hunger pains.  Here’s where emotions come into play…

Emotions are physical responses to internal/external stimulus.  An external input, like an insult for example, will convey an emotional response of hurt.  An internal input, like missing a friend, will convey an emotional response of sadness.  These emotions cause us to FEEL!  Sometimes, because we are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, we will avoid certain emotions because they are unpleasureable to us.  When we avoid emotions, analyze emotions, assess emotions, bargain with emotions, and even judge emotions we avoid feeling.

My point is… emotions are meant to be felt! When we avoid emotions we are teaching ourselves that they aren’t pleasureable. When situations arise where those emotions come to the surface the brain recognizes them as negative, causing us to instill a behavior (like eating mindlessly) that overwhelms us, confuses us, and downright stalls us in our pursuit.  Emotions provide us with information that thoughts alone can’t.

We must embrace our emotions to succeed!  We must actually experience what the emotion is telling us, move through it, and recognize that its okay to feel it.

So bringing it back to frustrated Sarah; after working to experience her emotions, she discovered that in her nagging thought process of eating ice cream, came a feeling in her stomach reminding her of being a young girl jumping up and down.  That young girl loved ice cream, and anxiously wanted to get into the freezer. In her emotional thought process Sarah, felt the anxiousness of the little girl, reminding her of the attention she wanted to so badly as a child.  And the anxiousness quickly turned to sadness… Sadness that she would typically avoid feeling, by giving in and eating the ice cream.  The sadness stemmed from the divorce of her parents at a young age, and the lack of attention that came after it.  With Sarah’s new resolve to experience the sadness, to process it, and to allow her body to no longer feel threatened by the ‘sadness’, she was able to finally put down the spoon and begin to lose the weight.

Whether your compulsive eating is ice cream or chips, candy or pizza… before you go blaming your eating habits on a lack of willpower.  Brave an emotional gut check, you might be surprised at what you find. Emotions are our friends, feel them, and you will prosper.

Move More!
Hayley Hollander

To learn more about emotional connection, and the 2×2 process behind connecting emotionally, check out the book.
Cushnir, R (2008) The One Thing Holding You Back, Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection, Harper Collins, New York, NY


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