Redefine beautiful!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Change is the only absolute.

It is sort of comforting to hear that.  Change can be kind of scary like when moving to a foreign country or going through a divorce. But if we want to change for the better, it is a good thing.  I guess if we want something bad enough, we'd be willing to change those patterns of our behavior that has lead us to our current outcome.  If the current outcome is starting to look shabby, change is the only absolute!  It will either get worse or it will get better.  We get to choose.

I dislike (immensely) dealing with financial matters.  Whether it is all that confusing small print from the declarations of some financial institution (see, even the word institution sounds so uninviting!) or balancing the household checkbook (which is often confused with my business account), I have severe avoidance issues.  But, the only way I will be able to one day have financial freedom one and financial confidence today, is to start crossing off those financial "to-do's" from my list, now!  I need to make the last thing I want to do the first thing I do!

The truth is, I want to know where I stand financially and I really want to understand things like investment portfolios and IRA's, and why I can't seem to have a consistent increase my retirement accounts.  (Actually, I'd welcome a stable balance!)

So, I did the last thing I wanted to do on my list, I paid my bills, de-cluttered my pile of bank info and anything that wasn't important I tossed.  Now I take a break to blog, another item on my list.  Done.

Next, I'm going to finish that online fitness seminar to complete my certification requirements.  (Ughhhhh....oops! new attitude!  I'm going to do it!)

OK, I'd better get on it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

One Day She Faced Her Fears, Part Two

(Continued from last week.)  I didn't know what to say to Mary that day having seen the scale go up not down consistently for two months.  And, she had made it clear she'd freak out if she saw her weight.  At one time, demonizing the scale served a purpose for her, and for many women of our generation, because our cultural desire for thinness had become obsessive.  But, the problem is not the scale but the type of power we give it.

Mary had worked as a financial advisor at a large firm prior to becoming a mom so I asked her, "How important is it to know your bank balance in sound financial planning?"  The bottom line is the scale cannot vocalize a thought or opinion about you, good or bad.  And you can use the scale for YOUR benefit; as a tool to provide helpful feedback for losing excess fat or for maintaining a healthy weight.

There is no end to this story.  Most times Mary feels trim and strong and sometimes she forgets to check her balance.  And Mary's happiness doesn't have a bit to do with what number is on the scale that day.

After reading Part One of One Day She Faced Her Fears, Christine, my friend and client, started a blog, Personal Priority to share her experience with weight loss.  Losing the fear of not being good enough can be really liberating!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Day She Faced Her Fears, Part One

Mary (not her real name) is now twenty-nine pounds lighter than she was two and a half years ago when I first met her.  She is strong and energetic, too, but she had to go through months of denial and an additional gain of ten pounds before she faced her fear and walked through the uncomfortable door called truth.

I remember with great detail our very first meeting, when her weakened musculoskeletal structure was not only blanketed in thirty pounds of excess fat, she was also layered with nondescript folds of faded sweat fabric.  And even though she's an attractive woman, her over all look said, "I'm not worth it."

At that initial visit with me Mary told me she had just turned fifty and by her own admission could be identified as a career mom; her three children's hectic education, activities and social schedule kept her extremely busy .  Mary took her job very seriously and I'm sure her kids were better off for it.

Mary had sat uncomfortably in a comfortable chair and stated her goal:  she wanted to get into better physical condition and to lose unhealthy excess fat from her body.  "I really can't believe how I've let myself go.  I'm always so exhausted that the very idea of exercise just seems like living hell right now."  She replied to my question about her current exercise routine.  "That's why I'm here, I know if I pay someone, I'll show up."

"So tell me how you think your goal benefit you?"  I asked.

"I really want my kids to be proud of me."  She answered quickly.

After getting a pretty good picture of Mary's current lifestyle, I asked her if I could do a body composition analysis and fitness evaluation.  "I won't get on that thing!"  She declared as I started to pull  out the scale.  "I absolutely do not weigh myself.  I just know it would send me over the edge!"
Courtesy of
Because it is very important for my clients to trust me, I acquiesced and put the scale back.  "I can understand your anxiety, but the scale has gotten a bad rap.  To me it's simply a tool to see how your body is responding to your lifestyle changes."

She spent a moment in consternation, "I guess it's OK, I just don't want to know what the scale says."

I wrote her weight down  discreetly in her chart and once I'd collected as many facts as I could about Mary, I discussed some ideas I had about how we could proceed with her fitness program.

Three weeks later, she was five pounds heavier than she was that first day.  "I'm really starting to feel like I'm getting stronger.  And, I think I've gotten lighter!"  I wasn't sure what to say.