Three Steps Toward Getting Unstuck and Accomplishing Your Goals

As we barrel headfirst into a new year, I’m always inspired by the energy people have around creating new goals - the excitement of possibility and the hope for something new.  However, the sad fact is that these goals often fade after a few short weeks.  According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. The excitement and eagerness of the new is quickly tempered by the bland comfort of the routines that we’ve established for ourselves - especially if those routines are not healthy. People get stuck.

As a Professional Health & Nutrition Coach, I am fueled by helping people get “unstuck” in a loving, nurturing, and healthy way that lasts. To do this, I’ve developed what I call the “three pillars of life”.  I live and coach by these guidelines every single day, and I’m happy to share them with you now.  

1. Manage your mind.
2. Nourish your body, mind and soul.
3. Move your body.

1. MANAGE YOUR MIND

All action starts with your mind.  Nothing can be thought, said or done unless our mind tells us to do so.  Our minds are the most powerful tool we own, but when left to its own accord, the mind will run wild like an unsupervised toddler.  Its main purpose is to keep us safe through familiarity.  Anything new or different can be perceived as a “threat” and we create stories to rationalize falling back into routine. You know what I mean - the incessant chatter of words and thoughts in our head like “You won’t be able to stick to this diet anyway, so give it up now.” or “You have always hated to work out, let’s skip this class.”  So much of it is negative, fearful, or self-defeating. These stories only serve to keep us in the same safe pattern that we are already in, day after day. Stuck.  

Here’s the good news: through awareness, reframing and practice we can use the routines of the mind to our advantage.  We can change our thoughts, which in turn changes our behaviors!  So if you want out of the hamster wheel and onto a new path, one that leads you to a mind working in your favor and results that are lasting, then start with your thoughts.  

2. NOURISH YOURSELF

When I speak of nourishment, most people automatically assume I’m talking about food.  Food is one foundation of life, but there are many ways to nourish ourselves without taking a single bite.  

Nourishment comes in all forms and is unique to each person.  When we nourish ourselves from multiple angles, our entire being begins to thrive.  We naturally treat ourselves better and feed ourselves from a place of kindness rather than restriction.  We move our bodies lovingly rather than as a punishment for what we ate. We stimulate our soul through our individual practices of spirituality, education, rest and receiving from others.

Finding the right combination and balance for your particular needs will take trial and error.  Each day presents new challenges that must be addressed, so staying flexible while being steadily committed to nourishing yourself is key.

My advice: if this is a new concept for you, start small.  I call them “1-degree shifts”.  Pick one small agreement (like not putting sugar in your coffee or reading one chapter of a book each week) and focus solely on that.  Give it attention, time and energy and when it’s become your new habit, pick another.  Remember, what you appreciate, appreciates!

3. MOVE YOUR BODY

The final pillar of health is to move your body.  There are countless important health benefits to exercise.  Unfortunately, what I see all too often is exercise coming from a place of fear.  Fear of gaining weight.  Fear of not fitting into your clothes.  Fear of being judged for how you look.  Fear of not being strong, fast or lean.  When we move from a place of fear, we are not honoring ourselves, we are harming ourselves. This is where injury, burnout, resentment, and reinforcement of negative thought patterns occur.  Remember, the mind creates thoughts, and thoughts create our actions.  If we view movement negatively, associate it with fear, and hate every minute of it, we can’t possibly be in state of positivity and self-promotion.  Quite frankly, this sucks!  

I spent years - and I mean YEARS - punishing my body until one day it was just done.  Adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, low thyroid and mental exhaustion forced me to slow down.  It was over the course of a year that I had to reevaluate and manage my mind around movement.  Now it’s called just that – movement.  Exercise can feel like a chore, but movement is a gift.  

So I encourage you to spend some time with your thoughts around this.  Why do you workout the way you do?  Are these your beliefs or someone else’s?  Were they given to you or did you create them?  Are they serving you or holding you back?  Once you have a clear picture of what YOU believe, find movement that enlivens you!  Something you look forward to and feel energized after – regardless of what the latest craze is out there.  People are judging you anyway so you might as well do what you love no matter what others say!  Move with love, appreciation, confidence and enjoyment from the heart, and move often!   

