Wellness is about so much more than nutrition and fitness. Wellness includes your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness on top of your physical well-being. That’s why today, I’m going to feature a book that helped me find direction, make some major life changes, and thoroughly enjoy the life I’m living!

I came across this book while listening to a podcast and read it for a 2016 reading challenge. It inspired me to examine my life and think about how my current lifestyle was affecting all aspects of my wellness. It prompted me to consider how I could be more intentional about building a life that supports my goals, rather than letting life take me wherever it may while my goals lay well-intentioned and sadly, unmet.

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy offers exactly what the title implies. The book helps you to identify your priorities, make clear and specific goals, and be proactive in creating a life that supports those goals. In fact, their premise helped me realize that spending my time working for someone else was draining me mentally and emotionally, and inspired me to open i’mPowered Nutrition & Fitness. Now I get to spend my day achieving my goals and helping others support the lives they want with a foundation of proper nutrition and wellness.

Living Forward begins with taking you through the interesting exercise of writing your own eulogy. Sounds strange, I know, but it was actually very eye-opening. By starting at “the end,” you get to determine what will really matter in your life after you’ve gone and what you want others to remember about you. Starting from there, you work backwards to build a life that perpetuates those desires. First, you create a list of “Life Accounts” for each priority in your life. For example, mine include God, health, husband, kids, family/friends, career, generosity, financial, home, and self-development. You assess the current status of each account, write a detailed description of your desired outcome for each, and set specific quarterly goals to gradually move the current status toward the end goal.

Finally, you take these goals and create your “ideal week” schedule. This helped take me from goals – which I have often made in the past and found no time to achieve – to actual implementation of my strategies to get there. You start with a blank calendar. You review your goals for your most important life account, and schedule whatever time you need to complete those. You move on to your next important life account, and do the same. So on and so forth until you have created a schedule that is reflective of what matters most to you. It reminds me of one of my new favorite quotes:

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

– Stephen Covey

Going through the life planning process helped me realize that spending 40 hours per week in an office working for someone else was keeping me away from what was more important to me and ultimately came in higher on my list than my career – God, my health, and my family and friends. That realization led me to the decision to change my career path so that it worked around these priorities instead of against them. Now I have plenty of time to achieve my goals in my most important life accounts, and that has been a huge boost for my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness. Who couldn’t use one of those?

The realizations you make might not be so drastic (or maybe they will be more!) but regardless, they will help move you towards the life you want. Go for it!

Have you read this book? Let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with the producers or manufacturers of this product. As an Amazon Associate, I receive compensation for any purchases of this product through the link on this post; however, I never feature or support products that I have not tried myself or that I do not believe to be useful, ethical, and worthy of recommendation.





dsc_1572Since my new practice, i’mPowered Nutrition & Fitness, is offering a $20 discount on my Goal-Getter package to help you meet your New Year’s goals, my next project is going to be something a little different. Both my husband and I are going to show you what the Goal-Getter package is all about by laying out our own nutrition and fitness goals and documenting our journeys to goal-get them! Alright, alright…enough punning.

Husband and I will start off with the body composition and fitness assessments to test where we are at now, then use those results to create goals. Based on those goals and our individual personalities/lifestyles, I’ll make a nutrition and training plan — i’mPowered-style — and we’ll follow it. You’ll get to watch the journey!

Stay tuned – I’ll post the results of our “before” assessments soon!




Have you ever been following a “diet” and then been faced with that darn thing called life? I have!

Stress, donuts in the break room, or (like for me) date night can throw the best-laid plans out the window and then many people sit, riddled with guilt and feeling like a failure, wondering whether or not to throw their healthy goals out the window simply because they ate something their over-restrictive plan “didn’t allow.” That’s why I am all about focusing on including lots of nutritious choices, being aware of harmful foods and ingredients, and especially having a plan that includes the foods that make your life worth living!

Check out this great article written by a fellow RD about building a healthy relationship with food! I’m in agreement that the mental game of dieting and restriction can be just as destructive as poor eating habits!

“Yes, I’m a registered dietitian and I care deeply about nutritious, wholesome foods and eating. But I also wholeheartedly believe that there’s a time and a place for a treat.”
– RD Paige Smathers, quoted from KSL.com

 


On a note unrelated to any particular diet, I wanted to take a moment to spotlight one heck of a health and fitness inspiration.