In conclusion, don’t stop making New Year’s goals for yourself. Just be aware that making changes to your routine is hard. To stick with it, you’ll need to tap into the inner strength that drives you from within – to seek out a stronger, healthier, more confident version of self.  Each time we take a tiny step into the unknown, we are growing taller, stronger, more assured.  Don’t lose sight of your goals. Don’t forget the three pillars of health to help you get unstuck. And don’t hesitate to reach out for help if it’s needed.

With love and gratitude!

Rachel Leigh (Gerlach)

Professional Coach / Functional Nutrition Therapist / Movement Specialist

www.nutritionworksofcolorado.com | rachel@nutritionworksofcolorado.com

720-556-3113 | 4155 E. Jewell Ave Suite 714 Denver, CO 80222

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Guest Blog - Molly G. and her path to health.

My entire life, I've been overweight.  From the time that I can remember, my mom had me on a "diet," which I have since learned was more about her issues than mine, but I'll get into that later.  I went through a couple periods of weight loss - but swiftly gained all of the weight right back (50+ lbs!) because I hadn't really committed to the lifestyle or the mental aspect of weight loss - I was really good at restricting calories and exercising, but I hadn't ever dealt with WHY I was eating so much or what, if anything, was an underlying issue that was leading to my inability to maintain a healthy percentage of body fat. 

 

In January of 2015, I was 275lbs and miserable.  I remember looking in the mirror and saying to myself, "I want my stomach to not feel like another appendage."  My best friend started Advocare, and I decided it couldn't hurt, so I started it as well.  As with any of those multi-level-marketing "quick fixes," it was less about the supplements, and more about the really strict diet that I was following, that allowed me to lose a really quick 20lbs.  After that, though, my weight loss stalled.  I started going to Orangetheory Fitness in May of 2015, and immediately fell in love.  See, I'd always been a pretty active person despite my weight - I was a figure skater in grade school and swam on the swim team in high school - but I would get bored so quickly!  Orangetheory was (and continues to be) the magic bullet for exercise.  There are times that I really hate the workouts that we do, but I know those are the ones that make me stronger!  I went from then not even being able to walk without getting shin splints, to now running a 15K last year and running the same one this year, trying to beat my best time!  

 

That said though, my weight loss stalled from May of 2015 through March of 2016.  I'm sure you're thinking - "How?  I've heard about those Orangetheory workouts!  They're intense!" - They are intense, but you can't outrun a bad diet and what I'd find out later is a thyroid problem.  I went to my doctor and asked her to test my thyroid - it came back borderline low-functioning, but still functioning, so there wasn't anything she was willing to do about it.  She referred me to see my gynecologist to check for PCOS.  My gynecologist said she wasn't concerned about PCOS, but would re-run the thyroid test and see if there was anything she could see - it came back the same - moderately low-functioning, but not bad enough that there was anything she could do about it.  She referred me to a weight loss doctor, who, upon reviewing MyFitnessPal (where I faithfully log all of my meals), decided the best option for me would be to go on Phentermine.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it's 1/2 of the drug that Anna Nicole Smith died from - it's a stimulant that is reported to suppress appetite.  I took 1/2 of one pill on one day and decided NO WAY was I going to continue to take it - I felt cracked out!  I eventually went back to my original doctor, who prescribed Contrave, a different weight loss drug, but a weight loss drug all the same.  That worked for a few months - I was losing 10lbs/month and I felt great!  I got down to about 185lbs, a healthy percentage of body fat, and then...I could lose no more.  In fairness, I also started dating my now fiance, but with the amount of activity I do, I shouldn't have had a problem.  I got my metabolism tested, and my resting metabolism was 10% higher than the average 26 year old - leading to even further questions about why in the creation of the earth I wasn't losing any weight. 

 

I got frustrated in May 2017 and started to look up nutritionists.  I figured, I'd tried everything else - why not give this a go?  I'd been on the Contrave for so long I wasn't feeling its' effects anymore, and I knew I was going to be getting married in Summer of 2018...I needed to lose this last 30lbs! 

 

My journey with Rachel begun, and my favorite thing about her is that she really helped me delve into what my greater issues with food are - where they stem from, etc.  She looked at one survey and said, "I think I know where this problem starts." and suggested that I go on a high-fat diet.  I questioned her - "But MyFitnessPal says only 30% of my calories should come from fat!" She reminded me that was only a suggestion for most people - clearly what worked for them might not work for me, so why not try something different?  OK, I said - and I started to eat nearly all of my calories from fat and MAN - I never felt better!  I didn't feel constant hunger.  I felt like I was in control of what I was eating - I felt GOOD.  

 

Then I had to go to a 2-week conference for work.  There were unlimited snacks.  The "snack room," as it was called, had Famous Amos cookies.  I don't remember the last time I'd had those, but in that moment - driving back and forth to Colorado Springs every day, bored as all get out, I "needed" those cookies.  That felt like a real road block to me, and I worked with Rachel as to why...we discovered that it had a lot to do with the snack room being a "destination" I could walk to when I was bored and a lot less having to do with the cookies!  We decided my new boredom strategy would be to walk laps around the building I was in - that worked wonders, and I definitely didn't miss the cookies! 

 

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, and Rachel got my bloodwork back.  We discovered a number of different things - my A1C was high, but my resting glucose was low - meaning that I had been doing pretty well with sugar consumption in the days prior to the test, but over time I had been consuming too much sugar (no surprise there).  The most fascinating thing, though, was the thyroid test.  While every doctor who had tested it said, "nothing to worry about," Rachel took one look at it and said - you need support.  I went on Thyroid supplements and I've never felt better - I have energy when I wake up in the morning to go and take the 5:15am gym class.  I'm going to see a doctor who specializes in test results like mine and see if I can get even more support beyond the supplements - I've got a wedding dress to fit in to!  

 

Going to see Rachel has been a real blessing for me.  Not only have we deeply delved into the psychological aspect of overeating and weight loss, we've dealt with a problem that I've likely had my entire life, but no doctor was ever willing to diagnose.  I couldn't be more grateful!  Oh, and the self-confidence and happiness I've gained (and continue to gain) working on the things we talk about - nothing can compare.  It's money well spent - I couldn't be happier!

 

 

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Announcing our new space!!

Friends-
 
A heartfelt thank you for your patience while we renovated the office this past month.  It has been exciting, anxiety provoking, energy & time consuming, and one hundred percent worth it.  I can't tell you how much it means to me to have your support and referrals.  Because of this, we continue to grow and expand our reach and services to others.
 
As of Monday, February 20th, all services will now be at our office.  It is a cozy, functional space and I hope you enjoy it as much as I.  We will have the following tools to train with:
 
1.  Your body weight
2.  Hoist functional cable machine
3.  Water row machine
4.  Kettle bells
5.  Dumbbells
6.  Stability ball
7.  Bands, Bosu Ball, and balance disc
8.  Step-up box
9.  Multi-incline bench
10.  TRX
 
Our space can hold groups of 4 if you are looking to workout in a small group setting.
 
New products:
We don’t guess, we test! 
We have partnered with several new companies to provide clinical testing and product enhancement for our clients.  Many of these companies accept insurance or you may use your health spending account.
 
SpectraCell - Genetics, hormones, blood panels, endocrine & metabolic syndrome
Genova Diagnostics - Gastrointestinal health
ALCAT - food, environmental, herbal & chemical testing
Doctors Data - Gastrointestinal health
Results RNA - Biopharmaceuticals
FullScripts - online pharmacy carrying over 500 products
 
Supplements:
We will stock the following brands of supplements.
Xymogen
Metagenics
Standard Process
Results RNA
 
Up and coming:
In addition to our renovation and increased product line, we are developing new programs for our clients.  In the works are group coaching programs, expanded endurance coaching plans, nutrition & fitness maintenance programs, an athlete ambassador program as well as educational seminars.  Please watch for our newsletters announcing launch dates and availability or contact me directly if you want to learn more.

With gratitude,
Rachel

"Healthify" the Holidays

We invite you to join us for a unique experience in creating healthy, nutritious holiday meals.  Our afternoon will include a short farm tour, information on sustainable agriculture, cooking demo and lecture on nutrition and healthy living presented by:

Rachel Gerlach 
Rachel is a nutrition therapist, health & wellness coach and fitness specialist who helps people transform their lives, physically, mentally and spiritually. Using a combination of the three, she designs specialized health and nutrition programs that work within her clients lifestyle.  She believe change does not need to be a struggle and provides the tools and education to create confidence, desire and energy to do so.                                        

www.nutritionworksofcolorado.com
 

Jennifer Redies
Jennifer Redies, natural foods chef and owner of Little Pink Kitchen, a meal delivery service, will demo a few dishes that highlight tools and tricks for "healtifying" holiday favorites such as gratin, green beans, stuffing as well as the trick to preventing yet another dry turkey.       