Photo from nymag.com

                                         Photo from nymag.com

I discovered this gal on a recent vacation when we had a TV in our hotel room (the kids were super psyched!) and watched a show called American Ninja Warrior. If you haven’t heard of it and you are in the right age range, you will best liken it to something along the lines of American Gladiators. If neither of those names means anything to you, American Ninja Warrior is a strength and agility competition in which contestants train to tackle a specific (very difficult) obstacle course. They are timed, and they must achieve certain times and complete certain obstacles in order to move on to the next round.

In the episode we watched, there was a very tricky obstacle christened “The Wedge” in which contestants hung from a horizontal bar with rubber tennis-ball-like objects on either end. This bar was wedged into what looked like two sheets of angled glass. The contestants had to use their momentum and body control to “jump” the bar across the tunnel between the two glass sheets, ensuring they keep the bar horizontal and don’t lose their grip. If my description makes absolutely no sense, fear not, for the video below will clear things up.

“The Wedge” took no prisoners. Time after time, they would get to that darn wedge and their grip would slip or the bar would land slightly sideways and down they would plunge into the waiting pool below. It was beginning to look downright impossible.

Enter our heroine – Jessie Graff. Jessie is a stunt woman from Pennsylvania. She enters stage left with a delightful smile and a Wonder Woman costume. Her interviews gave a taste of her zest for life and her positive attitude. She is beautiful and fit on the outside, sure, but her mind and heart also exude beauty. Jessie, the only female in the show I watched, conquered the dreaded Wedge like it was a set of monkey bars on a playground.

So why am I all about Jessie Graff now? It’s not just because she’s a woman or because she “beat the boys” (though I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a defiant third-grade girl inside me who found a little bit of glee in that). It’s because she surpassed everyone’s expectations – including her own. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we combine discipline with a positive attitude. I so admired these qualities in her that I tracked her down on Facebook. Her page is littered with pictures of little girls in Wonder Woman suits and comments from people saying that she is inspiring others out of eating disorders by showing what the human body is capable of when properly fueled.

This lady is stupendous and has most definitely been added to my mental Wall of Inspiring People.

You and I also can (and should) make a practice of surpassing everyone’s expectations – including our own. Make a fitness goal to see what your body can do – even if it seems a little out of reach. Add some positive attitude and discipline and you can inspire the socks off of yourself and others too!


Alright, here goes a new post (some might call it a rant) about my feelings on meal plans. I gotta tell ya, I love to hate ’em. Making them, selecting them, and most of all, following them. They are stinky, like fish. That will make more sense in a few paragraphs. Promise.

Why are they stinky, you ask? Well I would be more than happy to tell you.

The food we eat is connected to everything in our lives. Everything. Your budget, your spouse (or lack of spouse), your kids (and their preferences, allergies, and appetites), your schedule, your culture, and your mood all play in to the food you choose to eat. That being said, someone would have to thoroughly understand all of those things about you in order to select foods that are good options for a meal plan for you. Now, how many meal plan makers know you that well?

Take the meal plan I’m currently on, for example. The meal plan ingredients increased my grocery budget by 75%! Typically I use dinner leftovers for lunches, but this meal plan uses NO leftovers for ANYTHING. You know what that gets you (besides an expensive grocery trip)? A fridge full of leftovers waiting to go bad. It also leaves you cooking two meals every night – dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. Not sustainable, functional, or enjoyable.

My final gripe about following meal plans made by others? Sometimes I just don’t like the food. Like, for example, coleslaw. I’m not a huge fan, but it’s on the meal plan, because the person who made it didn’t know me and my lack of appreciation for coleslaw. So here I am, either eating coleslaw or feeling as though I somehow “failed” my meal plan because I didn’t like it.

And you know what else (yes, I lied about the final gripe part)? As a dietitian, my goal is to empower my patients to live a healthy life they love. Now even if I gave them the perfect meal plan that worked great for their lifestyle, are they empowered? What will they do when the week-long meal plan is over? Will they just eat the same food week after week forever?

Of course not.

Remember the old saying, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and feed him for the rest of his life”? Well, a meal plan is a fish.

I can give someone a meal plan fish and they can meet their nutritional goals for a week (if they can manage to stick with a meal plan someone else made), or I can teach someone how to plan for themselves and meet their health and quality of life goals. Truly, they are the only ones who know themselves well enough to do it. It’s not easy and it’s awkward at first, but once they get the hang of it they are empowered. They can eat for life – on a budget and with foods they love! And that is why I love what I do!

And why I hate stinky meal plan fish. End rant.