http://www.littlepinkkitchen.com/contact.html                                                                                          


Amanda Weaver
Amanda owns a 13 acre research farm in Denver.  She is an agricultural geographer who works on issues of urban farming, sustainable food systems, and land/water agricultural conservation.  Amanda has a small sustainable urban agriculture program with CU Denver where she teaches a class that focuses on land/water/soil/climate connections.                     

http://www.5fridgesfarm.com

 

Details:                  
November 5, 3-5 pm                                                                                                                             5 Fridges Farm - 11100 W 38th Ave Wheatridge CO  80033

RSVP

Our kitchen is cozy and we are only able to accommodate 15 guests.
Please RSVP today to reserve your spot.  #720-556-3113 / rachel@nutritionworksofcolorado.com

$25.00

October Ski Conditioning Class

Ok, friends. I need to fill my ski conditioning class with fun, motivated people who want to get in ridiculous shape for the ski season. For the month of October, we will meet Thursday morning from 6-6:45 am at Busy Body Gym (off colorado blvd & Illif) to get our sweat on.


50 bucks gets you access to the gym. Nutritional coaching during our sessions and an insane workout.


The best part - $2.00 from each person will be donated to The Tennyson Children's Center. How cool is that!

Space is limited so sign up today - class starts Oct 6th! 

#720-556-3113

Surviving Struggle

This past month I’ve worked with a lot of clients in struggle.  We’re talking major life decisions that impact all facets of their lives.  As a coach, we are taught to be objective and empathetic but not “in the fight with you”.  Maybe this is a skill that comes with time, but I’ve clearly not developed it yet.  I am with you in this struggle and I understand what it feels like to have your world turned upside down.  I know exactly what you mean when you feel there is no way out.  You can’t focus on self-care when you’re exhausted from analyzing every thought and decision.

 

Having gone through two major traumas and a third on its way, here is what I can share from my experience.  It’s not perfect, and I’m sure I’ll have to refine it again, but it helped get me safely to the other side.  Bruised, guarded, scared shitless, but I survived. 

 

1.     Call on your “person”.  That one friend who has earned the right to hear your story, who you can trust will tell you exactly what you need to hear, good or bad.  I will never forget the moment my “person” told me the words I needed to hear.  Sitting in Jelly eating donut holes when I finally heard the words “you are a great mother, they will be ok”.  Done!  Floodgates opened, tears started flowing, more donut holes were ordered and I made the decision right there to finally leave my marriage.  That person saved my life and I am forever bound to her.

 

2.     Be gentle with yourself.  This is not the time to start a 30-day challenge, go gluten free, give up alcohol or go back to school.  This is the time to nourish you, physically and mentally.  Slow walks, massage, Nicholas Sparks movie-a-thon, taking a bath, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, sleep and more sleep.  Let the laundry go a little longer, the grass can be mowed another day and call a house cleaner as a gift to you. 

Hold your heart softly and give yourself grace.

 

3.     Exercise.  Ugh, I know, who wants to exercise when they feel like a Mack truck has hit them.  It’s important during this time to reframe the definition of exercise.  What is normal for you now needs to be scaled down quite a bit.  Take the distance of your run and cut it in half.  Drop the intensity of your weight routine and add 10 min of stretching instead of hammering out another set.  Move your walk to the woods and stroll, taking time to connect with nature and earth.  Sit on the side of a mountain and breathe.  Movement will make you feel better.  It will increase blood flow, bringing oxygen to the brain to help with decision-making.  Movement will help you sleep more soundly and it also improves your body image, increasing your confidence to take on your challenge.

 

4.     Nourishment.  Each person reacts differently under stress and our eating pattern can reflect this.  Some have no appetite at all while others crave comfort food.  Some over-eat and others over-drink. Whatever your pattern, be aware of it and do your best to nourish yourself with foods that are light, nutrient dense and as close to source as possible.  Fresh, organic foods, grass-fed protein, nuts and seeds and lots and lots of water.  By providing our body with healthy foods, we will feel better, think more clearly and have energy to survive the challenges you face.

 

To all those in struggle, you are not alone in this.  We are all universally connected in love, pain, fear, indecision, happiness, joy and life.  Breathe and trust that you will survive this.  You may be a different version of yourself, but you will survive.

 

To your health and happiness!